"The green days of Konoha are over."
Things had to be grim if someone as everlastingly cheerful and youthful as Gai spoke in such a sombre tone. In front of them Madara stood with his chest puffed out, arrogantly assured of his own victory – a view not many could argue against, especially seeing the near-imperturbability of Madara's defense. Gai knew in his heart there was only one thing left to do now if they wanted to have a chance of winning. "The time has come to become the Red Beast."
It was time to open the Gate of Death.
Gai smiled at his comrades, shaking his head softly at their silent pleading stares. He'd been ready for this day for years now, ever since he'd promised it in front of his dying father. Today was the day he gave up his life to protect the ones most precious to him – just like Dai had done. He had no regrets.
With a final nod to his student, Gai rushed forwards towards Madara, letting the heartfelt emotions his comrades were pouring onto him fuel his determination. "Release!" Gai yelled, hand rising to his heart, guiding chakra to the Gate of Death's pressure point. "Eight Gates Re-"
He never got to finish.
Abruptly, a warbling sound interrupted the man. In front of Gai, a whine filled the air as a blue box suddenly flickered into existence in the once-empty space, cutting off his path. The Green Beast reluctantly skidded to a stop as he was forced to abandon his attack in order to hold himself back from crashing.
The box, in turn, stood innocently in place, hushing the battle into a quiet silence of confusion and bewilderment.
Just when things couldn't get any weirder, the box suddenly swung open, letting out a strange young man with the most peculiar red bowtie.
Gai stared incredulously.
The man was oblivious to the head-on fight he'd just held up, taking up mutter under his breath to his box and periodically petting the blue exterior. "Where have you taken me now, old girl?" he questioned to no one in particular.
"Gai-sensei?" Lee called out in wonder.
Lee's voice attracted the young man's attention. The man suddenly whirled in spot to take in everything, head darting left to right in surprise. "Oh hello," the man started cautiously, eyeing them all warily. He brightened up a second later. "Hello. I'm the Doctor!" he finished in a tone much too chipper in the middle of war.
Up in the sky, Madara observed the man suspiciously. For a second, Madara contemplated if that red bowtie around the man's neck was some sort of hidden weapon. Why else would anyone voluntarily wear such a thing?
On the other side of the battle field, Minato exchanged a glance with Kakashi. "Civilian?" Minato murmured questioningly.
Kakashi looked over at the man, categorising his outfit. The man had a tweed jacket on, which was durable enough, but much too warm and immovable for standard shinobi-wear. He was dressed too formal for a normal civilian in that suit and bowtie, but not dressed fancy enough for him to be a nobleman. "Perhaps," the jounin murmured back, just as uncertain.
Madara was the first one to take initiative of the situation, drawing up his staff and confidently neared the mysterious man and his box. "Who are you? Reinforcements?" he scoffed, trying to maintain an air of composure and unflappability.
The Doctor frowned thoughtfully to himself. "That's a good question," he murmured, "Not a clue."
Madara studied the man, as if trying to determine if the Doctor's sincerity. But when the one he was observing was just as confused as himself, there really was nothing to determine at all. "No matter. Another member to your group won't assist your victory either way," he concluded coolly, directing his words at the Shinobi Alliance group he was faced off against. He turned back onto the man. "Though," he added, "I am quite interested in that box of yours, Doctor ..."
The young man turned to face him, carelessly rubbing his chin. "I'm the Doctor," the Doctor repeated guilelessly, "And this here is my lovely TARDIS. I'm not interrupting anything, am I?"
"No." At his word, a black sphere shot out from behind Madara's white robed back, heading straight for the man.
"Look out!" Gai cried, launching forwards and pulling the Doctor out of the way. Had Marada been truly attacking the Doctor, Gai doubted he would've been able to evade the sphere without taking a hit himself. But as it was, it seemed the Uchiha had merely been testing the strength of one who called himself "The Doctor". Good thing, that.
Gai deposited the man in front of the members of the Shinobi Alliance present. The Doctor hastily scrambled to his feet. "Okay, now would be a good time for some information, I reckon," the Doctor said pointedly, eyes wide and hands waving vaguely at the spot where he'd almost been killed. "I was expecting some sort of reaction, but I didn't expect anyone to commit murder so early on. Most people don't find me annoying enough to murder until we've spend the day together."
Gai found himself unable to do anything but continue to stare at the man. Minato, on the other hand, frowned, mulling over the facts they knew. "I don't know where you've come from," Minato complied finally, taking the Doctor's style and unusual accent into account, "but you've stumbled in the middle of a war. Madara is attempting to purge the world."
