Just a little further.
At the time, it'd seemed like a good idea. They'd done the impossible, travelled back through time to stop the end of the world via rabbit goddess and plant abomination. They knew what was going to happen, when it was going to happen, they had the power of the Sage to stop it with. In theory, everything was sound.
They'd landed six years in the past, when their counterparts should be eleven, not even qualified as ninja yet. Itachi would be running around, spying on the Akatsuki for the sake of an ungrateful village. Orochimaru would be out and about too, revelling in his obsession with preteens of prodigious breeding. That was all happening and they'd been there.
Then, then Sasuke had looked in his weapon pouch, had seen a certain little seal and had a Naruto-worthy idea. Naruto-worthy in that is was a ridiculous risk that would, under any other circumstances, never pay off. And then-
"Well, I'm sorry time-travel isn't a smooth ride. I'll try to do better next time."
"When are we?"
"Kurama said we had enough juice for five or so years." Right, five or so years. That's… that's graduation-ish time… he thinks.
"What- What about if I have a seal that can amplify jutsus?"
And then they'd time-travelled again. Only, Sasuke doesn't recognise his current location, doesn't recognise any of these chakra signatures to the point of putting them to faces, and he sure as fuck doesn't see Naruto.
Staggering to his feet, Sasuke plants one hand against his throbbing temple, idly noting that at least three of his ribs are broken. He's standing in a crater of hard-packed earth that, that's still smoking slightly. Judging by the ash and smoke on his arms and sleeves, it's probably safe to say he'd been the thing on fire, though there're no burns on his skin. Rinnegan fuckery? Maybe so. Certainly, he doesn't have the chakra left to try a fire-jutsu. It'd been Naruto who did the heavy lifting and, speak of, where is she?
Peeling back one eyelid (because, okay, fuck, the light hurts), Sasuke peers out at his surroundings with dark eyes. If he turns the Sharingan on now, he's pretty certain he'll either pass out or die given the fumes he's running on. And he can't afford to do either while Naruto's unaccounted for.
The first thing he sees is tents. Lots of tents. And not the Shinobi Alliance kind of tents that he'd sped past on his way to the battlefield. No, there's are the kind that Shisui had dug out of the Uchiha storage hold for summer camping as a kid, the ones that he'd gotten shouted at for using because they were 'relics of history you god-damn brat, go do a thousand push-ups'. Yeah, Elder Hikamu fucking sucked.
Doesn't mean he deserved to die.
He'd probably have died not long after anyway.
Elder Hikamu had sucked and he'd also been old as balls.
He doesn't see any elderly people here, but there sure are a fuck ton of shinobi in armour. Yet again, exactly like the kind that Shisui had been punished for dressing up in (maybe his cousin had just liked push-ups and needed and excuse to do them instead of his chores?).
Every last one of them are staring at him in ill-concealed horror.
Well fuck. What has he done wrong this time? Sure, from what he can gather he's hit the earth like a meteor smack dab in the middle of their camp, but who the fuck camps in an open field like this in such a large number? That's just asking to be attacked. Unless they're all hard-ass shinobi (which, looking at them, they probably are) in which case it's just sheer pride that has them camping here. Either way, they deserved to be hit with Sasuke-meteor. More importantly though, they do not seem to have suffered a Naruto-meteor. If they had, he'd certainly notice. She'd have been a bolder, brighter meteor than him, that's for sure. But he can't sense her maelstrom of charka in the slightest.
"Izuna!" The thunderous roar echoes out from the crowd, a deep voice that somehow fills the entire clearing.
Sasuke tilts his head to a side, eyes narrowing because that's an awfully familiar voice in a crowd of unfamiliar faces. Faces that look relatively similar too; has he landed in one of the last few travelling clans?
That's round about the time the ground under his feet is split apart by tree roots that are reaching reaching reaching for him and the shadows they create Zetsu could be hiding in any of them and why does everything hurt so much-
When Sasuke comes back around, he's alive. Which, you know, is a start. Normally, Zetsu's attacks go right for the kill shot and he'd been in no state to avoid it. Yet, here he is, wrapped up and held in position by a series of tree-trunks that aren't trying to spear his heart, that aren't attempting to pluck out his eyes. The blindfold he could have done without and- and he can't activate the Sharingan to burn it off.
Grunting, Sasuke shifts slightly in his bindings, biting his lip when the branches press like fuck against his broken ribs. Ow. Not fair. Probably in his best interests to remain still and wait for Naruto to come and rescue him. She will. It's what she does, save him, that is. Again and again and again. She's never given up on him in all these years, never will. Or, so he hopes. Fuck, how had it taken so long for him to realise Naruto is it for him? Undead Itachi had practically spelt it out for him- no, he's giving himself too much credit. Undead Itachi had said it so bluntly he might as well have slapped Sasuke around the face with it. And still he hadn't realised until he'd met up with her on the battlefield against Madara and Zetsu and Kaguya. Ridiculous.
