Swapped Patterns

First installment in Canon Patchworking with Uchiha Ren series

I - Waking

If there are still mistakes, I'm sorry, but with my USB dying I lost corrected files and don't even remember if I found them on my mail, or if this is just an AO3 version.

"When you connect to the silence within you, that is when you can make sense of the disturbance going on around you."
Stephen Richards


The clock ticks lazily, as if slowing down out of sheer spite in order to inhumanly prolong every single second; so that people working for hours already would feel like they still have another eternity to wait. Eternity called 'quarter to the end of shift', and it was, indeed, one hell of an agonizing time to wait, when even coffee fails to soothe sensation of time flowing slower.

She brushes some unruly strands back that decided to free themselves from a messy bun, while setting a finished report on top of other finished report. The pile is big, and she only has two of them left to complete and thus, with a heavy and resigned sigh, Renee Archer decides that yes, she will stay a bit longer than she has to in order to be finally free and done with the pile of work. Her eyes – brown – are dulled, and there are dark circles under them. Her form slouched, and skin pale; signs of lifestyle indicating too much work, too little sleep and diet composed mostly of coffee and sugar.

Had somebody told her, few years ago, that being a Detective Investigator is majorly about paperwork, she wouldn't really believe them. But now, having finally achieved this rank, Renee believes with her whole heard as she, day by day, drowns in pages of reports.

She lays her head on the desk and sighs again, this time somewhat heavier and with agony to it, yet somehow relieved. Just two more reports, it won't take more than an hour. Hopefully, because it's all that stands between her and ultimate freedom that is called The Mighty Weekend. And how come she was drowning in reports in the first place? Because she solved that one particularly tricky case – one of worst, if not the worst, she ever had to uptake – of kidnapping, nearly failing, which she sometimes did in her five-years-long career, but it was awful when child could've died. In the end, he didn't, and boy's mother even bought flowers for the team. But then, case solved, and… Paperwork. Ton and ton of it. And since Renee was one who did most of it, she was also tasked with writing and revising the case. Because it was just a shitload of paperwork, nothing much.

One would really think that being Detective Investigator is interesting and has trill to it- Well, sometimes it does. And then it doesn't, for a long while, and that's something that Renee learned well throughout past five years.

Her phone vibrates somewhere around the papers, annoying buzz shaking gently the tables surface, and Renee has to un-burry it in order to see who's calling. Then, she makes face pushing the deice away and patiently waits up until it shuts up. Grandmother, the contact said before the screen went black again, and Renee is unable to make herself feel bad for not picking up. Should've never taught the old woman to use it in the first place, she wouldn't be able to pester her now. And Renee refuses to allow the old harpy to destroy her life even further, even if she claims that it's for her own good.

Renee can hardly call being a greedy, narcissist person who cares only for money and social standing a particularly good thing, unlike her grandmother and mother who kept hammering those traits into her up until she snapped and promptly left the house.

Or how being controlled by the elderly woman could be good for her?

But she moved forward, instead of being stuck in the static past of her old-fashioned, nearly fanatically religious family, and she's content with that. Already broken, caring only for money and comfort in life, just exactly as she's been raised to, but refusing to be broken further.

That, of course, is heavily frowned upon in her family; as everything else that doesn't fit the scheme from sometime around two centuries ago. Even her becoming Detective Investigator, just like her uncle, despise it being quite well-paid, was heavily frowned upon. Because it was man's job.

Not like she cared. Not like she was taught to care.

What she cared about was avoiding being locked in cage of stereotypes, xeno- and homophobia that was her family. It was enough that, when she was a teenage girl and weighted somewhere around ten kilogram more that she should, her family was fat-shaming her as if she weighted half a ton instead. It was unnerving, depressing and completely demotivating.

"Ey, Ren, you still here?" a voice calls, instantly getting Renee's attention. Soon enough a mop of red (strawberry blonde!) hair adorning skinny face of a boy who barely finished university attracts her eyes, and then tired yet cheerful face with complexion that might as well just be freckles comes to view. Renee smiles, almost fondly; for the half of a year boy has been working here, he proved that underneath his looks, that screamed 'ginger', a brilliant mind and sharp tongue laid dormant and waiting to strike, ready at any second.