The Doctor sucked in a breath. "Ah, of course." He turned in spot, eyes flickering to and fro before his arms started flailing to accentuate his points, "Of course. Barren grounds, giant craters, bleeding wounds, melodramatic threats, and tension you can slice through with a butter knife." He took a deep breath. "Of course it's yet another war. Don't you humans ever get tired of it?" he finished in condemning glare at the men around him.
It was easily ignored. "Humans?" Minato parroted in query instead, speaking the question the other four had caught on to as well. "You speak as though you are not."
Too many people had asked the same question before. "You can call me a Time Lord. Well, I am a Time Lord, so do call me a Time Lord," the Doctor said distractedly, lazily, letting his attention focus on more important things – like the one he was told was the enemy. "It doesn't matter if you believe me. Though I might be mistaken about your species. Do humans fly?" he wondered staring at where Madara was defying gravity, his auburn hair and flowing white robe fluttering around him.
"He's … a special case," was the answer the Doctor finally received after a moment's pause.
"Why do I have a feeling it's the bad kind of 'special'?"
Perhaps it was the Doctor's confusion and curiosity that convinced the shinobi he wasn't lying – after all, shinobi are skilled at reading the genuineness of people – or perhaps they were only amusing him, but they didn't make a fuss about the Doctor's claim of Time Lord. Besides, at this point, if there was anything they knew for certain about the Doctor, it was the utter loathsome view he had on war and those who started it. An enemy of an enemy was a friend, after all, and in this case it seemed they would both be against Madara. Besides, a war was no place to argue about the impossibility of things (and Gai may or may not have glimpsed momentarily into that blue box of the Doctor's when he stepped out).
"Madara has gained the unrivaled powers to do so by becoming the Ten-Tails' jinchuriki," Kakashi explained at last to clarify the situation. He knew very well that ignorance was a leading cause of unnecessary death, and stranger or not, no one wanted that for the Doctor. "But I'm more interested in a Time Lord. What does that entitle?"
If Kakashi was wondering if the Doctor could assist them in the war, the Doctor's answer was less than satisfactory.
"I can do Time Lord-y stuff. Which boils down to nothing too useful. Being a Time Lord isn't as glamorous as it sounds, but the title makes the man, doesn't it?" the Doctor said casually, his entire being focus on Madara. "You there, I reckon you're the baddie," the Doctor declared, pointing at the grey-skinned ninja, "What is your purpose?"
In a way, Kakashi mused, the Doctor reminded him of Naruto, with the same reckless and brash personality.
Marada, on his part, amused the man with a chuckle, having heard their whole conversation. "While we're on the topic of titles, you should know, I've been called the 'Immortal' Uchiha, a title that is as glamorous as it sounds. And when this war is over, I'll be the Saviour of this desolate world." He then let out a tsk as he gestured towards the Konoha and Sand nin the Doctor was standing beside, "I think you've been misled about something, Doctor. I strive to save humanity; to cease the world of conflict," Madara corrected grandiosely.
"Robbing the world of their free will is not the way to go about it," Minato countered heatedly.
"This world is corrupted. You cannot achieve peace without my help in manipulating their reality."
Eyebrow raised, the Doctor turned back to the Uchiha, incredulousness in his voice. "Is that how you plan to go about doing it? Peace? You call putting the whole world under your sole control peace? You're just as bad as the Daleks … and that's saying something."
Whatever the Daleks were, Madara couldn't care less. "I've seen the world develop since the Sengoku era. War never ceases. It only grows worse – it is a hopeless, never-ending cycle. No matter how assiduously you cast your belief onto these worthless lives, they'll only continue to disappoint you."
The Doctor shook his head, planting himself firmly on the ground. "I've been protecting humans for over five hundred year. I've seen them at their best and at their worst, but if there's anything I know from watching them is that they will never stop amazing you when you least expect it. Humans deserve to be protected," the Doctor thundered heatedly, "And if you disagree with that, well," he reached into his vest pocket, pulling out a long cylindrical rod gleaming with claws wrapping around a green diode on the tip. Steadily, and confidently, the man pointed it at Madara, face carefully controlled blank, "Just try it. I am the Doctor, and I will stop you."
Madara stared at the device with a thoughtful hum from the back of his throat, but he didn't look otherwise affected.
"What is that, Doctor-san?" Lee asked lowly, gawking wide-eyed at the unusual stick.
Even in the middle of a confrontation with the villain, the Doctor couldn't help promoting his precious device. Then again, it wouldn't be the first time he got distracted in battle. "Oh this little thing?" he said proudly, confidentially, "Just my sonic screwdriver."
"It's a screwdriver. That's sonic. It's a sonic screwdriver. It screws things sonically." The Doctor tilted his head in thought. "And doors, I suppose; it opens doors – anything but wood."