He's such an idiot.
An idiot with aching ribs.
He doesn't moan from the pain, he's a Uchiha, it's not what they do. But he does breathe a little more forceful, if only the once. Then, it's back to normal breaths.
Whichever fucker has got him locked in this, Sasuke's gonna kill them for binding his hands over his head. It fucking hurts.
The door opens and Sasuke can smell ozone, that sharp scent that comes before lightning, coupled with the scent of still water. Near contradictory odours that can only belong to a person. Someone with lightning and water release.
"How did you get here, Izuna."
It's a flat order and, for a second, Sasuke plays with the idea that some other sap has been caught up in all of this. Only, they won't have a Naruto to come blitzing to the rescue.
But his straining ears and sharp nose don't catch a sound or smell from any other person.
It takes another second for his semi-melted brain to make the connection. This idiot thinks he's Izuna.
Izuna… as in, Madara's little brother Izuna?
"Now, don't put too much chakra into this, the seal amplifies things near a hundred-fold."
"Yeah, yeah, don't give it too much juice; come on, Bastard, I got this!"
Oh, she sure had got this.
"Got this my fucking ass," Sasuke snarls under his breath, choosing to ignore the fucker who's come to interrogate him because they're in the fucking Clan Wars Era and Naruto's super chakra has fucked them over. Big Time.
Worse, he can't even be upset with her over this because Naruto has to be here somewhere and they've still got a chance to fix things, even if it's fixing things for the distant, distant future.
"God fucking damn it, you idiot." He needs to get free, needs to heal up. He needs to find Naruto.
And he absolutely cannot let anyone know he's from the future.
"So, you're a time-traveller!"
Izuna all but bounces along the path, staring at the girl that Madara-nii's got trussed up and thrown over one shoulder. She still blinks every so often, peering at his face in something resembling confused awe.
It's been a strange thirty minutes. One moment, he and Madara had been running through the treetops, returning from a basic scouting missions (something that's beneath the Clan Heir and the spare but like hell is Izuna gonna complain about getting to spend time with his big brother) and then the next, the next a glowing gold meteor had crashed into Madara and thrown him to the forest floor.
Izuna had been so stunned all he'd been able to do was stare, horrified. Then, the glow had faded to reveal a blonde woman sprawled across his (slightly singed but otherwise fine) brother. Her attire (orange, of all colours!) had been burnt at the hems, but there hadn't been a scratch on her other than that.
His brother, who wouldn't know what to do with a woman if she stripped naked in his bedroom had tied her up right away… once he'd gotten his bearings, that was. Izuna had thought he was being rather mean but Madara had insisted on caution given the whole 'falling from the sky' business. He rather thinks its because she took him completely off guard, but he can't say for sure.
Some time later as they're walking on the path back (to avoid anymore attractive meteors, not that Izuna would mind being hit by the girl's twin or something), she wakes up. Proceeds to call him Sasuke and ask if they managed to travel far enough back in time.
Which brings them to the present.
"Don't listen to her lies, Izuna," Madara snaps, glancing over the shoulder not occupied by an attractive blonde to scowl at him, "she'll say anything to get free." She attacked me. It goes unsaid but Izuna can hear it loud and clear. He also doesn't believe it; after all, what kind of idiot would use an attack that'd leave them unconscious?
"I could break free at any moment I wanted to, Fucker," snaps back the woman with the foulest mouth he's ever heard, taking the time to glower at Madara before wiggling about on his shoulder again to better face Izuna. "You really, really look like Sasuke. Like, just like him. Do you have a secret twin you lost to a seal experiment gone wrong or something? Or, maybe you're the missing twin?" What?
"Izuna is not a time traveller and neither are you," Madara snaps, jolting the girl and she hisses. There's a meaty thud and his big brother stops, shoulders tense. When Izuna rounds the two of them, he's quite startled to see an impressive dent in the front of his big brother's armour. From the girl's knee?
"Just you wait 'till I have my chakra back," the girl grumbles, eyelids already drooping, face ashen in a clear show of chakra exhaustion that she's evidentially trying to fight through. "I'll mop the floor with you all over again."
"Sure, you will." Yeah, his brother doesn't believe a girl can fight. Izuna eyes the dent once more, just to double check. Nope, it's still there. Huh.
"Just you wait, bastard. I'll kick your ass and then gone find Sasuke. You'll see."
Two minutes later, the girl is very clearly unconscious (he never got her name!) and there's a growing patch of droll leaking down the back of Madara's armour and soaking into his shirt. Izuna very pointedly ignores it, trying not to snicker. She's probably a year or two older than him, but she's got spunk. It's cute. Hopefully, the elders won't be too displeased by their new prisoner. It's like they've got a sixth sense for when something's going to upset the delicate balance of the clan. And a girl claiming to know a 'Sasuke' who looks exactly like Izuna? Yeah, that'll probably throw them into a tizz.
Huh, he's almost excited to see it.