Chapter 4: The Time Travelers
Silence reigned over the cave. No one spoke, and it seemed like even the tiniest of movements was forbidden.
Minato expected many things when he teleported to rescue his remaining students. He had braced himself for the worst. To lose one or even both his students.
He hadn't expected to meet a group of men–and one woman–parading as fake ANBU operatives of his village. He also hadn't expected to regain his previously dead student–who wasn't really dead–with the help of said fake ANBU operatives.
When he finally thought it was the time to interrogate these men, he hadn't expected the fake fox ANBU to spout exceedingly ridiculous, yet inspiring, things. To hear such conviction coming from a person hiding behind a fake ANBU mask was highly disturbing, especially since his ideals sounded a lot more admirable and his conviction seemed stronger than even his own Sensei. He really didn't know what to think. When the fox ANBU started talking, Minato really felt like believing him. That somehow, he–the fox ANBU–could gain peace for the entire elemental Nation.
Minato had expected many things, but he hadn't even considered this.
"I'm sorry, I thought I heard you say that you," he gestured towards the fake Fox ANBU and the rest of his companion, "are from the future," he slowly said. Mind still reeling and questioning what he had eaten that morning to warrant this kind of hallucination.
The Fox ANBU's eyes twinkled in glee underneath his mask as he stared at him.
"That's probably true because that's what I just said," the man chirped, amusement laced in his voice.
"Bullshit," Minato deadpans. He stood up, followed by his students and the man in the Snake mask. His face was carefully blank as he stared directly at the fake ANBU. He had enough of all their avoidance.
"How could I trust your words when I don't even know the name or the face of the person I'm talking to?" Minato said, eyebrow raised. The masked people shifted and exchanged a few meaningful glances before they directed a questioning stare at the fake fox ANBU.
'Ah, so he really is the leader of this group.' With that realization, Minato directed his icy stare at the man.
"You must have misunderstood me. The reason why I'm even talking to you in a civilized manner is because I'm grateful for your help with saving my students, but my generosity has a limit."
Naruto stared at the 23-year-old version of his father. He couldn't wrap his head around the idea that he was literally older than his father. The fact was disturbing, but time travel defied all logic out there, so he should really learn to accept this.
Now, for the current problem they had on their hands. He could practically feel the expectant gazes of his comrades. How generous of them to leave all the work to him.
'Well, I guess it's now or never.'
He let out a snort and couldn't help the quiet chuckle that came out of his throat. Which garnered an irritated twitch from his father.
Really, this situation was awkward, yet Naruto felt giddy. This was his father, after all. No matter how old Namikaze Minato was, he would always love and idolize him, and although he was currently 33-years-old–more than a decade older than his father–he still couldn't help the feeling of anticipation, along with a sliver of nervousness that enveloped him.
"You think this is funny?" His father was getting irritated, and Naruto couldn't help but feel scolded, even though his father had misunderstood the reason for his mirth.
He may not have grown up with the loving care of his parents, but as a parent himself, the sound of annoyance lacing his father's voice was enough to make him feel like a child again.
He cleared his throat.
"No, no," he waved his hands in denial as he tried to placate his ticked off father, "It's just… this situation, it's a bit, ah–awkward for me, yet I can't help but feel giddy at the same time." He let out a nervous chuckle as he rubbed the back of his neck.
His comrades stayed silent, letting him handle the current situation. He was talking with his father after all. Konoha's greatest hero–well, before he was born that is–and future Fourth Hokage.
Minato's eyebrow shot up his hairline in surprise at the unexpected admittance. His students stared at each other with uncertainty, looking as if they had no clue what was going on; confused, yet, curious with what the Fox ANBU was saying.
"Of course, I expected your scepticism with what I just revealed. Perfect Time Travel is an impossible concept to execute. One that no one had ever accomplished, even though the theory was there. However, I'm not without proof. The masks that we are wearing were to avoid unwanted attention earlier in our arrival. Though, we didn't plan to stay hidden forever. After all, our appearances are evidence enough to our claim, but I would like to provide you with something that you can never deny."
Minato looked at the fake ANBU with unhidden mistrust and scepticism. Yet, there was an ounce of curiosity and anticipation about what the masked man was going to show him. He could feel his students shuffling closer eagerly, and the blond couldn't help but mentally sigh. His students had adopted his inquisitive manner, sometimes he couldn't help but feel exasperated with all the bad habits they were picking up from him more often than the good things he was attempting to teach them. Mentally pushing his thoughts on his students aside, he directed his focus to the masked man.
"What are you going to show me?" he asked with a neutral voice, trying his best to remove any ounce of interest from his tone.
"Hmm, I don't know if any of your students are aware of this, but I know that you know about this," Naruto slowly lifted his hand up as he carefully summoned Kurama's chakra, "...chakra, and that the owner of this chakra was supposed to be safe, back in the village."
As Kurama's orange chakra slowly engulfed his whole hand, the Nanadaime watched as his father's facial expression morphed from flabbergasted to utter disbelief.
"W-what… This–this chakra...How did–"
"In our future, someone would free the Nine-Tails from his jailor, controlling him against his will, and wreaking havoc in the village." Minato stared incredulously at the orange chakra in his hands before the man's gaze flickered up to his eyes. The rest of team Minato looked at him in horror. Murmuring a string of incoherent mumblings, "Nine Tails?","The legendary Tailed Beast?","The Kyuubi No Kitsune?"
"Control? I didn't know of anyone who is capable of controlling the Kyuubi since Uchiha Madara," The blond asked, forehead creasing and eyes narrowed.
"Well, considering Madara is the one who orchestrated the attack–though he had manipulated someone to do the act–of course, such a thing could happen." Naruto flippantly replied and his father stared at him incredulously.
"Uchiha Madara orchestrated the Kyuubi's attack!?" Minato exclaimed. "But I thought he was dead!"