"Two more reports, Jeremy," she sighs as realization that those are two reports too many dawns upon her. Sometimes she hates her job, really; but she worked too hard and gave too much to get here to quit now. "Bring me something to drink?"

"Sure," boy answers quite cheerfully, having learnt in past six months that by something, especially at this hour, Renee most likely means Espresso with double the milk and four times the sugar, and heads for the coffee machine, while Renee herself, with no motivation whatsoever, reached for one of two remaining reports. She felt… Determined. As much as one could be determined after eight hours straight of sitting on their ass and filling papers, with only short pause for a lunch, that is.

"Here's your coffee," Jeremy chimes, setting the paper cup next to her, and Renee accepts it muttering something that might as well have sounded like 'saint'.

"Thanks kid. Now run along, go home," she sighs, taking one big sip of the coffee, and winces, because it's too warm, and it makes her feel even more sleepy. Shit.

"Hey, I'm hardly a kid!" Jeremy argues, and woman just snorts.

"You're five years my junior, kid," Renee arguments, and the ginger can't really argue with that, so he just puffs his cheeks. "Thanks again. Bye, Jerry."

"Bye, Ren. Have nice weekend," Jeremy smiles. "And be careful, it's already late."

Renee just sighs and waves her and at him, not bothering to answer.

Besides; if something bad is bound to happen, it will happen, because the mighty Law of Murphy is not to be fucked with. It's not like Renee's life is in shortage of bad luck, anyway. It never was.

She makes her way through the villa district slowly, yet surely, in order to reach the suburbs. Her body screams in pain, really, the neck part of her spine so sore that it takes so much effort to even turn her head around that she doesn't bother – and the same goes for walking straight, instead of slouching. She was never a fan of walking like a lady anyway. Too uncomfortable. Too… Well, troublesome.

The only thing that accompanies her through dark street of calm, villa district is the sound of her footsteps, silent, and distant sound of the life of city beyond the wall of green that are trees of the small park. With city behind she is even able to hear her own breath; heavy, tired, yet calm.

She hears other footsteps, but too late. She sees shadow flickering under what little light the lantern gives, but has no time (or even will) to snap her head around. She sees the glimmer of cold steel when it's already sticking out of her chest.


Renee blinks, and sighs, and realizes that maybe, somehow distantly, it does hurt, and it does get harder to breathe. And it also hurts like hell, not distant at all, and it's cold, and sharp and it burns, and bells shriek inside her ears, and her throat tightens for no reason. She already feels colder, and the blood runs from her face, and kaleidoscope of black and color erupts in her eyes, blinding and dancing to the music of shrieking bells.

She knows the feeling; she's about to faint. Not the first time around.

But the first tie where she knows that she will not wake up.

Oh, she realizes, as she feels metallic scent and something warm and sticky glues her brown shirt to her body and starts seeping and staining her jeans. The blade – and she's willing to bet that it's a katana, she's seen enough of them live, she even has one at home – is harshly pulled out of her chest. It's when she realizes that her legs have mellowed, turned into something between jelly and fresh marshmallows she likes so much, and she falls to her knees – perhaps painfully, but she can't really tell; she can't tell if she feels anything anymore – as her legs give up without even trying to keep her up.

Renee can hardly say that she's mad, really. In fact, she can hardly say she cares at all; for why-s and who-s, like no one really cares for her. Somehow, something inside her decides, she's even kind of grateful, that she won't have to cope with this less-than-ideal, corrupted, pathetic world of wars and injustice.

Oh, she thinks again, and realizes that's the very last of her. She doesn't resist the dark, or the cold, because it doesn't hurt and she can be free from existence.

Oh well, is the last thing 'Renee' ever registers. It happens.

Renee Archer has always been normal, ordinary person – boring even. The kind of person that you never look around to see better or to look at twice on the street, and the one you forget right away after brief interaction. She was plain, both inside and outside; the kind of plain-plain that sheer amount of it could cause a nausea.

