So. Time travel.
Minato did time travel, something that is considered impossible by everyone ever, and now he’s in the past with his student, with no idea how to get back.
(He’s here before his team is born, before he is born, and the fact that jinchuriki isn’t a concept anymore is -
It’s nice. Because if he made that not a thing, if he made jinchuriki an impossibility, then he just saved Rin. He just saved Rin from commiting suicide by Kakashi’s hand.)
Kakashi’s slips a hand through his own, and Minato smiles down at him, tightening his grip as his student stares at the Senju in front of them. “Kakashi,” he says cheerfully, “this is Tobirama!”
Kakashi tugs on his hand. “Sensei,” he says softly, and Minato crouches beside him, tilting his head. “That is Senju Tobirama.”
Minato grins. “Yep!”
“Why is he here?”
“Because he let us rest in his home when you were out,” Minato says, giving him a significant look.
Kakashi shoots him a venomous glare, a hand coming up to tug at the headband covering Obito’s eye. “But why are we here,” he asks, and Minato laughs sheepishly.
“I…may have messed on a component on a seal,” he offers, and Kakashi sighs, as though he’s unsurprised by this.
“Sensei,” he says, long suffering, and Minato scowls at him.
“You were injured and surrounded,” he says, crossing his arms as he stands, and Kakashi shrugs, eyes drifting over to the Shodaime, something curious sparking in his eyes. Minato rolls his eyes fondly.
“Go. Talk to Hashirama, I know you want to,” he teases, shoving his student towards him, and Kakashi glares at him before stalking off.
Tobirama drifts closer. “He seems protective of that eye,” he says, and Minato makes a noise.
“Yeah. His teammate gave it to him before he died,” he says, deliberately not mentioning the Sharingan. He has a feeling that won’t go over well.
“And his other one,” Tobirama asks, and Minato flinches, biting his lip and looking down at his hands.
“She...she had Kakashi kill her,” he says, haltingly, voice strangled, and Tobirama’s face softens. “Kakashi’s a genius. I - he’s lost so many people. I don’t want him to fight anymore.”
Tobirama nods. “So you want peace,” he says after a moment, and Minato nods.
That’s all he’s ever wanted, really. Three Shinobi Wars, and Minato has fought in one as long as he’s been a shinobi. Kakashi, too, and his student is close to shattering. Minato doesn’t want him to break.
“Yeah. Peace sounds...nice.”
A second passes, then another, and Minato watches his student pester Hashirama, asking question after question, and he smiles, a little sadly. “It probably won’t happen.”
“Hashirama wants peace. So does Madara,” Tobirama says, his eyes narrowed in thought, and Minato looks over at him, feelin something zip down his spine, because this is a man who could keep up with him. This is a man who is a genius at coming up with solutions to impossible problems, and peace is a impossible problem. “You saved the clan head’s brother.”
Then it dawns on Minato, like a strike of lightning, and he grins. “So I have weight with them.”
Tobirama nods, a smirk flashing across his face. “Madara owes you and he is the clan head.”
Exhilaration makes Minato laugh, and he claps Tobirama on the shoulder. “So let’s make peace happen,” he says, ears turning red under Tobirama’s stare, but he could have his home back, have his village back, and that is enough to make him cheer, laughing as he flails.
(Kushina , he thinks, something heavy like regret in his stomach, but he can’t get home. He doesn’t even know what he did, but -
But he hopes that she finds someone new. Because he can’t get home, but he can make Konoha have a less bloodstained history, make Uzushio never fall if he can, and that is enough.)
Minato wrestles the Uchiha elders into agreeing to peace, Madara right beside him, and treaties are made, signed, and Kakashi is beside him as the two clans try to find a place to set up their village.
“Sensei,” Kakashi asks, hesitant in a way he never is, and Minato looks at him, placing a hand on his student’s head. “Are we ever going home?”
It’s been six months.
Minato sighs heavily, closing his eyes as he sinks back on his heels. “Kakashi, I don’t even know what I did. We can't go home.”
Kakashi sucks in a breathe, his shoulders shaking as he wraps his arms around himself, and Minato sweeps him into a hug, curling around his student as though he can protect him from the cruelty of the world.
(He did this to all of his students once, and he lost them one by one until only Kakashi was left, and even then -
Even then, he couldn’t protect him.)
“I’m sorry,” Minato says, choked on the tears he’s been denying himself, and Kakashi hides his face in Minato’s chest. “I’m sorry.”
(He doesn’t notice Tobirama looking over at them, something easing in his chest. He doesn’t notice the way Tobirama directs the others away from them.