Naruto's eyes flickered over Obito briefly, "Well, as we have established, he's still alive and he's the one who saved Obito."
Obito nodded, frowning as he thought of the possibilities. "That asshole is so old now though, so it's understandable that he needed to have a pawn to do his bidding, but who could Madara use to free and control the Kyuubi in his stead–" the Uchiha paused before his eyes briefly widened. Carefully, he shifted towards the fake Fox ANBU, his hands were shaking and he felt the blood draining from his face.
"Fox-san, you mentioned earlier that Madara wanted to use my grief from Rin's death to manipulate me into going along with his plan," he licked his dry lips as he tried his best to steady his voice, "Am I, responsible–" Obito's question was cut off as a hand landed on top of his head.
"Now, now Obito-chan, you don't need to worry about that. Future events should be discussed later once introductions are finished, and don't worry your pretty little head over those details. After all, you're here now ain'tcha? What's important now is the present. No use mulling over things that will never happen." Obito grimaced while tears started leaking out of his eyes and he immediately rubbed them using his sleeves. Rin and Kakashi comforted him as Naruto patted his head.
Minato, after he managed to collect himself from all the information he had found out, stared sadly at his student and soothingly rubbed Obito's back in comfort. "He's right Obito, what's important right now is you're finally here with us again."
"Yes, Sensei," Obito sniffled as he replied. His teammates crowded around him to convey their support.
Naruto smiled underneath his mask before he continued speaking. "Hm, on to where I left off." The members of team Minato refocused their attention on him, but this time, they stayed connected with each other through their linked fingers, refusing to let go of one another.
"So in order to stop the Kyuubi and its blind rage, you sealed half of its power into a newly born baby, and half inside yourself. Trapping your soul inside the Shinigami's stomach in the process."
Minato paled at the Fox ANBU's narration. To seal his own soul inside the Shinigami. It must have been one hell of a sealing technique. Just thinking about the prospect of the Kyuubi escaping from Kushina's seal to wreak havoc in Konoha was terrifying enough for him to foresee losing a lot of sleep in the following days.
He was ripped away from his disturbing thoughts when a rustle of clothes from the fake Fox ANBU alerted him of his movements. His cerulean eyes shifted from its unfocused gaze to the hand that was moving up towards the man's mask, and that was when he realized that, 'He's going to remove his mask?'
Suddenly, his attention zeroed in on him, keen eyes following his every move as the man slowly lifted his left hand towards the fake ANBU mask that concealed his face.
'It's now or never.' Naruto thought as he took a deep breath to calm his racing heart. Seriously, why was this so hard to do? He was just going to reveal his face to his not-so-old-man. This was supposed to be easy. This was his father after all.
It took all his Shinobi training to remove the anxiety from his body and steel himself to complete the deed and be done with it. He had a lot of things to explain, and way more planning to do. Making sure that his father would cooperate with them was one of his most important goals, one that they needed to accomplish.
His fingers touched the cool surface of the mask created by his clones with the materials they had acquired from the market. Naruto could practically feel the intense gazes directed at the hand on his mask from team Minato, radiating anticipation and curiosity; he couldn't help but smirk underneath his mask, despite his nervousness.
'Ahh, I wish I had a camera.'
The light created by the bonfire and the two torches had helped brighten the whole cave, allowing them to see everything around, even though the outside world was already enveloped by the darkness of night.
He couldn't be more thankful for that as his trained eyes could focus on the fox mask that concealed the identity of the leader of the fake ANBU. He clearly saw the sudden poof of smoke that revealed the true colour of the man's hair. Blond, the exact same colour of his hair.
Minato blinked once. 'What?' He could practically feel the side-eye glances that his students sent his way– specifically to his own mop of blond hair. Then slowly, the mask was lifted from the man's face and they all watched as the mysterious masked man finally revealed his face.
The first thing Minato noticed was the brilliant cerulean eyes that stared steadily at him–the same eyes that greeted him every time he looked in the mirror. The hair too, looked almost exactly like his, though a bit different in length and style,
Minato took note of the prominent whisker marks visible on both of his cheeks that clearly resembled a cat's whiskers. He traced every feature of his face with his eyes, noting that the man seemed to be in his early 30s and that his face looked familiar to him. Aside from the fact that he could pass as Minato's father or any of his close relatives, there was something in his overall appearance that nudged him to reach out towards the man and touch his cheek. He just couldn't understand why he was feeling a strong connection that he had never felt before... until his addled brain managed to register who the man resembled.
The very familiar features that he had learned to love and wished to gaze at every minute of his waking hours was in front of him on another person's face. 'Kushina's face...with my… coloring,' his brain thought absentmindedly.
His brain automatically came up with possible explanations, and he tried his best to push those thoughts away, to deny what was in front of his very eyes. Keyword, 'try', because no matter how hard he tried to reject the idea, he was smart enough to conclude that the only reason for that–that person to have those features was if–if he was…
Minato choked, "H-how… I-I, w-who are you?"
The now revealed blond hummed, letting out a soft smile as he looked at him with… fond eyes.
"I'm called by many names. Knucklehead, Konoha's hero. War hero, but well," the still-unnamed man shrugged, then he straightened out and his lips stretched into a blinding grin, one that he was very familiar with. 'Kushina's exuberant trademark grin… '
There was another poof of smoke as his ANBU attire disappeared and revealed an orange sweatshirt with three black stripes from the hips lined up to the hem of his shirt, paired with plain shinobi black pants. A white cape that has a red flame pattern around the hem was draped securely on his shoulder and was held together by a red rope.
He vaguely heard the startled exclamation of: "Ah! Y-you look like a mix of Minato-Sensei and Kushina-nee!" with a pointing finger from Obito, Rin's murmur of disbelief, "By the gods… " and the sharp intake of breath from Kakashi. But he felt like he was underwater, he couldn't match their reaction or properly focus on them, he was too busy dealing with his own emotions.