Frown on face, Minato tried to sum up the Doctor's explanation. "So basically, it's …"
"Useless?" the Doctor finished what the blond was too hesitant to say. "Oh yes, at the moment, I suppose. But you have to admit, this pose looks intimidating."
"Madara is not one to retreat in fear," Gaara spoke up.
The Doctor shrugged helplessly. "It usually works." He could list a number of beings who'd fled at the mere sight of him wielding his sonic.
Madara clearly wasn't one of them. He let out a sharp bark of laughter. "Deceitful intimidation. Is that the best you can do? I'm just one man," the Uchiha mocked, "and a whole alliance couldn't stop me. You thought a useless stick would do the trick?"
"Well, I'll never know until I try," the Doctor gibed jauntily, "I do love my sonic."
Madara shook his head pitifully. "You don't even belong here, why are you willing to risk you own life for them?" he asked curiously. He could easily take on one additional player to the battle, but he was honestly curious to know why the Doctor was more or less throwing his life away for people he had only just met.
The young man shook his head solemnly. "I've seen the destruction of one planet too many."
Madara waited, but the Doctor was finish. "That's all?" he cried incredulously.
"Do I need another reason to protect people?"
The words were patronising, and they only incited Madara to growl in response. "That's enough talking," he spat out, fumed at the sight of yet another holding Harashima's view of the world. "You're all the same. I don't know why I even bother trying to enlighten you."
The black orbs behind Madara whirled in spot, moving in synchronise with his anger.
"Kakashi, my kunai," Minato said urgently, letting the silver-haired man grab a few of his special three-pronged weapons for safe keeping. He studied his former student briefly before giving out his orders. "Kakashi, with your failing vision from the Sharingan, I want you to stay back and try to see if you can find another weakness. Keep the Doctor with you," he commanded, keeping an eye on the enemy. "Everyone else, keep him distracted. His orbs work best when he directs them towards you. If we split up, it'll be difficult for him to keep track and target us all at once. Understood?"
At their nods, Minato shouted a quick "Scatter", and the group dispersed.
Madara watched the Alliance group with a passive face, eyes lazily following them, lips curled predatorily. Behind his back, black streaked through the air as five orbs shot out in varying speeds: one for every group.
"Dobeihane no Jutsu," Kakashi muttered out as he slammed his hands into the ground. A wall of earth shot out from the ground, giving Kakashi enough time to motion the Doctor to escape with him. With Marada's attention split into five directions, the orb traveled slower and less precise than normal, allowing the two to sneak out of the orb's attack range before it hit them.
While evasion was key to survival, that was not the key to beating Madara. "We can't just keep retreating," Kakashi spoke out loud, more to himself than for the Doctor's sake.
"You made a wall of mud from the ground. Can't you chuck it at him?" the Doctor wondered wildly.
Kakashi shook his head, wishing it were that easy. "Nothing affects Madara expect taijutsu or senju techniques. Regular jutsu will do him no harm."
The Doctor frowned. "I don't know what that is, but I'll take your word on it," he acknowledged, following after the silver-haired man as he directed the Doctor further away still from Madara.
"Kakashi, Doctor-san," Gai called out suddenly from behind.
Kakashi stopped and turned immediately, just the faintest hints of anxiety on his face. "Gai. Problem?" Kakashi asked in a hurry.
"Not at all," Gai reassured just as quickly, "I just wanted to see how you were holding up. You may be my eternal rival, Kakashi, but you have a disadvantage and clearly not at the top of your game."
"We're all tired," Kakashi dismissed, but Gai's reminder made him remember how heavy and stinging his left eye was. He unconsciously rubbed at the throbbing eye, trying to quell the discomfort. "You should worry more about stopping Madara than my well-being."
"Yes, about that …" Gai began solemnly when Kakashi brought it up. He turned towards the large white Shinju tree in the center of the battle field, frustration in his eyes. "We can't stop him like this. There is no other choice, Kakashi: we can spend another hour trying to find another weakness, but I doubt we'll find anything else. I wish it didn't come to this, but it appears the Red Beast is truly the only option left."
As before, Kakashi frowned uncomfortably. He understood Gai's need; truly it was the best way to subdue Madara, but no one wanted him to sacrifice his life. The casualty list was long enough as it was.
Opposition came from the most unlikely of sources. "No! No, no, no! I won't allow it," the Doctor cried out swiftly, reading the mood and quickly understanding the predicament. He planted himself in Gai's path. "No one dies when the Doctor is around. If there's no alternative, I'll make one. All I need is to think!" The man pounded his palms against his head, tugging at his own hair. "Think, think!" He twirled around suddenly, eye boring into them, "Oh, don't just stand there. You," he said, arm snapping forward and finger stabbing at Kakashi's face, "Give me more information."
