Chapter 1: Entrance
A blonde blue eyed teenager looked down upon an unfamiliar setting. His home would appear to be primitive compared to what was down below the tall building. The entire surface seemed to be in constant movement; strange metallic things seemed to be stopping and movement in sync with one another, stopping and going at incredible speeds that couldn't be matched by any carriages he had ever seen in his life, though it didn't hold a candle to the speed that he could move naturally.
As the wind blew in his face, the figure scrunched his nose at the influx of smells that invaded his senses. This was another thing that cemented the fact he was no where near home. There were so many pollutants floating around in the air he was surprised that the humans down bellow hadn't keeled over due to a number of lung diseases.
There was also the little fact that this city was lit up brighter than a flaming forest. Everywhere he looked there was some sort of artificial light brightening the darkened sky. He stared sadly up at the brightened sky where even the moon seemed dull against the brightness the city illuminated. Instead of the thousands of stars he had come to be accustomed to seeing during his nightly watches on either a mission or guard duty, were no where to be seen. It was as if they had been erased from the world all together.
Sighing, the figure spoke to his only companion that had come along, unwillingly, with him.
"Kurama." he thought to his companion, "Any idea where we are?"
"No, Naruto" Kurama answered, his voice deep with a demonic twinge to it, "I do not know where we are, but I do understand that this world is not the world we come from, but rather a different reality, or dimension."
Naruto sighed disappointingly having hoped that Kurama of all people would be able to know where they had landed. "First things first," He decided, "I need to learn the language if we stand a chance getting back home." He said to his inner demon. The difference in language was among one of the first things Naruto had noticed when he woke up in the middle of an unknown alley way directly bellow the building he stood upon. To him, it sounded similar to baby gibberish, despite noticing that there was some sort of structure and pattern with each sound.
Kurama chose to speak up for the moment, "Why should you go back? After everything you have done for them, everything you have sacrificed, they do nothing in return. All they have done is send you on more missions, ones designed for those who have been fighting for far longer! Trying to send you to your death because of me."
Naruto thought long about what he had said. It was true, with Tsunade out of commission, the Elders of the Village had taken control of the Village, and with the Fourth Great Shinobi War going on in full swing, the Village sought an end to their resident demon. He never understood why they loathed him after he had defeated Pein.
Whilst the Village itself had grudgingly forgiven him, or perhaps seen him for who he truly was rather than the demon he held, the Shinobi population (particularly the older generation) did not.
"It is still my home, Kurama." Naruto finally said to his lifelong companion, "I don't care for the council...or half of the shinobi and civilian population...but there are enough people there that I love enough to do anything for. I have to go back, I cannot leave them to face that monster without me."
Kurama shook his red furred hair within his cage, annoyed yet proud at his vessel for his undying loyalty. Even if it was to those that would never deserve such loyalty. Since their encounter with Pein, Kurama had taken a more personal approach to training his jailor, refusing to have someone so weak and reliant on blatant luck to survive as his vessel. After months of training and reluctantly getting to know one another on a more personal level, they could both grudgingly admit to being reluctant friends.
"Is there any way for me to learn their language without the use of shadow clones? Something more instant? I would rather not spend the few days, or perhaps weeks depending on how complex the language is, to learn it properly."
With a slight sigh, Kurama spoke to his companion, "Lock onto a capable looking human down below and I will do the rest."
Complying to Kurama's orders, Naruto locked onto a human who seemed rather important if his outfit was anything to go by. After a few moments, he felt a swell of chakra flow through his body, centering in on his mind. He stared on for a few second longer, beginning to doubt Kurama as nothing happened before he held his head with both hands in complete agony.
"AAAAHHHHRRRGG!" He screamed loudly not caring for his attempt to be unnoticed. His mind felt as though it were being shredded, stretched, and pierced at the same time. It was a few moments later that the pain subsided abruptly, his rugged breathing all that was heard in his pained ears.
"Sorry,"the nine-tailed demon apologized, "This was the quickest way for you to learn their language, which seems to be called English. The reason it's so painful is because of the sudden influx of knowledge, similar to that of your memory-overload when you dispel to many shadow clones at once."
"That was worse than one of Sakura's punches..." Naruto commented softly, still trying to regain his composure. After a few moments, he rose from the floor he had fallen to during some point of the unbearable agony. Breathing deeply, Naruto strode back to the edge of the building and looked down below, wondering how these people could continue moving so fast as though they had no time to accomplish what they set out to do.
"At least you aren't unconscious."The demon quipped dryly.