Against his better judgement, he was suddenly engulfed by a feeling of awe and an unexplainable pull, a surge of affection towards the person in front of him. The man standing now looked like a mix of him and…'Kushina… ' His mind ran a mile a minute, his insides shaking in utter disbelief. 'T-this person… this person is–'
"My name is Uzumaki Naruto, currently 33-years-old. Ninja registration no. 012607. The only son of Konoha's Yellow Flash, Namikaze Minato and the Red Hot-Blooded Habanero, Uzumaki Kushina."
Minato took a sharp intake of breath that he ended up choking on, hands trembling and becoming clammy as he heard the confirmation coming from the man himself, the same conclusion that he was trying to deny since he saw that face.
"Taken under the tutelage of Hatake Kakashi..."
Young Kakashi suddenly jolted at hearing his name, eyes wide in disbelief as his two teammates turned to gape at him, "You became a Jounin Sensei Kakashi!" Obito exclaimed, flabbergasted while Kakashi became stone cold.
"...and Jiraiya the Toad Sannin."
Minato's heart was beating so fast inside his rib cage that he was afraid that everyone could hear it. The man, his future son–he still couldn't wrap his head around the idea–continued his shocking revelations without qualms about his poor heart and sanity.
"Konoha's most unpredictable ninja, a member of the new Densetsu no Sannin, and…" he paused, eyes gleaming with a sense of power and conviction, one that he had seen in his own Kage so many times during a mission debrief, that he couldn't help but unconsciously straighten his back at attention as the man stared directly at him.
"The Nanadaime Hokage of Konohagakure no Sato," he twisted his body, revealing the whole appearance of the cape draped on him. As if being swept by a gust of wind, the cape flowed; completely showing the red flaming pattern around the hem, and the the big kanji written vertically down the cape: 七代目火影 (Nanadaime Hokage).
Minato felt his knees go weak, and he unconsciously took a step back. "Kami-sama." He put a hand on his face and ran it downwards in a clear sign of his lost composure.
"Hmm, if this is still not enough to persuade you that we came from the future... don't worry, I still have a lot of evidence to show you," The man, Naruto said this with an easy grin that garnered a yelp of: "And he also has Sensei's grin!" from Obito that caught the 33-year-old man's attention.
"Well, I can't help that," Naruto uttered, laughing a bit as he rubbed the back of his neck the same way Minato himself did every time he was embarrassed or garnering a lot of attention and compliments from others, which was confirmed by Obito's exclamation of: "That too!"
The man, his name was Naruto. Kushina and he had named—Minato's mind short-circuited again. He and Kushina had a son–will have a son in the future, and said future-son was currently standing in front of him; apparently more than a decade older than him now. 'Kami-sama, I didn't sign up for this!'
"Let me get this straight…" he put a hand on his aching forehead, rubbing it twice with his cold fingers, "You time travelled from the future," a nod, "and you're my son–from the future?"
"Yup!" the time traveller cherrily answered.
Minato felt another migraine brutally assaulting him. "Pardon me, this is hard to take in," he said as he crouched in front of them, his students following suit, cautiously sitting beside him.
"Take your time. I know it's hard to take in, my comrades were also surprised when I informed them of our current situation earlier today," Naruto said with an easy grin on his lips. The exasperated Namikaze heard a snort coming from the still masked snake ANBU.
"With you, we have long since learned that normal and logic don't apply. I will believe any bizarre situation as long as you're involved," The raven-haired man said, which prompted a few nods of approval from the Dog and Slug ANBU.
"I can't help it if everything that happens in my life is extraordinary. I just learned to adapt!" he said with a shrug.
"Right," the Snake ANBU dryly said.
Minato cleared his throat, "So, if you're my son from the future, then who are the others?" he said, eyeing the remaining masked figures curiously.
He took note of the sudden shift that the Dog ANBU did and the mischievous grin that appeared on his...ah, future son's face–still having a hard time wrapping his mind around that.
"Well, of course, you wanted to know!" Naruto chirped happily, too happily, while he clapped his hands in front of him once. A glint of mischief in his cerulean eyes–'Oh gods, he looks like Kushina when she's on a pranking spree!' His mind frantically supplied.
"Go on Sasuke, let's leave the best for last!" There was an audible groan coming from the Dog ANBU, a "Tch!" from the Slug, and a low "Hn." from Snake.
Now he was extremely interested, and the sudden shift from his students and their huge eager stares indicated that they were too.
Snake casually removed his mask, and a poof of smoke later, the fake ANBU snake was revealed, with his glorified lone Sharingan activated.
"Ah! An Uchiha!" Obito screamed in delight as he pointed a finger at the now unconcealed person. "That's why you know a lot about our clan!"
"Aa, I'm Uchiha Sasuke. One of the Densetsu no Sannin, my Jounin Sensei is also, Hatake Kakashi," young Kakashi was choking on thin air now, "and Orochimaru of the Snake Sannin–", "Orochimaru!?" a yell of incredulity from Obito. "He's also known as the Sasaukage!" Sasuke shot his blond friend a glare at his interruption which was answered by a bright grin.
"Hn. I'm the second son of Uchiha Fugaku and Uchiha Mikoto, Uchiha Itachi is my older brother." Sasuke finished, face remaining perfectly calm even as the younger members of Team Minato openly gawked at him.
"You're little Itachi's brother! The same Itachi who conned me to buy him dango every week!" Obito exclaimed with a horrified expression, finger pointing at the newly revealed Uchiha.
"Obito, you're too loud." Rin half-heartedly scolded.
"But Rin!" The 14-year-old Kunoichi feigned ignorance with her teammate's outburst, eyeing the adult Uchiha instead and blushing a little as Sasuke let out a rare kind of smirk.