The whole conversation had been repeatedly disrupted by interludes of explosions and ducks. As such, it was no surprise Kakashi's next words were: "Now is not a good time."
"It's never a bad time for a good story."
"In the middle of battle, Doctor-san?" Gai said needlessly.
"I'm interested, and it might be important. In fact, I have a feeling it's really important. Or really interesting. Could be either, or both, but we won't get anywhere if you don't tell me," the Doctor babbled.
Kakashi spared a glance at the Doctor, weighting the odds of the mad man actually finding something useful – especially a mad man as mindlessly eccentric as that one. In the end, every possibility counted, no matter how slim. Shooting a nod at Gai, who worked long enough with Kakashi to understand, Gai immediately took off without another, rushing away to distract Madara from the pair of them.
Instantaneously, Kakashi pulled the Doctor to safer grounds, further from the main battle. "From what we understand, Madara is planning to shroud the world in an infinite tsukuyomi," Kakashi began, speaking as they moved, knowing full well that if the Doctor still couldn't find anything, then Gai would have to take action in the end. He could only hope for the best by giving the Doctor all the information he needed. "The tsukuyomi is an Uchiha clan technique that requires the use of the Uchiha's bloodline limit, their Sharingan eyes. The technique places the victim in to an illusion of the caster's choice. The infinite tsukuyomi traps every living being in the world into a dream of their desires. "
"So why isn't he casting it now?" the Doctor asked, letting the jounin pull him partially hidden behind the crawling roots of Shinju tree.
"Only Uchiha who have awoken the Mangekyou Sharingan can perform the tsukuyomi," Kakashi explained tersely, "As for the infinite tsukuyomi, it is activated when the Rinnegan is reflected off the moon, it seems, while he is the Ten-tail's jinchuriki. Madara only has one Rinnegan right now. Obito has the other."
The Doctor hummed thoughtfully. He was curious who this 'Obito' was, but he honestly couldn't get distracted. "The Rinnegan seems like the key to this whole thing," he said, rubbing his chin, "What else can you tell me about it?"
Kakashi wondered if he was on to anything yet. "The Rinnegan used to be hailed as a mere legend before we were proven otherwise," the silver-haired man started. He was cut off before he could go into any details.
"Plotting, are we?" Madara's voice crooned in a loud voice somewhere above them, just barely seconds before Gai's shout of "Kakashi, look out!"
Kakashi's head snapped up at once at the cries. "Shit," he hissed out, rushing to force his left eye to open and focus. By the time Gai had cried out, Kakashi realised it would've already been too late to try to step out of the orb's path. Instead, he had to rely on the Kamui to escape certain death. Even realising this, the world was blurred in the Sharingan eye, unable to latch onto the rapidly approaching orb. Had he enough time, Kakashi supposed he might've eventually gotten it to focus - the blindness that came with overusing the Mangekyou was getting to him faster than he anticipated. It seemed this was the end for him.
The silver-haired man reached out in an attempt to try to push the Doctor away, at least.
Unfortunately, the Doctor hated sacrifices.
"Don't you dare!" the Doctor yelled, enraged, slashing his sonic screwdriver out between them and certain death. The sonic whirled menacingly.
At that moment, the black orb suddenly slowed down to a wobble, unexpectedly swerving wildly in the air. "Hoo," the Doctor said, astonished, stretching out the meaningless sound as he watch the orb crash harmlessly into the barren field a few meters off. "I really wasn't expecting that to work."
Kakashi stared disbelievingly at the Doctor. "What did you expect to happen?"
"As much as I admire innovation, there is a time and place to test these sudden ideas. Especially in life and death situations," Kakashi muttered, far too familiar with impulsive techniques courtesy of Naruto. But with that boy at least, Kakashi knew just how much Lady Luck favoured him.
"But isn't it always life and death though?" the Doctor pointed out jokily in a shaky grin.
The silver-haired man ignored him, mind more focused on the budding standoff in front of them instead. If the shinobi had any doubts about the Doctor's claim of being not of their world, the effect of the man's bizarre device was quite convincing proof of otherwise. "Can you use that to hold off Madara?" Kakashi asked quietly, behind where the Doctor was still posed in his battle stance, sonic in air.
"My sonic can't be used to maim or kill living things. I don't stand for those things," the Doctor confided just as softly. "If he gets close enough, I think the most I can do is make it difficult for him to move properly around us," he deduced, trying to link the orb's sudden behaviour to how it may affect the man who controlled it.
"But really, please continue the story. I think we're finally getting somewhere, and I don't like how he's leering at us," the Doctor rushed out, fiddling the sonic in his hand.