"True." Naruto conceded, "Now, we need to find some sort of lodging...and money. Clothes can easily be henged since I doubt ANBU attire is considered normal."
"You grew up practically on the streets, Naruto. I'm sure you're not that rusty in your pit-pocketing skills."
"I'm not." he sighed to himself before jumping down to the alleyway he had arrived in, "They'll probably not even notice I stole from them until they get home."
Making a single hand seal, Naruto's attire changed to that of simple civilian pants and shirt with a black jacket, his hood covering the majority of his face. In order to look less unique, he had also chosen to hide his birthmarks that marred his cheeks.
After a few moments of composing himself, Naruto joined the fray of people bustling in the city streets seamlessly. No one around him had given him a second glance, or even a first. He inwardly scoffed at how unprepared civilians were, how they never noticed anything around them other than what concerned them. It was why they so easily blamed those who took it upon themselves to protect them rather than shifting the blame on themselves for not ever bothering to learn to protect themselves when situations left them vulnerable.
With a small smirk, Naruto walked up to several people, taking a few leather wallets and loose jewelry items. He didn't know how valuable they were but everything was worth something so taking them would provide him with something when he searched for a pawn shop. It was after walking a number of blocks that Naruto discovered a closed jewelry store. He felt rather...bad for whoever owned the shop, but when it came down to it, this was for his survival and that was what he was trained to maintain.
It was a quick and easy heist, if it could be called such. The security the jewelry shop held was hardly enough to stop even a Genin. Sighing, Naruto took just the most expensive looking items that Kurama pointed out. To him, they were worthless little pieces of earth, but people found such value in them...it was strange but useful in this moment nonetheless.
After safely exiting the jewelry store without tipping off any of the abysmal security, Naruto was able to go to several pawn shops and sell his stolen goods. He knew better than to sell the items to stores nearby the jewelry shop and as such had spent half an hour to run at top speeds to another city all together. Despite knowing there was little chance anyone would recognize him to be a thief, it was better to be safer rather than annoyed and frustrated later on. The pawn shop owners gave him curious looks to the items he was selling, but after a lifetime of being a deceiver, Naruto had learned to lie without any sort of "tell".
When his watch (one that he had stolen earlier in the night) had shown that it was rather late, he stored the wad of cash in his jacket and went in search of finding somewhere to sleep for the night. He would rather not go to a hotel or motel, knowing they required some sort of identification card, none of which he possessed since he was essentially a ghost in this world.
After half an hour of searching, he had found an abandoned apartment building deep in the slums of a rather dark and intimidating city. It was practically in the heart of the wretched, and corrupt. Everywhere he had looked when he found the building sent his paranoia on an ultimate high since he could recognize that everyone around him wanted nothing more than to see whether or not he would hurt them, or to see whether or not he would be a good person to mug.
When he entered the run down apartment that left him feeling rather nostalgic, Naruto seated himself in a meditative position.
"We need to learn more about this world." Kurama said to Naruto
Nodding, Naruto ran through a series of hand seals before two dozen shadow clones came into existence around him. "I need to know as much as possible about this world as quickly as possible. Disperse, remain hidden, and learn as much as you can. Dispel yourselves with a two minute interval between the last, but do not do so until you have learned as much as you can."
"Right, Boss!" The clones said in unison before disappearing in another puff of smoke. Satisfied, Naruto made his way toward a slightly cleaner part of the abandoned apartment room, bringing out a scroll which he unsealed to produce a futon. It was always better to be prepared for unexpected events such as this; though he never once in his life thought it possible to somehow wind up in another dimension.
"Damn that Madara…" He thought bitterly.
"Get some sleep, Kit. You're undoubtedly going to need it."
Waking up, Naruto found that all of his clones had dispersed, and thanks to them, now had a basic understanding of the dimension he was indefinitely trapped in.
This world was definitely far different than his own, despite the slight similarities they shared, though he counted that more on simply the way both human societies evolved than coincidences. There were cities, countries, rulers, a form of government, laws, all things he had grown accustomed to.
The only thing that was far different from his home world and this dimension was not only the lack of any and all chakra, including that from nature, was the existence of 'superheroes' and 'supervillains'. The majority of superheroes had taken it upon themselves to defend the Earth from any and all threats, and even formed their own group known as the Justice League. It was almost insane how much every major society in the world depended on these heroes even though they had their own form of defense system. There were numerous heroes and their abilities varied greatly, though the thing that had surprised him the most weren't their abilities, but rather the knowledge that there were actual aliens.