No one could blame the girl though, Uchiha Sasuke was an extremely handsome man, much more than your average pretty-faced Uchiha.
"So he does those kinds of things too," The 30-something-year-old Uchiha said amusedly.
Naruto chuckled a little before he directed his gaze to the remaining two. He grinned wider as the remaining masked ninja glared at him.
"Now, these two are another evidence that can back up my claim. Their existence alone shouldn't be possible and the little complications and consequences of their presence here in the past will be addressed soon but for now, let me introduce Slug to you."
The addressed Slug snorted. "You really love your dramatics, brat. Tch, I swear you got that from Jiraiya, that idiot."
That comment was replied by a hearty laugh. "Of course, he's my mentor and godfather."
Hearing this revelation, Minato murmured: "Sensei, a godfather? What was I thinking?" a little horrified by the idea. Slug snorted, signifying that she heard his little comment.
She calmly walked towards them as she put a hand on her mask; without any suspense, a poof engulfed her and she casually removed it, revealing very familiar honey brown eyes, light blond hair tied in two distinct pony tails behind her head as she put a hand on her hip while tilting her head to the side with an amused smirk on her pink lips.
No one dared to move, Minato felt frozen on the spot as he processed the identity of the person in front of him.
"T-T-Tsunade-sama!" Rin exclaimed in surprise, hands clasped in front of her as she openly ogled her. Let it be known that Nohara Rin was (is) an avid fan of the legendary Slug Princess. She was her inspiration and role model. So her dreamy expression was understandable as well as the gaping faces of Kakashi and Obito.
"Hm, well Naruto, it looks like I have more fans than you," The now revealed Senju Tsunade of the freakin Sannin said, tilting her head towards Naruto. Wait, 'They're addressing each other casually, does my son have a close relationship with the Senju Princess?' Minato thought in astonishment.
"Aww, no fair Baa-chan!"
"Baa-chan!?" this flabbergasted exclamation came from himself and Obito.
His supposed son had just called Senju Tsunade, most competent Medical Ninja, one of the most feared Kunoichi in the Elemental Nations, the Princess of the Senju clan, Baa-chan!
"You're more popular in this time period anyway." The grown man pouted.
"Ahh…" Minato intelligently uttered, he felt like he was supposed to reprimand him as a good parent for disrespecting his elders, but he was a decade older than him! 'Argh! This situation is too much of a headache for me to handle!'
"Hmp, as you all figured out. I'm Senju Tsunade, member of the first generation of the Densetsu no Sannin, of course under the tutelage of the second God of Shinobi and… the former Godaime Hokage of Konoha."
Now that was another shocking revelation of the night. If possible, Rin's eyes turned into hearts "Godaime-sama!", and surprisingly, the one who exclaimed next was his almost comatose student, Kakashi. "We have two Hokage's with us?!" Which earned him a few snorts from the now revealed Sasuke-san and Lady Tsunade, with a loud guffaw from Naruto.
"Oh, this is getting interesting!" Minato looked suspiciously at his son as he rubbed his hands together in a manner scarily similar to Kushina's evil scheming face.
"To be in the presence of two Hokage is an honour, and quite honestly humbling. Seriously… I don't know how to really react," Minato said with a small reluctant smile, remembering the way he tried to scare them off earlier.
Now he understood their attitude towards his petty attempt of intimidation. Seriously, him trying to intimidate two Kages? Yellow Flash or not, he was so below their league, and thinking about it now–he couldn't help the feeling of embarrassment creeping from his neck up to his ears.
'Seriously Minato? You're pathetic! And such an embarrassment! What would Kushina say to you? She'll be sure to laugh at my face and she would never let me live this down.' Minato internally groaned.
"Coming from you, that's quite funny, actually," Lady Tsunade said as his future son chuckled in amusement.
Minato blinked. "What?" he dumbly asked, which earned him a snort from the still masked Dog ANBU and two smirks from Lady Tsunade and Sasuke-san, plus a full out laughter from his son.
He exchanged confused glances with Obito and Rin, but Kakashi's eye briefly widened.
"Hmm, according to my estimation. A few days after your return from this mission, Sandaime-jiji is going to appoint you as Konoha's Yondaime Hokage." This was enthusiastically reported by his son as he grinned at him so wide.
"Ahh… " he dumbly said. Mind screeching to a halt as the words slowly sink in, as if the world slowed down to a snail pace, echoed in his inner consciousness: 'You as Konoha's Yondaime Hokage, You as Konoha's Yondaime Hokage, Konoha's Yondaime Hokage, Yondaime, Yondaime, Yondaime.'
Minato's world stopped, stuttered to a grinding halt, and rebooted and restarted all together again.
"Ah, I think you guys completely broke Sensei." Rin said as she and Obito poked his still form.
"Does he need a few minutes?" Sasuke-san asked, but he was still very much in la-la land, unable to comment.
He snapped out of his stupor as he was repeatedly assaulted by his students with finger pokes. Even Kakashi joined the assault!
"R-right. I'm back. Sorry about that. It's just… me, as Hokage?"
Naruto snickered. "Of course, I came from the lineage of Hokages! No surprise there."
"Oh… " Minato dumbly replied. Still reeling from the onslaught of information revealed to him. He never imagined thinking this in his life but, in this moment, he felt like he really needed sake to handle this.
There was a scoff. "Yes, you're supposed to come from the lineage of legendary and smart people, but your genetics are defective and you became the stupidest Hokage that ever graced Konoha." Sasuke-san said, crossing his arms as he stared at his friend.
"Oi! I matured."
"Yes," Sasuke murmured, eyebrow raised, "mature."
Tsunade coughed behind her fist, face deadpanned as the two mature men bickered in front of them.