Kakashi eyed the frowning form of Madara, whose attention was turned upon them now, once he realised what the Doctor had done to his truth-seeking ball. Kakashi reached into his weapon pouch and palmed a kunai. "The Rinnegan is not natural to Uchihas," Kakashi complied, finishing up his explanation to the Doctor, and inwardly feeling a tad more confident about the Doctor's dubious abilities. "It is the combined chakra of the Uchiha and the Senju which allows the doujutsu to emerge." Kakashi narrowed his eye, watching the twitch in Madara's muscles as the man prepared to rush their way. "Only those with the DNA of both clans can use the Rinnegan. Madara infused the DNA of the first Hokage into himself for this sake." In the same breath he was explaining the doujutsu, Kakashi let out a sharp shout of "Sensei!"
All it took was a second for Minato to appear before them, for Kakashi to grab both the Doctor and the blond by the shoulder, and for Minato to disappear with the two in a flash of yellow. A mere hair's breadth of a second later, long, black rod impaled the site where they'd stood only moments before. Another second later and Madara himself was there as well.
Meters away, the Konoha nin and Doctor found themselves near the TARDIS, catching their breath. "He's fast," the Doctor remarked, startled.
"Fortunately, we're still slightly faster in evading," Minato replied seriously. "I heard from Gai you're trying to find another way to stop Madara. How are you going with that?"
The Doctor's eyes lit up. "Ah, actually - Kakashi, right?" the man began, first trying to remember the silver-hair man's name.
Kakashi didn't have the time to nod, let alone respond, before Minato pulled them both in another Hiraishin, depositing them all to Gaara's position.
The Doctor leaped up from where he had landed staggering, staring back to where they'd teleported from. New sets of black rods decorated the rocky ground, piercing deep into the core – and all barely half a meter away from his ship.
"My TARDIS! Did he just shoot at my TARDIS? He just shot at my TARDIS!" the Doctor exclaimed frantically, fuming at Madara's audacity. "No, wait, wait, not important," the Doctor corrected, shaking his head, "Well, yes important, but not at the moment. Why do they always shoot when I'm trying to talk?" He turned to Kakashi, words tumbling out of his mouth a mile a minute, as if expecting them to be interrupted any second again. "Kakashi, your story. Stop. Rewind. Repeat that. What did you say?"
"Which part?" Kakashi asked bewildered, while Minato and Gaara watched the proceeding with rapid attention; or, as attentively as they could with an eye kept out for Madara.
"Something about infused DNA?"
"Those born with the blood of both a Uchiha and Senju can awaken the Rinnegan. Madara is of the Uchiha clan. He infused the DNA of Hashirama Senju to awaken and use the Rinnegan," Kakashi repeated succinctly.
Slowly, the Doctor's lips stretched into a grin. "Perfect!" he cheered, "In a stroke of luck, Madara's body seems to have effortlessly adapted to the invasion of Senju cells. Nevertheless, it is a foreign entity in his body. It shouldn't be too hard to give it a nudge for it to be detected as such. Once his body detects something incompatible, it'll trigger the immune system to create antibodies against it. His body will break down the Senju cells on its own. Without it, he can't work the Rinnegan, correct?" the Doctor rambled quickly.
Thankfully, Minato understood all that. "It'll take a while for all the Senju cells in him to be lost, if it's at all possible. Nor do we know if even without it Madara's chakra could have adapted to handling the Rinnegan alone," Minato reasoned.
"I say anti-bodies, but what I mean are super anti-bodies. It shouldn't be too hard to get them to speed up their process. They'll attack anything with even the slightest hint of Senju."
"Can you do that?"
"Of course I can. I am the Doctor, after all!" The Doctor peeked over to where Madara was, distracted by the two green jumpsuit wearing shinobi. "Never underestimate Time Lord science. Unfortunately, I need to get an idea of how Uchiha or Senju DNA is like." He helplessly waved his sonic, much too far away to scan Madara. "Are there other Uchihas or Senjus running around here?"
"Lady Tsunade is back in the main field," Gaara informed them ruefully.
"Sasuke's too far away."
"Oh brilliant," the Doctor muttered under his breath, "Why does this always happen to me?"
Kakashi blinked in sudden realisation. That wasn't true; there was still one more person. "Obito," Kakashi blurted out.
The Doctor rubbed his chin thoughtfully, recalling the name. "The one with the other Rinnegan?" he asked hopefully, his good mood restoring, "Excellent! He's much better than I hoped. Where is he now?" the Doctor said, looking around, as if expecting this Obito boy to pop up at the call of his name.
"He's in the Kamui's time-space dimension." At the Doctor's confusion, Kakashi opened his left eye and allowed his Sharingan to swirl lazily as he explained the doujutsu.