The very idea had initially scared him more than the possibility of the existence of ghosts. At least until he learned that both resident aliens were a part of the "superhero" category.
The supervillains were truly something else. Having grown up in a world that practically bred trained killers, he had seen the worst of human nature in all of it's forms, but many of these villains took the cake. Joker had stood out to him, simply because he caused chaos simply for the sake of chaos. There was no motive, no need for vengeance, merely chaos.
A Mad Man.
There were many others that had taken it upon themselves to use their abilities to sate their sinful desires. Their greed and lust for power being the greatest motivation for them all.
To say this world was strange to Naruto, was the understatement of the century.
Though, each of these 'meta-humans' abilities were limited, none even came close to the amount of experience and skill he had. He had been through hell and back, seen more than his fair share of death and destruction. Nothing that had happened to this planet came particularly close to what he had lived through.
"What do you think our first move should be?"
"It's clear that these… Leaguers, are the most powerful beings on this planet, and also probably the only ones who could help us get back. Going to them seems to be the best bet for now. However I am hesitant to tell them everything of our...predicament, particularly the existence of myself. Though they seem more intelligent than those of our world, together people are ridiculously idiotic."
Though he wanted to protest, Naruto couldn't help but agree that the Justice League may very well count him a "Villain" simply for housing the most powerful tailed-beast of his dimension.
"Either way, they're the best chance we have of getting home."
It was four months later that Naruto realized how hard it was to be granted audience with the Justice League. He knew, and understood, how busy the League was, having to defend the entire planet, but this was particularly ridiculous. Everywhere he went to try to meet with even one Leaguer, he was too little too late, and had to constantly watch as whichever hero he managed to track down either fly, or run away from the scene without so much of a glance his way.
"Naruto," Kurama said to his jailor, "The League is not being much help...we've been trying to find them for four months! All we have managed to accomplish is creating a fake identity for yourself, nothing more."
"Yeah, I'm starting to think we're better off alone."
"There is the chance that we may not be able to return, Naruto." The demon said casually, "Whether we like it or not, there is a high possibility that we are stuck here. With no chakra, and no knowledge of the way Madara sent us here, there is little we can do..."
With a grunt of denial, Naruto began paving his own way in this new world. Sporting his ANBU gear and fox mask, he began to do his own 'hero' work; saving people from burning buildings, stopping heists, hindering plans for world domination, the works. At first, it was to do something since he had reached the peak of his boredom level, but once he saw the faces of the more than grateful civilians he saved, he realized how much he had missed it. Though here, there were none who knew of the demon inside him, nor any who felt any disgust or hate toward him (excluding those who he threw into prison cells), only respect and appreciation. Whenever asked for his name, Naruto gave them Fire Shadow, the English translation to Hokage. It wasn't exactly the way he had hoped to gain the title, but it worked nonetheless.
Surprisingly or not, doing this was pretty much the only way to get the good attention from the League. After a few months of his own vigilante style heroism, he was greeted by the Man of Steel himself, AKA: Superman.
To say he was surprised would have been an understatement. After all, he had been trying to get a minute with the man for well over a month not so long ago, as well as the rest of the League to no avail, and now, here he was on his own accord.
"Fire Shadow, I presume?" he said floating in front of him as Naruto himself had Chakra glued himself to the side of a skyscraper.
"Yes?" he asked in a bored tone. Inside he was feeling rather conflicted. On the one side, he was meeting Superman! This guy could pack a serious punch! And on the other, it was Superman, who had seemingly been doing everything possible to avoid the young blonde shinobi. Definitely enough to irk him into wanting to punch the man.
"I, and the rest of the League, have recognized your skill and morals and would be honored to have you join our ranks as an official member of the Justice League."
For the moment, Naruto was rather glad he had a mask (which was lined with lead paint, thus making the man of steel unable to see his actual face) since his eyes widened considerably and his jaw went a bit slack.
It was hard to believe. Really. They were offering him a spot on the Justice League!
"To join, or not to join..."
"Shut up and join, Kit. You can bring those arrogant temes down a peg or two."
"I humbly accept." 'Fire Shadow' finally said to Superman, who smiled in return.
"Then, if you could be at the Hall of Justice tomorrow by twelve p.m, we can officially indite you into the League."
"I shall be there." he said simply before watching the Man of Steel fly off, probably going to save a cat from a tree.
"Damn, now I have those stupid memories of all those times I had to catch that damned cat Tama..."
"Don't remind me, Kit. I wanted to skin that bloody animal." Said the Kyuubi, his voice full of hatred for that little pest.