She was also a looser, of a sort. Between desperately trying to distance herself from her ridiculously old-fashioned and nearly fanatic family, and working too hard to get a decent work and decent living (and to still be frowned upon it, because she was a woman, she shouldn't be a cop, she should be a housewife with five children patiently waiting for her husband!), with her social life being as dead as seaweed planted on Sahara. That left Renee wasting the little free time she got on gaming and watching various shows in order to forget just how awful the world was.

So, dear readers, you perhaps wonder, if Renee Archer was such a boring individual, why am I writing her story for you to read in the first place? Well, cue the obvious, because I'm sure you already know.

Because, you see, she died.

And then she didn't.

She comes to with a start, suddenly, sharp, cold-burning pain forcing her into the waking world – living world – her senses instantly attacked by white light paralyzing even through closed eyelids and herbal scent so strong that, for a moment, she forgets how to breathe. It's so strong that it gets into her eyes the second she tries opening them, and makes her head spin despite that she still lays flat on her back.

That alone is enough for her to feel alarmed. That alone is enough to scream loudly that something is so very, very wrong.

Then, there's tightness around her chest, unmistakable and elastic, and blocking some of the pain, but also making breathing difficult – as if it wasn't painful enough already - but these are definitely bandages but… Odd. Far from hindering her breath as much as they should, which is unusual itself, and then the fabric isn't rough but soft instead, like some odd mixture of silk and cotton.

Then, there are steps, and something shuffles, and unmistakable sound of door sliding open, and that forces even more consciousness into her, and more things start feeling wrong with every passing second. So she forces her eyes open, bravely fighting against the brightness and strong herbal scent, which still makes her squint her eyes, but they soon accommodate to the light intensity

"Oh, you're awake!" a feminine voice sounds, and her eyes go so wide it hurts. She turns around to look at her intruder – definitely a nurse – as if demanding answers woman doesn't have. All she gets instead is "how do you feel?"

How do I feel?

How do I feel?!

Oh well, pretty good. Besides of the fact that my chest hurts like hell, I don't know where I am and why I am alive and that you speak fucking Japanese and I perfectly understand it, even if I never, ever, ever made an effort to actually learn anything besides the simplest introduction and-

Well, shit.

"Uh, miss?" Nurse asks again, and she does look Asian, alright, and the woman is so worried that, if not for the situation and panic rising in her chest alongside pain, she perhaps would feel sorry for scaring her, because it sounded almost genuine. But she was on the very verge of hysteria attack like never before. Last time she checked, she was native to small town near Glasgow, Scotland, UK, and there she lived, and there was absolutely no Japan-themed things, or even Asian people, and Japan itself was so far-


The world stops as if those two words were some magical command- And then it rushes forward at the speed of light.

Seconds, and she's up (and gods, her chest hurts so much), and her legs are so unnaturally short, and her body is so small, and it's so weird, so off, so plain wrong, and she is by the window before nurse has even time to blink, as she throws it open, and looks around, eyes so wide it appears like they could fall out any second.

Fuck, is the only thing her mind is capable of processing in English.

Fuck, is the only thing she's capable of thinking at all, anyway.

Fuck, because what she sees is unmistakably Village of the Hidden Leaf.

(A hand touches her shoulder, and it feels worried, and she snaps her head and looks at the nurse, pale-faced and wide eyed, and her chest is burning-cold-

And, just like that, Renee screams.)

Uchiha Ren, the paper she took from where they were hanging on her bedframe says. She stares at it for a while, uncertain and still startled, and pale, and aching and overall feeling so unwell she wishes she could just pass out from all the emotions. It definitely reads in kanji and, worst of all, she has no problem to decipher it. It hardly helps to ease her nerves from her hysteria attack that occurred just a while ago.

(Nurse tried. Really tried. But after five minutes she just gave up and ran for help, but Renee managed to calm down and nobody came in yet. Fucking ninja personnel, what if she reopened her wound?!

She'd die. This time hopefully for good, duh.)

But she's an Uchiha, alright. What she sees in a mirror she lays her hands on screams of it. Because she has the most generic, messy black hair and dull, black eyes. Even though slightly less generic, her skin darker than her 'clansmen', still pale enough that it counts without a second thought.