"Ooh, a pocket dimensions in your eye," the Doctor cooed enthusiastically when the jounin was finished. "Why can't I have one of those?" he pulled out his sonic screwdriver, holding it up to the tip of Kakashi's nose. "No offense, but I don't trust leaving my transport to someone else. If you let me scan your eye, I might be able to find the right frequency and nip there on my own in the TARDIS. Won't be gone for all but a tick."
Gaara glanced over that the blue box sitting where the Doctor had left it. Unusual as it was, he had a hard time remembering about the thing unless the Doctor mentioned it.
"That shouldn't be possible," Kakashi was saying as the Doctor's sonic glowed green in front of his Sharingan, once he'd finally gotten past his paranoia and given the Doctor permission to do so. "The only entrance to the dimension is through the Kamui."
"My old girl hasn't let me down yet."
When the Doctor finally lowered his sonic and started fiddling around with it, Minato moved in front of the man. "Grab hold of me," the Yondaime said, "I left a tag by your TARDIS. I'll bring you back."
"Ah, excellent, you're a lifesaver. I was wondering if I had to sprint onboard as usual."
Minato gave the man a wirily grin. "No problem." In another yellow flash, the two were in front of the TARDIS yet again. Their sudden appearance attracted Madara's attention, and their determined expression only caused him ire and suspicion.
"I'll be back in five minute!" the Doctor called out, darting to the doors of his ship. "And I mean it this time, Pond," he added to himself in a mutter full of melancholy as the doors slammed shut.
Whoever Pond was, the Doctor was not elaborating. Minato watched at the TARDIS teleported out of sight with that distinctive warbling sound echoing into the distance. In front of him Marada raised an eyebrow at him. "Fleeing?" the man laughed, eyeing the empty spot beside the blond. "You know he won't be back. You've all essentially lost; he won't come back to such a hopeless battle."
"I trust him," Minato said strongly.
As it was, the five minutes mark came and gone without sight or sound of the Doctor. Amidst the exchange of blows between the Alliance and Madara, Minato worried for the worst. Madara only continue to mock them, keen on destroying their morale.
"He'll be back," Minato repeated.
By the time eighteen minutes rolled around, the warbling sound was finally heard once more.
Minato smiled, inwardly as relieved as his fellow teammates. "You were saying?" he directed up to Madara.
Madara glared at the appearing box with growing distain. A bright white explosion erupted just as the TARDIS became tangible, and amidst the smoke, a black orb innocently flew back to its manipulator, dissatisfied of its inability to hit the actual TARDIS itself. The box swayed slightly as the front door opened an inch. "Oh dear, I'm glad the old girl reminded me to put the shield up." The Doctor peeked out of the doorway, glancing at the shinobi on the field. "I'm not too early, am I? You know who I am?"
"Doctor-san!" Gai called boisterously over.
Relief washed over the man's face. "Oh good, right on time!"
Madara moved closer to the odd man, curiosity visible on his face, "You could have saved yourself. But no, you decided to come back to such a hopeless, one-sided battle."
"You don't understand?" the Doctor asked amicably, shaking his head, "I truly believe humans are worthy to be protected. If you spend more time observing them without prejudice, you would understand as well. But to do that, you can't stand above your kind like that," the man lectured. "I met a really smart boy when I was with Obito. He seemed to have the right idea of things, that Naruto."
The Doctor stepped out of his ship when Madara moved closer to him, incensed by the Doctor's words. Two black orbs flew to the back of Madara's palm, piercing through it and stretching out into a long, sharp lance. The Doctor ignored the threat, planting his feet shoulder length apart, arming lifting into the air with his sonic screwdriver glowing and ready. "Remember when I said most species quiver at the sight of me with my sonic?" the Doctor asked rhetorically, "Well, now it's your turn." The sonic screwdriver whirled loudly at Madara.
For a second nothing seemed to happen. And then Madara fell from the sky.
The Uchiha pulled himself to a stop before he fell to far, holding himself in a tilt, unable to pull up once more. "What did you do?" Madara snarled angrily. He rushed towards the Doctor, hand stretched out to attack. Before he could even make it halfway, the lances in his hands involuntarily shrunk back into their ball forms. Madara finally fell this time, hitting the ground in a large thump from his hurtling momentum. "What- how-" Madara seemed to have a hard to speaking, his face flushed and feverish.
There was a tremor in Madara's muscles as the man tried to move, trying to get his truth-seeking ball to obey his will.
"You might want to stop doing that," the Doctor said sympathetically, watching as it only caused the man more pain. "Trying to call upon your Senju chakra in order to use those things will only help identify the foreign matter in your body and aggravate your pain as it is destroyed."