"You both need to mature. Hmp, we're down to the final member." Naruto's eyes shifted from defensive to gleeful in the span of a second, Minato blinked again. 'What's with the Dog ANBU that garners such a reaction from his own comrades?'
All eyes drifted towards the quiet masked man who was trying his best to impersonate a deaf person while he buried his nose in his book.
Hatake Kakashi, clocking in at 48-years-old, sweatdropped as he felt all the gazes zeroed in on him. He tried his best to ignore their piercing stares and buried his nose in his book that he hadn't been reading since the arrival of his (former?) Sensei.
"Neh, should I call your name now?"
Kakashi put down his book and glanced at his former student as he heard the hidden mischief lacing his tone. He internally sighed.
Really, maybe Naruto would be the death of him.
"Alright," he mumbled, as he straightened from the cold wall that he was leaning on, slouching his shoulder and walking towards his audience, quite slowly.
He stopped besides Tsunade-sama and sighed heavily.
"Do I really need to be introduced? They have enough evidence," he drawled lazily. The stares that he got from his comrades answered his complaints.
"Right, stupid question," he mumbled, before he flicked his gaze towards the young version of his team. His eyes lingered on Obito that caused a look of confusion from the teenager.
Team Minato stared at him expectantly, he could also see the suppressed amusement from his comrades.
'I'm really honoured to be the source of your entertainment.'
Somehow, he could also feel the intense look he was receiving from the hidden people in the depths of the cave. Under the protective barrier of Naruto's fuinjutsu seal was the rest of their time-traveling comrades, without a doubt enjoying the show that they were watching. They could hear and see them after all. The only ones who couldn't were the people on the other side of the barrier.
He didn't know when he would merge with his past self, but he hoped that they would have enough time to inform team Minato of this development before it happens.
'Well, I better get this over with.'
He grabbed the only thing that concealed his face from the younger version of his team. His fingers touched the cold plane of the mask and after a few seconds of hesitation, he proceeded to remove it from his face. At the same time, he released the henge surrounding his person; revealing his silver hair that defied gravity. He wore Konoha's redesigned flak jacket with a red armband on his left bicep.
He eye-smiled and greeted them gleefully.
"A-AH!" Obito seemed to choke on his own exclamation and remained frozen. No one dared to move after that though.
"Me?" Kakashi whispered faintly, looking dazed.
He sweatdropped as he looked at the slack-jawed appearances of the younger versions of his team, with Obito's jaw further down than everyone else. His 12-year-old self looked like he was having a stroke. Rin's eyes seemed to bulge out from their sockets. Minato-Sensei's soul seemed to evacuate his body momentarily.
48-years-old Kakashi felt like pouting. Seriously, he got the worst reaction among his comrades. How was that supposed to be fair? He stared exasperatedly at his blond student who was trying his best to stifle his laughter. Cheeks visibly red and tears prickling at the corner of his eyes. Kakashi felt appalled.
"Well, there goes my introduction. Call me later Naruto." He turned away, hands buried deep inside his pocket as he lifted a foot forward but abruptly stopped as he felt a heavy hand on his shoulder. Lifting a lazy eye towards the owner of the hand, he was met by honey brown eyes filled with amusement.
"Where are you going Rokudaime-sama?" 'The fun is just starting.' Tsunade's eyes seemed to say. He sweatdropped.
"R-Rokudaime-sama!?" Obito screamed incredulously as his brain seemed to start functioning again. His younger self looked to be having cardiac arrest.
Naruto and Sasuke's eyes seemed to gleam with unhidden amusement. His former blond student waved his hand dismissively.
"She's kidding!" he said with a cheeky grin which didn't look convincing at all.
'They're clearly enjoying this.' He deadpanned, eyes lazily shifting towards the younger version of Team Minato. They were still looking at him incredulously.
"Yeah, Kaka-sensei, You didn't even introduce yourself!" Naruto chirped cheerfully.
Minato was already bombarded by many revelations tonight. One, he was now a father of a thirty-something man who came from the future, and that future-son of his was apparently the Nanadaime Hokage of Konoha, and then he met Fugaku and Mikoto's second future son, plus Lady Tsunade who was the Godaime Hokage of Konoha in the future. He was also informed of his future enactment after this disastrous mission as the Yondaime Hokage.
Seriously, he was all but ready to pass out sometime soon. But it seemed like his heart attacks wouldn't stop anytime soon, because standing in front of them now was the future version of his other student. His gravity-defying silver hair was the same as his 12-year-old self, same dark eyes and same features, except for one thing. He had two functioning eyes.
Minato blinked. He observed the adult version of his student and watched as he pouted. Wait, he clearly looked like he was pouting! But Kakashi doesn't pout! He side eyed the 12-year-old version of his student and saw the horrified expression plastered over his face.
Future Kakashi eyed them lazily. Hands still inside his pockets and shoulders slouched.
"Maa, I don't think I need any introductions." A look from Naruto shut him up, and Minato blinked again, 'What? So my future-son has that kind of control over his own Sensei?'
He was a bit confused. Naruto may be the Nanadaime Hokage, but it looked like these people clearly respected him on a different level. Even though they bantered like old comrades, the air around his future-son was different. Even Lady Tsunade seemed to hold a lot of respect for him. 'How… curious.'
Future Kakashi sent them an eye-smile which was a bit creepy considering their Kakashi doesn't smile.
"Y-y-y-you're an imposter! There's no way Kakashi would act as lazy and carefree as you! And what's with your greetings!?" Obito finally exploded, and Minato couldn't help but silently agree. Young Kakashi crossed his arms and nodded solemnly.
"There's no way I'll look that stupid." Kakashi said, arms crossed over his chest and brows creased with irritation which elicited a guffaw from his future-son.
"Oh man, Sensei. Even your younger self is embarrassed by you! Wait 'til they found out about your other quirks!" Naruto said between his laughs..