He doesn’t notice, but, then again, he doesn’t need to, not when his entire world is in his arms, not when he’s close to cracking.
He doesn’t notice, and Tobirama doesn’t care.)
Kakashi suggests the place where Konoha was, and Minato suggests the name Konohagakure. Madara approves of the location and Hashirama enthusiastically agrees with the name.
The village is started, only a few houses, nothing near to what Minato is used to, but -
But it’s a start.
Kakashi manages to rope the Hatake clan in, and with them comes the Maito, loud and cheerful as ever, and Minato sets out to get the Yamanaka clans and by association the Nara and Akimichi. He convinces the Nara clan head, who then persuades the rest.
Within the next few months, five clans join Konoha, and Tobirama is looking at Minato as though he’s interested, as though he’s considering, and it makes Minato turn red and flee.
(Hashirama laughs at him, the traitor.)
But Tobirama is a genius with unfinished jutsus and seals and Minato is fascinated by what he’s managed to create, fascinated by what he hasn’t completed, and he manages to drift closer again and again, happily working with his idol.
He doesn’t miss the way Tobirama looks at him, and, frankly, it’s rather alarming and flattering.
And, coincidentally, completely mutual.
Minato comes up with seals and shows them to Tobirama, who stares at them with something very close to awe, and it makes all the hours put into coming up with them completely worth it.
(Kakashi sighs at him deeply when he gushes about how Tobirama managed to finish a jutsu - most significantly his Rasengan - and says, rather flatly, “Sensei, I don't want to hear about how gay you are for the Nidaime.
Minato sputters and denies it vehemently. Kakashi is unimpressed and Hashirama agrees.
Betrayal of the highest order indeed.)
Tobirama drags him out to eat when he gets caught up in a inventing frenzy, and they end up talking for five hours straight, starting with seals then Justus then moving onto personal matters.
“Kakashi,” Minato says, one day, staring down at the table, a frown heavy on his face, “Kakashi is all I have left. I lost my fiance and my two students. I can't lose him too.”
Tobirama looks at him, solemn and understanding, and Minato's heart clenches. He's understands, and it makes something in him ease.
“I lost my two brothers,” Tobirama says after a long minute, bitterness on his face, because for all he's forgiven the Uchiha, for all that he's made peace, he can't let go of the memories of his brothers. “Itama, Kawarama. Hashirama, Touka and Mito are my only close family.”
Minato smiles at him, reaching out to tap his shoulder. “Guess we'll have to stick together to protect them, huh?”
Tobirama's smile is quick and small, but it's there, and it makes Minato's pulse go faster and his cheeks burn.
They don't say anything else, but it's enough.
They manage to rope in the Hyuuga, and the Inuzuka wander in, claiming territory. The Aburame look around before deciding that this place is as good as any.
Minato isn't sure how, but he and Kakashi move in with Tobirama. It's a gradual thing, one that starts with a few items of clothing and knick-knacks that travels with them when they head over.
Eventually, Minato wakes up in the guest bedroom and shouts, “Where’s my shirt?”
It is Tobirama who replies with, “On the drier string!”
(Minato has to sit down for a bit after that.)
So they move in with Tobirama.
And Minato has to up his game at making justus because, holy shit, Tobirama's library is beautiful.
Like the man is himself.
(Why does he do this to himself?)
Konoha is built and Hashirama's face is carved into the mountain and Minato is at a loss of what to do now.
Konoha is back, he's home, so why does he feel like he's missing something?
(Kakashi, ever a teenager, simply groans and rubs at his eye when he says this.)
It occurs to him when he's finishing up a seal that can be used both as storage and an offensive measure, and he promptly yelps, trips over his feet, and face plants into the grass.
He's fallen in love with a Konoha founder.
“Hey, Tobirama,” Minato says, standing in front of his housemate, arms crossed and resolutely ignoring the way his face is burning, from his ears to his neck.
“Yes,” Tobirama asks, looking up from his scroll, and Minato nearly self combusts because the last time he did this Kushina stared at him for a full minute before bursting into laughter and dragging him along to Ichiraku.
Speaking of which, they really need Ichiraku back.
“Uh. So I really like you and I think you like me back and I think I'm in love with you,” Minato squeaks out, nearly rushing the words out.
Tobirama blinks. Minato internally melts in despair and embarrassment, but then Tobirama gets up, walks around his desk, and - holy shit, holy shit, holy shit - leans over and kisses him.
Now Minato melts.
(Kakashi ends up winning the bet and gets a lot of money. He is incredibly pleased, and Minato is betrayed.
“You bet on us?”
“Sensei, everyone was.”