The Doctor cautiously approached the man, his sonic screwdriver still whirling away. He hurriedly laid a hand on the man's forehead, snapping away quickly before Madara could grab hold of him. "That seems to be doing the job."
"Do you have any objections to rendering Madara unconscious?" Minato asked when he and the other four shinobi reached where the Doctor and Madara were situated. At long last the shinobi could finally restraint Madara, in his sick and woozy form.
"Yes, that probably would be for the best," the Doctor nodded, wincing at the incoherent cries the Uchiha was unconsciously emitting from the back of his throat. The Doctor let out a relieved sigh when it stopped. "You should check up on him from time to time," the Doctor added before he forgot, "His body is attacking itself, after all. I'm sure you shinobi are built sturdy and all, but better safe than sorry, I say."
The members of the Alliance nodded, distracted when Madara's cloak suddenly dissolved back into the single pair of loose black pants he had worn before becoming the Ten-tails. "That was unexpected," the Doctor remarked, staring at Madara's chest where Hashirama's face was protruding like a sculpted mask.
"That is from when Madara absorbed Hashirama's chakra," Minato explained, studying the odd face, "I suppose a growth on the body is not so easy to rid of."
The Doctor shrugged nonchalantly, "It adds character to his chest."
"Madara doesn't need more character. And definitely not on his chest."
With another shrug, the Doctor leaned in towards the protruding face, cheerfully prodding at it. "Don't worry, it's just a chest tumor now. Madara is slowly losing any Senju powers from his DNA infusion. Anyways," the Doctor stood up straight, dusting off his pants as he moved away. "That's that," he concluded with a smile.
The Doctor looked around the barren field they were in, before staring far into the background where he'd been told the rest of the thousand members of the Shinobi Alliance group were situated. With a final check on Madara, the Doctor pocketed his sonic once more. "I believe you can finish the rest on your own now?"
"Are you leaving already?" Lee called out quickly when the man turned to head back to his TARDIS.
"Yup, I'm sure you can handle the rest," the Doctor answered dismissively. He laid his hand on the wooden pane of the TARDIS door, but turned around to look back at them before he pushed it open.
Minato shook his head, "Indeed, but this war could not have gotten this close to a victory without your assistance. The Alliance will surely wish to thank you." The whole population of shinobi were fighting this war together; the war that had seemed so bleak at so many intervals. The Doctor deserved to be credited for his essential part in the battle.
The Doctor only gave a sombre smile. "I don't care for recognition, thanks. I'm not really one for goodbyes' either, but I've got a new companion waiting for me back inside the TARDIS, and I can't keep him long."
"At least tell us your name."
"I'm the Doctor," the Doctor replied with a roguish grin.
The Time Lord let out a playful laugh. "Just 'the Doctor'."
"Where can we fine you?" Kakashi insisted, refusing to let the man go without a proper thanks.
The Doctor grinned and gave a shrug. "Oh, here and there; I'm always travelling. But if it's meant to be, I'll probably see you around," he said with a mischievous wink to the masked man. He paused, then, "Until next time," the man bid.
With that, the Doctor stepped back into the box and the TARDIS whirled out of sight.
By the time Naruto appeared back into their dimension, Madara's spasms ceased to be as strong, and he was lying near motionless on the ground in front of the five of them. The Uchiha's face was drenched in sweat.
Naruto surveyed the scene wide-eyed with Sakura by his side. "Uhh, what'd I miss?" he asked, completely at a loss. He'd been prepared to come back to a bloody battle field, with his father and friends still struggling again Madara. He'd prepared to be their last hopes in this dreadful war. That was why that he got that long, borning history lesson and power-up from that Rikudō Sennin guy, wasn't it?
"Naruto! You're alive!" Lee called joyously.
Naruto nodded, awkwardly walking around the unconscious Marada, before giving his armless father a short hug. "Yeah. I met this old guy in … er, my mind, and one thing led to another."
"Wait, what happened?" Minato demanded protectively.
Naruto rubbed the back of his head, thinking back, "Well, he told me he was the Sage of the Six Paths and that I was the reincarnation of his son, Asura, or something. Apparently Sasuke's his other son. So then he told us to work together to defeat Madara and gave us some of his power." Naruto looked at the palm of his hand where the dark outlines of an 'O' appeared.
"You met the Sage of the Six Paths," Kakashi repeated. Even near death, Naruto could never stop surprising him.
"Uh-huh. And then when I woke up, there was this other guy waving a glowing green stick at me while talking to Obito. He kept switching between waving it over Obito and me … he was weird."
Kakashi had an odd, odd feeling he knew who that was, the moment Naruto said 'weird'. "Was he wearing a bowtie and a tweed suit?"