The similarities, though… Those are startling. The way how the girl staring at her was similar – not identical, yet, but so similar it was almost eerie - to what she once was. Well, once… For her it wasn't even an hour, really.

The main problem?

She apparently was fucking eleven.

As much as it explains her short legs and the tiny, pre-pubescent voice, and everything else that felt so wrong about her body, it doesn't make her feel any better. Honestly, it made it even worse, as she looks at her features, so gentle and soft and childish, yet still… Well, hers, and the realization that when she grows up again (or if?) she will look like herself is… Very, very unsettling.

But knowing where and who is she leaves her with one question yet unanswered, and perhaps even more important than two former – when is she? Being optimistic is not what Renee ever was, but being… Well, reborn, just to be killed off again? That would be so goddamn unfair and this time around she surely would get mad at dying. She didn't want to be optimistic enough and assume that she's the Massacre's survivor, but on the other hand she also wanted to.

It's not like she survived death once just to be killed by Itachi, right?


But there was no one around, and she really didn't feel like going out and looking for some kind soul, not with the pain in her chest erupting with every breath after her hysteria (she didn't open anything, did she? Nah, she'd be dead by now if she did, most likely) that made even thinking about walking painful enough. And with whole nobody to brief her to where in the timeline falls into after waking up or even why is there a hole in her chest that she's willing to bet is at least very similar to what killed her, she gets nervous. She can't even see the Hokage Mountain because her room faces the completely opposite direction, and all she remembers is dying, as Renee. And it's so not cool.

Normally, she would hardly care. But this isn't normally, because of all options and possibilities available, she had to awake as a damn Uchiha.

She would even prefer Hyuuga, honestly, she has experience with dealing with ridiculously traditionalistic and overall unbearable families that you just want to lock away in a psych ward. But Uchiha? Or, should she say, Emochiha? God damn her luck, she had to join the Clan of Angst ™, hadn't she? Gods above, why. Just why. She wasn't even angsty person in the first place!

Honestly, she was… Levelled. And definitely, totally hating all the angst and emo-emo-desu-ness Naruto and it's OCs sometimes offered.

But, despise her train of thoughts, she is still left with whole nobody to pester and whole nothing to do. Joy. She could maybe start plotting, but that was stupid. She needed to know when she is first, and only then, maybe, spew a master plan or two and hope that they would, maybe, gain her position in Nara Clan.

She likes Nara people. Why couldn't she wake up as a lazy genius?!

(Because you're not lazy and definitely not genius enough, a voice in her head remarks nastily.)

Life is unfair, Renee decides as she puffs her cheeks and buries herself under hospital blanket. And it sucks.

Damn her luck. Damn it so much, with all the spite of the world.

There's a soft knock on the door to her hospital room that happens about an hour after her freak-out. It sounds just when Renee – bored to the point she never thought she would experience again after she finishes school – decides to read through her medical information for third or fourth time in a row, even if she is more than capable of reciting it whole right now, perhaps in hopes that sneaky papers hide something else from her. Something else that isn't her biological information, so eerily alike to what she was, from blood type to even goddamn vitiligo she can see on her palms if she squints enough, skin just two tones paler but still (and she's willing to bet that those ugly paler splotches are on whole length of inner side of her legs that make her look like a fucking cow). There's also description of her injury, and she still bets that it's too similar to what killed her to be a coincidence.

But the other option is ridiculous-

But then, she is in goddamn Naruto world with Ninja Magic and Ninja Presidents and Ninja Villages-

"What?" she snaps at the door, childishness of her voice instantly killing all the annoyed and dangerous note in her voice, and door slides open. Renee stops everything she does at the moment, and focuses at the man leaning very casually by the doorframe, and can't help but feel relieved, somehow. She sets the papers down, and can hardly fight her muscles as they force corners of her lips up, even if just lightly.