"Maa Naruto, stop patronizing your Sensei won't you? I miss the days I could assign you to D-rank missions. My, where did the years go." Future-Kakashi said cheerfully, hands clamped together. The younger version of team Minato looked like they had seen a ghost.
'There's just no way, Kakashi would act like that!' Rin and Obito screamed in their minds.
Minato sweatdropped, looking at the older version of his student. There was a gleam in future-Kakashi's eyes that immediately shut his future-son up and garnered a slight kick from Sasuke-san.
"Ouch! The hell Sasuke!"
Sasuke-san hissed something towards Naruto that Minato didn't catch. He saw his son sweatdrop, side-eyeing the older Hatake before he pouted and crossed his arms like a fuming child.
Minato wondered what kind of blackmail material that future-Kakashi had over his former Genin team. The kind of mirth this Kakashi was exuding was disturbing. A sadistic streak that he sometimes emanated towards his own students whenever he was feeling a bit vindictive.
'Huh, did Kakashi get that from me?' Minato pondered.
"W-wait! Are you really future-Kakashi?" Rin asked carefully, warily looking at the older man.
Older Kakashi stared at Rin, and there was an onslaught of emotion that passed through his dark eyes. Sadness, regret, guilt, and fondness. Minato was baffled by what he saw.
'Did, something happened to Rin in the future?' As soon as the question came to him, so did the answer. He remembered what happened today. About Rin jumping on Kakashi's Chidori to kill herself. Minato was again reminded that without the interference of the time travellers, he would have less than one student standing.
"Hm, I am indeed who I appear to be, though I have to say Obito-chan," there was a squeak of indignation coming from the addressed teenager, "You can't expect the same personality from a person who's 34 years older than you," Future Kakashi said mirthfully, and Minato gawked.
"W-what!? How old exactly are you now!?" Kakashi exclaimed in shock and Obito nodded in agreement, eyes wide.
"Hm, I guess an introduction is really in order." Elder Kakashi shifted, right hand coming out from his pocket. He straightened as his eyes lazily scanned them. Then he eye-smiled again.
"Yo! Names Hatake Kakashi, Ninja registration no. 009720. As of now, I'm already 48-years-old–"
"WHAT!" Obito exclaimed
"48-years-old?" Rin murmured in disbelief.
"Why yes, did I say another age?" 48-year-old Kakashi affirmed happily.
Minato exchanged glances with Rin and Obito before their eyes landed on 12-year-old Kakashi.
"What?" younger Kakashi asked irritatedly.
"Are you some sort of immortal Kakashi? You don't look any older than 20!" Obito yelled at his teammate, looking affronted. Rin nodded in accordance.
"You look so young," Rin said, looking dazed as her cheeks tinged with pink. Young Kakashi remained silent. Quietly assessing his counterpart with the crease on his forehead rapidly increasing.
"Hm, so I'm told," The elder Kakashi said, eye smiling again, "Maa, where was I?"
"You just mentioned your age," Minato automatically replied, still astonished at the older version of his student.
"Right! As my not-so-little students informed you, I'm the former Jounin Sensei of the Legendary Team 7."
The pride that laced the older man's voice here was undeniable, Minato noted. He guessed that considering the accomplishments of his students, even he would be proud.
"I'm called many things: Kakashi of the Sharingan, Copy Ninja Kakashi, Hero of the Sharingan, cold-blooded Kakashi…" the man said this while putting out a finger in each moniker, looking like he was just reporting the weather. Team Minato continued to gape at him as he recited each nickname.
"Hm, I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but you get the gist of it. Though I can't be called Kakashi of the Sharingan or Hero of the Sharingan now since as you can see," he closed his right eye and left his left eye open, catching all of Team Minato's attention, "I don't have the Sharingan anymore."
Minato couldn't help but stare. He didn't know what to say at all, although hundreds of questions were swimming inside his mind.
Obito and 12-year-old Kakashi quietly asked, trying their best to hide their trepidation. Rin looked pale as she clutched her hands to her chest.
48-years-old Kakashi stared at them, assessing their solemn reactions.
"Hm, a lot of things happened in the future. One of them is the devastating Fourth Shinobi World War."
"Fourth Shinobi World War?" Minato faintly murmured, mind running a mile. They just barely survived the Third War, and there was another?
"B-but, we just went through the Third War!" Rin squeaked in horror.
Older Kakashi immediately waved them off, looking nonchalant. "Maa, don't worry about that. Thanks to my adorable, not-so-little students, that war probably won't happen," he said with an eye-smile.
"Probably?" Minato asked, scepticism visible in his tone.
"Hm, things from the future will be discussed later," Adult Kakashi offered offhandedly.
"So how did you lose my Sharingan?" Obito asked.
"Hm, well, Madara stole it from me!" The older Hatake said cheerfully, too cheerfully.
"Madara did what now!?" Obito squeaked indignantly. His Kakashi and Rin exchanged wide-eyed glances, and Minato's blood drained from his face, again. It was not the first time that Uchiha Madara was mentioned, but every time his name came up, bad things followed. Seriously, if these kinds of revelations continued on, he might develop an unhealthy blood circulation.
"Well, a lot of things happened in the future and Madara was resurrected during the Fourth Shinobi War and forcefully stole your Sharingan from my eye socket."
Obito turned white as a sheet of paper, "Madara, can be brought back to life?" he whispered, looking horrified.
"Don't worry about that. Madara is dead now, and we'll make sure he stays six feet under," Future Kakashi assured.
Obito nodded reluctantly, a bit unconvinced.
"As I said before, discussions of the future will be addressed later. But if you wanna know how I get my original eye back, maybe you need a demonstration. Naruto?"
The older blond man nodded in understanding.
"Right, I almost forgot." Minato's future-son moved towards Obito and his student flinched in surprise.