"Oh yeah, he was. You saw him too? He looked pretty cool in those, didn't he?"
Kakashi sorely disagreed, but didn't bother to correct the teen. "How was Obito?" Kakashi asked instead, feeling like he had enough of the Doctor for one day.
Naruto turned to Sakura who shook her head. "He didn't look so well, sensei. He looked ready to keel over any second…" the girl said softly, apologetically, "I don't know how much longer he has."
Kakashi tried not to freeze up at her words. He knew in his heart that Obito wouldn't last long, but hearing it spoken out loud was painful. "Where is Obito now?"Kakashi asked, voice bordering a plead. He wanted to be by his teammate's side when he breathed his final breath. Despite all Obito had said and done, Kakashi never forgot the boy Obito used to be. Nor would he forget his change of heart as Obito saved Naruto. Considering how the Doctor also managed to take down Madara, Obito surely collaborated in the Doctor's plan as well. Obito couldn't be called a hero for all the evils he'd done, but if it was worth anything, Kakashi needed Obito to know he still cared for him until the very end.
Naruto shrugged, hanging his head as he tried to remember. "I donno; still in that dark dimension place, probably. Bowtie-man was explaining to Obito about scanning him so he could defeat Madara, when Obito sent Sakura and me back. I don't think they'll be done talking anytime soon."
Kakashi frown alongside of the others who'd only just saw the Doctor depart themselves. He looked down on the spot the blue box had disappeared, the dirt still carrying the square imprint of the TARDIS box. That wasn't possible, was it? How could the Doctor still be scanning Obito when he came back after scanning and defeated Madara already? Then again, the Doctor wasn't quite the possible being himself either.
"Gaara and Gai can handle Madara. Do you have the energy to go check on Obito, Kakashi?" Minato asked carefully, mindful of Kakashi's failing Sharingan. "I will take care of the rest here."
Kakashi rubbed his left eye. "Yes, I can manage it," Kakashi confirmed, and Minato nodded his thanks. With that, Kakashi left for the pocket dimension.
Minato had a feeling they wouldn't be seeing Kakashi for a while. If Obito truly was dying, Kakashi wouldn't be back until, perhaps a day, if not more, in order to deal with this loss. Minato knew Kakashi understood him when he told the silver-haired man he would take care of the rest – it meant he wanted Kakashi to take however long he wanted to because Minato would take care of Kakashi's part here in this dimension.
That's why Minato couldn't believe his eyes, when fourteen minutes in, Kakashi reappeared in a swirl once more. "Sorry I'm late," Kakashi apologised sheepishly.
"Late, Kakashi? But you haven't even been gone fifteen minutes," Minato uttered in disbelief.
Kakashi blinked at that. "Oh? Really? Never mind then. Good, good," he said, before quite possibly muttering under his breath about something that had to do with the Doctor's horrible sense of direction.
"Are you sure you're alright, Kakashi?" Minato asked carefully, observing the man under those peculiar statements. Then again, he'd only been reunited with Kakashi one day since his death fifteen years ago. Who was to say Kakashi wasn't like this nowadays. But the look Naruto and Sakura were giving Kakashi seemed to agree with Minato's worry.
"Aaah, time is just a bit … wibbly wobbly for me at the moment," Kakashi answered casually, sounding oddly like he was quoting somebody. The words still didn't stop the teens from gaping at him. Nor Minato's confusion. Perhaps it was the light from the moonlight, but Kakashi suddenly looked older and wiser than when he left.
"Of course," Minato answered regardless. "And how was Obito… ?" the blond prompted, uncertain, only for Kakashi to look away. "I see," Minato said. He didn't ask for more.
It was only until the two of them were alone and out of earshot of the others did Minato return to the topic. The group was heading back to the main battle grounds with Madara tied up in tow at this time. He turned seriously to Kakashi. Minato knew his former student too well to know Obito's betrayal and death would eat Kakashi's heart out now that he had time to let it simmer. Obito's first death had been harsh on Kakashi, as for his second death, Minato didn't know what to expect anymore. "About Obito -" Minato began slowly, cautiously.
Kakashi's stare was enough to taper Minato off into silence.
There was a long pause before Kakashi finally shook his head. "No sensei, don't worry about me. I'll never forget Obito, but it doesn't hurt anymore." The Jounin looked solemnly over at him, with eyes that seemed surprisingly absent of the wariness and pain Minato had been worryingly expecting. In its place was a sereneness that Minato hadn't seen on the man in a long, long time.
"I'm fine now," Kakashi continued softly, with the lightest of smiles behind his navy coloured mask, "It was hard at first, but I've had enough time to get over Obito's death. More than enough, really - I was given all the time in the world."