His hair is rather long for a man, reaching slightly below his chin and chocolate brown, and his eyes are few shades darker than that. The most basic Leaf Ninja uniform on him, and senbon between his lips, bent in a smirk, and she knows that when spit out, the needle is more than capable of stopping a thrown kunai. His forehead protector is tied on his head like a bandana, backwards, but Renee knows that the plaque is there, on the back of his head, because this is Shiranui Genma, one of most awesome people to ever grace the Naruto Universe, and hot damn, she's this close to start giggling like a dumb fangirl she, in fact, is.

Only, she doesn't. Genma deserves more than a fangirl freaking him out. Much more. He's way too awesome for this shit, being a tokujo and all, and he surely is older than tender age of fifteen, when he became one. That sparks hope.

"Hey, kiddo," is first thing he says, and Renee can't help wrinkling her nose. She wants to protest that she's not a kid- But then, she is a kid. So, instead she watches as the tokujo strides into the room in carefree and yet careful. He sighs, crossing his hands on his chest and looks at her in scolding manner. Yet, Renee feels anything but abashed. She's been disappointment her whole life, one of her favorite characters staring her down won't change a thing.

"Hi," she answers instead and straightens slightly her sitting pose even if it hurts like hell. Genma just arches his brow and his senbon clanks around on his teeth as he moves it to the other corner of his mouth.

"Heard you gave the nurse quite a scare," he says, and Renee can't help but think that he's the help that nurse rambled about getting. Was it a case with every near-killed kids, or was she just a special snowflake?

Wait. She was an Emochiha now. Right. Damn, that was special snowflake-ish all by itself. Especially if she was when she thought she was. Or hoped. Both worked.

"If I did, why didn't she stay?" Renee asks, crossing her hands on her chest, and Genma just offers her a small smile. It's reassuring.

"Don't expect much from a civilian," he notes, walking over and sitting on the edge of her hospital bed. "She had no idea how to deal with a ninja kid, more less with what happened, and she thought that those medic-nin did job decent enough that you didn't get a heart attack on the spot."

"Well, I didn't," Renee agrees.

"Good, because it was damaged. Not opened, but damaged, and they had to heal the muscle tissue," senbon clanks again, as Genma grabs her medical record. "Damn, it's a miracle that you're alive in first place."

"Damn indeed, but could you please tell me, maybe, just why am I here? And why was my heard damaged, or why I should be dead in first place?"

Genma looks at her, slightly disoriented, and she looks back, expectantly, and perhaps even hopeful. She hopes for answers, she hopes for-

"You remember nothing?" tokujo asks, and she sighs.

"Being impaled with a blade I'd say was a katana," she answers truthfully, because yes, this is the last she remembers. Even if it's not this body she remembers being impaled, it's still truth.

"You see…" Genma scratches back of his neck, visibly thinking about how to phrase the explanation, and she just rolls her eyes. The suspense is awful, really, snd she wants to know whether she's safe from Itachi for the time being, or not.


"Your cousin, Itachi, went all crazy and slaughtered the whole clan," Genma blurts out with just one breath, and instantly his look screams 'I shouldn't have said that', as he glances at her with worry.

He doesn't see Renee's face, as she bends it down and allows hair to hide it. But if he could see it, he would be startled by just how relieved she looked, and would surely label her off as a mentally unstable, she's certain.

"Itachi the Pacifist, huh?" she says finally, looking up when she's certain that nothing can betray her concealed urge to dance in happiness anymore. "Anyone else left alive or I'm the only one lucky enough?"

"Well," Genma scratches his chin. "There's also Itachi's little brother, Sasuke. He, unlike you, was just simply spared."

"And nobody else did, like me, survive?" she asks just for the sake of mood and accuracy, even if she knows that no, no one is an answer.

"No, no one," tokujo answers. "You survived only because… Well. Your organs are misplaced. Mirrored. Your heart is on the right side, and Itachi aimed for left, and that's why it was just scratched."

Situs inversus, namely dextrocardia, Renee thinks. Holy shit, even that? It's not like it hinders functioning or anything like that, but it's super rare autosomal recessive genetic condition, and Renee, just like her grandmother before her, had it. The fact that this body she swapped into had it as well-

It was creepy. Unsettling. Eerie.

Renee doesn't like that even one bit.