"Now, now, don't move Obito-chan. This will be over in no time." The teenager gulped as his hands shook nervously. Minato watched curiously as the man put a hand on his student's damaged eyes.
They were startled when Naruto was suddenly engulfed with golden flames of pure chakra, his pupils had taken on a cross-like shape.
"What in the world…" Young Kakashi uttered in disbelief as he stared at the glowing frame of the man.
"What power… " Minato said in astonishment.
"W-what's that?" Rin asked, voice laced with wonder.
"This is my Six Paths power, the Yin-Yang release," The glowing man informed them. He removed his hand from Obito's damaged eye and when he opened it, a pool of onyx greeted them.
Rin gasped. "Obito! You got your eye back!"
Kakashi stared at the golden man in astonishment. "Y-you just restored an eye."
Naruto nodded with a smile, arms crossed and looking proud of himself. He walked back beside his comrades and the shroud of chakra surrounding him vanished immediately.
"Yep, I did. It's one of the powers given to me by the Sage of the Six Paths himself."
They gaped at him again.
"THE SAGE OF THE SIX PATHS!?"
Naruto laughed at the joint exclamation that they unknowingly did. "That's a story for another time," The man said with a wink. Team Minato sweatdropped, exchanging uncertain looks before the younger members of team Minato decided to leave the questioning for later and gushed over Obito's new eye.
"Amazing! My eye is back for good!" Obito exclaimed happily.
"I can't believe an ability such as this existed! I mean, that's medically impossible!" Rin exclaimed, which garnered a snort from the previously quiet Tsunade.
"You and me both, kids. I'm still sour from that subject," Lady Tsunade scowled. "I'm supposed to be one of the best Medical-Ninja, but this brat bested me in a blink of an eye."
"Ah, forgive me Baa-chan, you know I can't do anything about that," Naruto sheepishly said while rubbing the back of his neck.
"I know brat, it doesn't mean that I need to like it," Lady Tsunade grumbled and Naruto chuckled nervously.
"Hm, do you think you can activate your Sharingan in that eye?" Young Kakashi wondered out loud and his teammates looked at him in surprise. Obito's eyes widened in hope and he shifted his eyes towards Naruto.
"Umm, Nanadaime-sama, do you think it's possible?" Obito asked hopefully. The Kage in question hummed in thought.
"Why not try it?" The 33-year-old Kage suggested with a smile.
Obito nodded and proceeded to gather chakra in his left eye. The rest of his team waited in anticipation that morphed into awe and astonishment as the Uchiha's onyx eyes changed into the red and black colour of the Sharingan.
"ALRIGHT! I GOT MY SHARINGAN BACK!" Obito jumped in his place and exclaimed in delight. He shifted towards the man who returned his eye and stared at him with too much gratitude, eyes swimming with unshed tears. "Thank you so much Nanadaime-sama!" he bowed deeply and the man put a hand on his head.
"You're welcome, use your ability to protect your precious people." Naruto said with a smile. Obito immediately straightened, he wiped the tears in his eyes and nodded with a newfound determination.
"I will Nanadaime-sama!"
The addressed man laughed, "None of that, we're still down to the Sandaime as of now."
Obito nodded eagerly, readily agreeing with what the man had said. Looking at his not-so-dead-student now, Minato concluded that the teenager would do everything the future-Hokage would say, and all he could do was sigh fondly and send a thankful smile at his future-son.
"Well, now that that's settled. Sensei, do you need to add something?" The blond man asked the adult Kakashi with a raised eyebrow
"Maa, did I forget something?" The silver haired man hummed as he put a hand under his chin in mock contemplation.
"I guess that's it!" He chirped cheerfully. Future-Kakashi pulled out an orange book from his pouch and proceeded to walk back towards his previous post.
"You forgot to clarify something very important Kaka-Sensei." 48-year-old Kakashi froze mid step. "Maa, you mentioned it earlier. So it's fine," he said with an eye-smile and resumed his steps towards his original destination but was stopped by a hand on his shoulder.
Surprisingly enough, it was Sasuke-san who dragged his Sensei back. He put his hand on the Hatake's right shoulder and forcefully steered him around to face them. Naruto appeared beside the two and put a hand on Kakashi's left shoulder, rendering any form of escape impossible.
Naruto's lips stretched into a blinding grin as Sasuke-san smirked.
"Team Minato, meet Hatake Kakashi, the Rokudaime Hokage of Konoha!"
"E-EH! YOU SAID IT WAS A FLUKE! YOU GUYS WEREN'T JOKING? How come Kakashi became Hokage! TEME! I thought you don't want to be Hokage!" Obito screeched as he forcefully grabbed younger Kakashi's collar and proceeded to shake him.
"How the hell should I know, you dobe!" Kakashi groused as he pried his teammate's hands from his person.
"Stop it! You two!" Rin exclaimed, looking exasperated.
"Maa Obito, You're the one who told me to be Hokage." The ruckus seized as the addressed teenager looked towards his teammate's older counterpart.
Minato watched the adult Kakashi walk towards Obito and put a hand on top of his head, ruffling the Uchiha's hair as he eye-smiled. Obito stared at the older man in wonder.
"Before you completely left in the future, you left a task to me," the man stared directly at the 14-year-old Uchiha, eyes filled with fondness, "You told me to become Hokage in your stead. Before your spirit left, you reminded me that you told Naruto to be a Hokage. The Nanadaime Hokage, to be exact," Future-Kakashi's smile seemed to widen underneath his mask. "And you ordered me to be the Rokudaime while Naruto trained to become the greatest Hokage Konoha has ever had. It's really like you to demand something from me, even in death."
Obito stared at the man in wonder, cheeks tinged with slight pink as admiration formed in his eyes. He absently nodded as adult Kakashi patted his head one last time.
Minato watched this transpire in awe. He could see it, the fondness and respect vividly projected in the depths of Future-Kakashi's eyes. He couldn't help but wonder what had Obito done to warrant such affection and respect from the older Hatake.
