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When Sasuke Uchiha had returned to The Hidden Leaf, he knew that his life within said village was going to be different.
The civilians of the village had lived their lives without him in the last few years he was gone. To them, they won't see the "loyal" last Uchiha anymore whenever they see him. They'll just see another guy to them. He abandoned them and the village, so why should they care about him?
This was a stark contrast to his earlier life was when they treated him something akin to a prince. Always ever treating him very adequately shown through their bows they sent his way, the helping hands they have given him when he had lost his family, the respect he received (courtesy of his clan name) whenever they spoke to him and much more.
Due to his constant pushing away of the civilians coupled with him abandoning the village, and the village having a new golden boy of sorts, Sasuke had to kiss that old lifestyle goodbye.
The Shinobi were a similar yet different story. They weren't going to see an average joe when they saw Sasuke. They were going to see a traitor. A backstabber who betrayed his oath for his selfish desire for revenge.
They sent glares and curses whenever they saw him. Many ninja have even let it be known they didn't want to partake in the same missions as the Uchiha believing he could very well double-cross them. If he did so to his own teammate that he had been working with for months, one that he had labelled as his "best friend" then it shouldn't be surprising for him to easily betray a ninja whom he had never worked with.
Ninja truly hated were traitors.
Sasuke had betrayed his oath, his duty as a ninja to The Hidden Leaf and dishonoured his clan by turning traitor in the name of avenging them. Avenging them by killing the one who had slaughtered The Uchiha.
Itachi Uchiha. The official story regarding the massacre was that Itachi had snapped from the pressures of the shinobi life and went on a killing spree. This narrative had plenty of holes within it such as the following:
1) The Uchiha was one of the bigger clans within Konoha, easily comprised of numbers within the hundreds. The fact that every single recorded Uchiha was within the walls of the village and within the Uchiha compound all at the same time without any sort of exception was heavily suspicious.
2) The fact Itachi Uchiha could take out an entire clan on his lonesome. While strong, he wasn't strong enough to pull off the feat he was "known" to. Talented yes, but Itachi at the end of the day was still human.
The fourth Hokage, Minato Namikaze, himself with access to the hiraishin no jutsu only killed about 50 enemies on his lonesome in the 3rd shinobi war. Nowhere near the hundreds that Itachi was claimed of killing.
Without any assistance of sorts, Itachi's slaughtering his clan on his lonesome was hard to believe.
3) The Anbu guards only discovering the massacre only after the deed was done. A massacre of this degree should've attracted the attention of the Anbu guards that were tasked with watching over the village. Those stationed around the Uchiha compound should've gotten wind of what was transpiring, screams for help should've been heard. Anbu ninja are trained to have an acute sense of hearing.
Them not noticing suggested the scheduled anbu patrols simply weren't where they should've been, to begin with.
4) Itachi's reason for killing his clan being to "test his capacity." Oh yes, what a way to testing one's own capacity by killing children and non-combatant Uchiha.
The plan was simple.
With the tutoring of Orochimaru of the sannin, a powerful ninja who much like Sasuke, had not only betrayed The Hidden leaf but also killed their beloved Leader, the Third Hokage. In a way, Sasuke did The Leaf a favour by killing off Orochimaru before setting off to kill Itachi.
The fight between the brothers had been a long and arduous one. Everything the brothers held within their arsenal was used. Both ever constantly attempting to outdo the other. There were numerous instances of Sasuke believing he may die, but in the end, he came out on top over Itachi.
With his goal completed and having nowhere else to go, Sasuke had headed back to The Hidden Leaf.
It was only when Sasuke returned, did he learn the truth about Itachi. The fifth Hokage, Tsunade Senju, being the one to tell him.
It was also through her that Sasuke learned that the Uchiha clan were planning a coup to take over the village that would've without a doubt, lead to a civil war breaking out.
Itachi taking things into his own hands, killed his own family to prevent the village from suffering from the ill effects of a civil war. He also did so to preserve the name of his clan. Better off to be known as the clan that fell to one of their own than a clan composed of selfish traitors that caused a civil war to break out.