"Well, now I'm apart of the League. They better not treat me like some kid." Naruto said with a small 'humph.'
"Kit, I don't even think they know how old you really are. You're probably one, if not the, most powerful being in this pitiful place, thanks to yours truly, so I doubt they would think you're a seventeen year old, brat. Plus, your voice is muffled by the mask, so you don't even really sound seventeen."
"Who're you calling a brat, furball!? And, yeah you're probably right. I'll let them know when I'm absolutely positive they won't treat me like everyone did back home; like I was weak."
"Face it, Kit. You were weak."
"Shut up, furball." Naruto said, though knowing full well how true that statement was. Even with the Kyuubi's chakra, he was weak. He couldn't even bring Sasuke back... he nearly died defeating Pein. Hell, every major mission he nearly died! Not in one major battle was he left the standing victor... no. He was the victor always lying in a damned hospital bed for days if not weeks. "Well, nothing to do until tomorrow." he thought returning to his home.
The ceremony of his becoming an official member of the Justice League was met with a lot of media; much to Naruto's annoyance. They asked every possible question, until he firmly said that he would answer nothing about who he was, where he came from, and just what the extent of his abilities were.
To most, he seemed rather rude.
To others, he was a mystery that was just waiting to be solved. Namely to people like Lois Lane.
The other Leaguers seemed interested in the new blood, and were eager to see him in action for their very own eyes rather than just hearing about what he could do. Batman, along with a few others, Zatara among them, were weary and suspicious of this man. They knew virtually nothing about him, not even his actual name, nor what he looked like underneath his mask as he refused to take it off. All they knew was that he was a powerful 5'11" blonde whose abilities caused them to question whether or not he was actually human. J'onn J'onzz had tried to peer into his thoughts in order to find out more about him, but was forcefully kicked out thanks to his extra host. Of course, this only made them all the more cautious of their newest member.
When asked if he would take his mask off, he simply said that once Batman took his off, he would as well.
As if that were ever to happen.
And everyone knew it.
The Kyuubi was actually surprised (and a bit impressed) at how well he kept his identity a secret. Not once had he acted like the happy-go-lucky gaki he was used to. Instead, he seemed to actually be more mature. He hadn't even pranked anyone since he arrived... but, then it hit him. The only reason his Vessel had suddenly become more serious is because people here actually acknowledgedhim, unlike those fools in Konohagakure.
If they could only see him now...
Regardless, he was pleased with the change in demeanor of his Vessel. The 'I'm going to be the Hokage one day, believe it!' brat that he once used to be was long gone, and for the better.
Two years had passed and it became evident to the young Konoha shinobi that the chances of going home, were dwindling down into single digit percentiles. Whatever time/space jutsu Madara had managed to inflict upon him, was something beyond his abilities, and since there were no Chakra wielding people in this world, learning the skills needed to imitate his technique was impossible. That, and he didn't particularly want to go raving around he was from another dimension, especially after he learned that there were, theoretically, billions of dimensions...so finding his would be harder than finding a needle in a ten foot high haystack. Besides, by now, he would have been deemed killed in action and the Village would have moved on by now (the more close-minded civilians probably celebrating his death regardless of his saving them against Pein). Still, it wasn't so bad. He had become one of the strongest members of the Justice League thanks to his mastery in Tai-,Nin-, and Fuuinjutsu - of which he still refused to let anyone understand how it worked.
The one who was more persistent in his trying to figure Naruto out was none other than the Dark Knight himself. Batman had been able to figure everyone else out, but Fire Shadow had remained an enigma. Despite his attempts of finding more about the guy, Batman remained in the dark for just about everything pertaining to him. He didn't even have a clue as to what the man liked to eat! For all his detective skills, he couldn't even figure that out, let alone just how his powers worked. He knew they manifested themselves just after he completes a series of hand signs - all of which he documented - but as to where his powers originate from or the energy used to manifest them, remained a complete mystery he was more than determined to figure out. As it was, the Caped Crusader had little trust for the newest member of the League, despite his proving loyal during the various battles he had accompanied him on.
Everyone was entitled to their own little secrets after all. So what if he had a few more than the average?
After a year of being a member of the League, Naruto had confessed his true age, baffling the League. They had allowed a minor to join their ranks. A kid at seventeen had become a member of the Justice League and had been recognized as one of it's strongest members.