12-year-old Kakashi was confused. He felt light-headed and in a daze. The rush of information that was revealed tonight was something he never could've imagined. He had to admit though, he was happy for Obito, now he didn't need to worry about him, but still, many things puzzled him. Everything seemed so surreal. Especially his future self. He had a lot of questions and he didn't know where to start. He opened his mouth and closed it again, not finding his voice. He cleared his throat once before he spoke.
"H-hey… Why are you so cheerful?" he asked, brow creased in confusion. The person in front of him was far from his current self, and he couldn't help but feel irritated.
His future self drifted his lazy eyes towards him, and he couldn't help but freeze. There was an underlying power exuding from the man, his eyes full of wisdom.
"Hm, how old are you now?"
Kakashi was startled by his adult self's question.
"12," he mumbled and the man nodded.
"You're 12 years old, still young." He couldn't help but bristle, feeling insulted but he didn't have a chance to say anything because the man continued speaking.
"I'm already 48 years old. I joined ANBU when I was 13, so a year from now. As you know, we lost our father at age 6, the same day we got promoted to Chunin." Kakashi saw his future counterpart's eye glaze over, as if he was brought back to the very day that he witnessed their father's death.
"We were 10 when we became Jounin, the same day that Kannabi Bridge happened and Obito 'died'. You're 12 years old today. In my timeline, when this day happened, there were no time travellers who rescued my team from today's tragedy. Rin died at my hands because no one was there to stop her from jumping on my Chidori." Rin's eyes turned downcast in guilt at this revelation.
"At 12 years old, my hands were coated with my friend's blood. I failed to adhere to the promise I made to Obito before he died in the Kannabi bridge mission, and I was called Friend-killer Kakashi… " Team Minato stared at the older version of Hatake Kakashi, seeing the pain, sadness, the regrets and the guilt that ate at his soul, and they couldn't help the feeling of despair that clouded their hearts.
Young Kakashi realized then and there that his counterpart didn't live the best life like he thought he had. No, it was the opposite. Since he was young, he had experienced tremendous forms of tragedy until he grew older. Through pain and suffering, he gained experience and wisdom. Kakashi understood that this Kakashi had suffered all his life, and he became who he was now because of his experiences.
"At age 14, I lost both Minato-Sensei and Kushina-nee," Minato couldn't hide the wince he made at the mention of his and his wife's death, "And there was nothing left for me but guilt and sorrow. I buried myself in different S-rank missions in ANBU. Assassination after assassination, suicide mission after suicide mission. My life circled around killings, the blood of many others staining my young hands. I lost comrades one after another, while the guilt of my first team ate away at me in solitude and darkness." The man paused, lost in his memories.
"Hm, weren't the best experiences of my life, but they shaped me to become who I am now." Adult Kakashi straightened up as Team Minato watched him quietly, absorbing the things that the man had told them.
His future self made eye contact with his former students and the sorrow reflected in his eyes seemed to disappear.
"Maa, story of my life I guess. Don't worry about me though, I have precious people now to protect, and I don't have time to wallow in self-pity," his future self said. Young Kakashi couldn't help but feel guilty. He thought that his adult self was a disgrace, when honestly, he was the pitiful one.
"Kakashi-san, I'm sorry…" A hand dropped on top of Rin's head as she mumbled her apology.
"None of that Rin-chan. You're not the Rin of my timeline, and the tragedy has already passed. You're still alive, aren't you? Focus on the present." Rin blushed and absentmindedly nodded.
"Hm, now that that's finished! Let's move on to more important matters." Young Kakashi watched as his older counterpart walked back towards his time-travelling comrades. That made him exchange confused glances with his teammates.
They learned so many things since they met the people from the future, and their minds were still trying to cope with the revelations.
Seriously, Kakashi never felt this tired before, but somehow, he didn't want this meeting to finish. He looked at the tall frame of his future self and he couldn't help the feeling of admiration and pride that engulfed his being.
'Rokudaime Hokage, huh.'
Namikaze Minato never felt so tired in his life. He was already looking forward to returning to his and Kushina's apartment and burying himself in the comforting warmth of his wife, but he knew that this was important.
"Ah, there's more?" Obito asked warily.
The time travellers gave them a smile.
"Of course! You were wondering earlier where Bear-san went to, right?" Naruto said and that reminded Minato of the missing member of this group that Obito managed to get a glimpse of before he lost consciousness.
He exchanged glances with his students before they put their attention back to the time travellers.
"Well, let us introduce you to the rest of the family." Naruto formed a half tiger seal in one hand and mumbled a quiet, "Kai."
There was a ripple of chakra and then eleven chakra signatures suddenly appeared as if a veil had been lifted off them. Team Minato's various expressions of shock were visible over the new addition to the group.
"It's about damn time, we were getting bored here Dad!" A young boy with striking blond hair said.
'Wait, did that kid just say? Dad!?'
"Well, Team Minato, let us introduce you to the only survivors of our timeline."
To be Continued…
A/N: I'm so sorry for the long wait. I got stuck editing The Fourth Hokage's Son and I didn't have a chance of writing this chapter, but here it is now. Thank you so much for patiently waiting, I hope this is enough to compensate from my long absence. Let me know your thoughts and probabñy expectation. I wanna here everyone's opinion. Although please no flames. Flames are hard for new writers also, this story as I said is supposed to be for my satisfaction and entertainment to cure my disappointment with Boruto.
I love to thank my awesome betas who helped me with this fic, I lost a few of them because of the start of the new semester for students but I gain new awesome people. To those who stick with me even though I have long intervals with my updates, THANK YOU!
Gheloured, GG Anime, Akaichi-rin, Hakon2feb, Mistress Peverell, TheTerribleWriter78, Regalithy, gpbumann