Even after learning the truth, Sasuke still held hatred for Itachi in his heart. Even if Itachi killed off his clan, that didn't change the fact what Itachi did. Was Sasuke simply supposed to smile as if nothing happened? As of his hatred will just wash away?
His hatred festered way too long with his heart for it to just disappear like that.
Thinking about it, the hatred Sasuke held in his heart for his brother was all he had left. That and his bloodline. Said bloodline being the reason why he was allowed back into the village. The lead elders moving for his eventual integration back into the shinobi forces.
The last 'loyal' Uchiha had no one left. No friends; he pushed those away who truly cared for him.
No one wanted to associate with a traitor.
Even Sakura Haruno, the girl who once would follow him to the ends of the earth, eventually stopped caring. Did he think he could just shoo Sakura away as much as he liked and then slither back into her life whenever he so wished? And that everything will be fine even after the fact that he not only attempted to kill her not once but twice?
Truthfully, he did. It was quite ironic really. He had always chided a certain blond for his lack of foresight.
With all of that out of the way, Sasuke wanted one thing. Nothing other than the forgiveness of Naruto Uzumaki. The forgiveness of his once best friend. For everything, he had done. For attempting to kill him, for treating him like garbage, for breaking his trust. For everything.
The guilt within his heart was eating away at him. Sasuke couldn't take it much longer, and eventually, Sasuke found his chance when he came across the Hokage-to-be in the central park.
Naruto was strolling around with Sakura in tow. Both of them enjoying each other's company, evident by their giggling and smiling while Naruto made corny jokes.
They did look cute together.
"It's been a while hasn't it Sasuke. How have you been?" Naruto inquired with his trademark smile as he raised his hand towards Sasuke. The Uchiha slowly raised his own hand and taking Naruto's hand, it being their first ever time shaking hands.
This fact only served to raise Sasuke's guilt. Their friendship or whatever it was, did more harm than good. Their positive interactions were greatly overshadowed by the negative ones. And with that, Naruto still somehow saw Sasuke as a friend.
Sasuke lost so much in life, yet he somehow couldn't lose the bond he had with Naruto. No matter what he did or tried, Naruto didn't let him sever their bond.
Feeling a hand placed on his shoulder, onyx eyes meet sapphire. "It's fine Sasuke. You don't have to beat yourself up for what happened in the past."
"But how? How can I not? Look at the things I did in the past. To you! I attempted to kill you. How can everything just be ok?"
"Yes, we are all aware of what you did in the past Sasuke. But the thing is, that was in the past. Who you were back in and who you are now are different. People can change, for better or for worse. I see can the remorse your feeling by the way you isolate yourself from others. Or how you started donating your money to the local orphanage..."
"How did you..."
Naruto cut him off saying, "I'm a ninja Sasuke. Anyways, you're a better person than you were in the past. It would be unfair to treat you as if you were your old self. Having a past that you aren't proud of doesn't make you any less than a person. Judging someone else because of their past DOES." 'Fucking nailed it!'
"When did you speak so sagely Naruto?" Sakura asked her boyfriend. "When I mastered sage mode. But seriously, Pervy-sage used to write motivational books when he was alive. I guess reading those books came in handy."
"Better than those other books that he used to write." Naruto stepped closer to Sakura, placing his mouth near her ear whispering, "You mean those dirty books you keep under your bed." Naruto winced as Sakura pinched his ear, lecturing about the privacy of a woman's bedroom.
Meanwhile, this was transpiring, Sasuke took the time to leave and reflect on what he was told. That while he had a past he wasn't proud of, he isn't too late to make amends. He had lost a lot because of his past, but he still found friendship in someone with who he had thought he had served ties.
'Thank you Naruto.'
A/N: It takes a strong person to forgive. And the worse the offence, the stronger the forgiver is.
Personally speaking I wouldn't or at least have trouble forgiving someone who tried to kill me, but hey, I'm not Naruto now am I? Only someone who is strong mentally can do something like this.
If you can't forgive such a person, then that's perfectly fine. I'm probably in the same boat as you. But not everyone thinks like you do. If someone forgives a person who attempted to kill them, and they move on with their live in peace, good for them.