While the Justice League members were conflicted in their feelings about the sudden confession, their sidekicks were overjoyed to hear that such a young hero had managed to become the youngest member of the Justice League (save for Captain Marvel who was at the time only nine - not that anyone other than Batman knew).
Thankfully, they treated him only slightly different, sometimes reverting back to rather protective mentors during battles. Though after a while they all finally realized that he was stronger than most of them and could easily hold his own against an enemy, so they backed off.
The Kyuubi had, on several occasions, made an appearance. Though, luckily, it was only to his enemies rather than any of the League. He did not want to have to deal with explaining that he had a demon sealed inside him. He knew from hands on experience that people are fearful and act out on impulse when they are met with something unknown and possibly threatening. Here, he was given a chance to escape the scorn and hatred, so there was no reason to bring it up.
Though he trusted the League with his life, and returned that trust on the battlefield, Naruto, wisely or not, did not trust any of them with his identity or past.
This, of course, hurt and angered some of the League.
But they couldn't say much as they all had their own personal lives they kept hidden from the public and their peers.
Though this didn't mean he hadn't befriended some of them. He had taken to The Flash, Green Arrow, Aquaman, and to some extent, Superman. There were times when he reverted back to his happy-go-lucky self, particularly when ramen became a part of a conversation. He also had that uncanny ability to see the good in everyone, and was able to sympathize with a great deal of them; he did after all live in a war torn, power hungry, world before all this.
Some were surprised at how wise the young man could be when it came to the harsh truths of life. They couldn't understand how this young man could know so much of pain and loss; and unless he changed his mind, they never would.
Even so, none confronted him about it, save for Batman who tried on several occasions to get some sort of information out of him while asking misleading questions. He thanked his ANBU training whenever Batman came to him, if he hadn't had it, then he would have most certainly told the man everything he needed to know to figure out just what he was, and possibly where he was from.
As such, he was always weary of the Caped Crusader.
So when he messaged him to speak privately, Naruto naturally kept alert.
Batman had asked the Fire Shadow to come meet him at the Hall of Justice only a few minutes earlier, stating it was of importance and he should be quick to arrive.
Which wasn't all to difficult given he was only a few miles away from the Hall, and that he had placed the seal which activated his father's Hirashin technique. It took less than two minutes to arrive in a red flash.
Walking inside, Naruto made his way to the meeting chamber, where the zeta tube was located, and looked to find the black caped man on the computer monitor.
"Fire Shadow." Batman greeted curtly.
"Batman." Naruto said in a rather bored voice, "What was it you needed to speak to me about?"
"I'm sure you've heard of the new team being put together?" he asked rhetorically. Of course Naruto had heard of the new 'shadow' team of the Justice League; Young Justice. After the abrupt fall out of Green Arrow's apprentice, Speedy, the other sidekicks of the main Leaguers had banded together and demanded to be their own team after their 'mission' at Cadmus Labs, as well as the discovery of Superman's clone.
"Of course." he said simply.
"I am offering you the position of being their Head Supervisor." Batman said, getting straight to the point.
Had Naruto not been wearing a mask, his obvious shock would have been clearly written on his face. Batman... The Batman was offering him the opportunity to be the mentor to the younger generation of heroes... his own apprentice among them. It was so outrageous it was practically laughable.
"You- You're serious." he stated more than asked. All Naruto got was a long stare, as if waiting for an answer. He thought about it for a few long moments. Head Supervisor...? That was essentially the same as a Jounin-sensei was to a new squad of Genin, as Kakashi was to Sakura, Sasuke, and he when he was younger. Maybe this was something he could do to make a real difference? No doubt these young heroes were going through some sort of turmoil. They did after all just denounce their apprenticeship/partnership with their mentors, though he was sure they were keeping close contact with them. After everything they had gone through together, thinking they would cut them completely out of their lives was preposterous. Regardless, he could make a difference.
"Alright," he began, "so long as everyone remembers that this is going to be my team, meaning I don't want anyone to interfere with how I deal with their training, ect, I accept."
Batman, ever the stoic man, showed no emotion to his condition, and simply said, "Hn, You should know that you will not be the only one to help train them." he said, "Though you may be capable, there are members that require more personalized training exercises."
"That's fine. Two teachers are better than one after all." Naruto said, "But, my voice is should be the highest authority."
"..Very well." Batman said with slight hesitation.
Nodding, Naruto followed suit as Batman walked over to the Zeta tube, the mechanic voice stating their name and League membership number before sending them to their destination: Mount Justice.
"This is going to be interesting." Naruto thought just as Batman and he emerged from the blinding Zeta-tube light.