Disclaimer: don't own HP or Naruto
Inspired by Sophie3's fics Connections and Family Connections
Itachi crouched on the roof, watching the children below. He still couldn't fully believe what he was seeing and yet the records he had found had apparently been correct. The Uchiha clan lived on beyond the Elemental Nations in a child, a teenager about the same age as Sasuke. He hadn't even been looking for those records when he had crept into the main house of the Uchiha clan, a house that now stood as empty as the rest of the district due to his foolish little brother. Sasuke had abandoned his Village and gone to Orochimaru, that had not been what Itachi intended at all!
The boy before him was scrawny but fast on his feet, dressed in oversized clothing and glasses that did nothing for him at all in the looks department, at least as far as Itachi could tell. His hair was as dark and messy as any in his family but…his eyes were green. The odds of him ever awakening the Sharingan were infinitesimally small, but he could still pass on the genes. His fingers dropped to his kunai pouch when a much larger child struck the boy, his cousin, and the boy didn't fight back. He allowed it, but Itachi had seen the look in his eyes, he did not accept the violence, he was not broken by the obvious mistreatment. Itachi had observed the family for days, knew that if he showed any resistance then the fat one would wail to its parents and the boy would be punished.
What could he do? He could kill the three easily enough but he could hardly take the teen with him. Akatsuki was not the place to raise a civilian teenager. He could try and hide him in a civilian village somewhere and check up on him between missions but that was still highly risky. As good as he was, there was still the chance of being tracked to the boy, or worse, the village being attacked in his absence and the boy killed or taken.
If Sasuke was still in Konoha then he would go back and ensure his brother found the information on their great-aunt, but no, his brother had to defect to Oto. He could still make sure Konoha received the information, they would be happy to have another Uchiha, even a civilian one. But that would put the boy within Danzō's reach too. Was it worth that risk to get him away from a family that obviously loathed him? Why had they raised him, surely this country had orphanages? Then again, there'd been something rather strange about the paperwork he'd used to track them down, he'd looked past it twice before he'd activated his Sharingan, some kind of illusion? Had his Father been trying to protect the last member of his Aunt's family and had ensured only an Uchiha would find the boy? Or was someone trying to hide him from them? From others? He didn't like it.
He didn't have long to decide either, he could only be gone so long before uncomfortable questions would be asked by more than Kisame.
Itachi watched as Harry Potter, his cousin, was knocked the ground again, the boys around him laughing, taunting him, and made his decision. Maybe…could the possibility of family be enough to draw Sasuke away from the snakes' clutches?
Kakashi raced through the village, feeling the members of Anbu around, even the Hokage moving from the Tower. How had he snuck in, again? Why? Sasuke was gone and Naruto was with Jiraiya, he hadn't been in the Village for over a year. Besides, if he was after Naruto, why would he be at the Uchiha compound?
They converged silently; the traps Sasuke had once had in place gone after…after his defection. Kakashi slipped into the main house, the one they'd foolishly allowed a traumatised boy to live in alone, ghosting down the halls towards what appeared to be an office. He opened the door, hitai-ate up, kunai in hand, and found himself face to face with Uchiha Itachi once again. And then…he was gone, just like that. With a signal the team scattered, searching for the missing-nin throughout the Village.
Tsunade pushed open the door to what had once been Fugaku's office. What could have brought Itachi back to the Village? Surely anything within was either out of date or something he already knew? He'd left the place in a mess; he'd definitely been looking for something specific…family records? What was he doing going through those, he'd killed them all. Unless…did he think he'd missed someone? She gathered it all up and returned to her office, Itachi was long gone and she could only hope there was a hint in what he had left behind.
He stared at the scroll that had found its way into his room, Sharingan activate but he couldn't detect any danger. Cautiously he approached and opened it, frowning as he scanned the information within…he knew the handwriting, how could he not? Who had found this and how had they brought it to him without being caught? The only person he could think of was Itachi, but why would he give it to him? Surely he would simply act and wipe out any possible links. Was it a taunt? A test to see if Sasuke was strong enough to protect someone from his…from Him?
He memorised everything, hesitating at having something his Father had written, before he burned the scroll. He glanced at the door and then smirked, maybe it was time to leave. If something of Father's family survived, then he would find them and keep them safe, He would not stop him, not this time.
Sakura fought the urge to fidget as Naruto joined her, flashing a grin at her. She stared at him in shock, they were meant to be gone for years! And…what had happened to that orange monstrosity? She wanted to ask but Shishou looked ready to get started and more hung over than she'd seen her in a while…or was that just exhaustion?
Kakashi-sensei had already been in the office which was a shock…but she'd seen the Anbu all over the Village for the last few days…something had happened. Team 7 didn't really exist anymore, so why had they all been called together? She was training as a medic and Naruto was meant to be on a training trip with Jiraiya-sama for at least the next two years, who knew what Kakashi-sensei was doing now.
"What's going on Baachan?" Typical Naruto, it was good to see that hadn't changed, even if it used to annoy her. "Why'd you call us back?"
"Three days ago, Uchiha Itachi infiltrated the Village and gained access to his father's records."
"But why?" she asked in confusion. Surely he would have done that years ago?
"I believe he was looking for this," Tsunade-sama placed a very old looking scroll on her desk. It was a clan register! Those were never shown to people outside of the clan…then again, as much as it still hurt, there were no Uchiha in Konoha anymore.
"I don't get it," Naruto admitted, frowning as he stared at the scroll, she didn't get it either.
Shishou tapped the name of the brothers grandfather and then her finger moved across to where another name had been recorded, Uchiha Sarada….his older sister. She had never known Sasuke had such a close relative, sure the whole clan were related in some way but Sasuke hadn't really talked about them and they'd all been pretty young when the massacre happened. Under the woman's name was an odd record…adoption?
"The Uchiha clan gave a child up for adoption?" Kakashi-sensei asked, sounding as confused as she felt.
"So it appears. There are notes about medical issues, especially regarding her eyes. They may have felt she would be safer raised by others. A lot of clans would simply kill such a child so adoption is surprising. And it appears Fugaku looked into his Aunt at one point, discovering she had married and had a son of her own. There's only one reason I can think of for Itachi to be interested in this, to find out if her line still continues…and end it."
"There's a considerable age gap between the siblings, which is why her son was also quite a bit older than Fugaku," Kakashi-sensei commented. "So if the family did continue, we'd be looking at…a great-grandchild?"
"Possibly," Tsunade-sama agreed, leaning back in her chair to look at them. "Team 7, I have a mission for you."
Sakura straightened up even as she felt Naruto glance at her, she looked back at him and gave a nervous grin back.
"The three of you are being sent to find this Potter Charlus or his descendants and bring them back to the Village for their own safety. Jiraiya is preparing transportation seals to bring you back to the Village once you have them, if you find any. It is possible the line has died out but we can't leave them for Itachi to kill if there are still any."
"And the Village loves the Uchiha," Kakashi-sensei murmured.
"Indeed. You'll be leaving the Elemental nations and will be travelling as civilians."
"But what if they don't want to come?" Naruto asked. "They have their own home, right? Maybe they don't know about Konoha."
They probably didn't, if 'they' even existed. They could be going on a wild goose chase. What would they do if they found an entire family who didn't know their history, and had no idea the danger they were in? Could they really force them to leave everything they knew? But if they didn't, they couldn't protect them and eventually Itachi would find them. Then again…
"What if he's using us to track them down?" she asked.
"It's possible," Tsunade-sama agreed, "but there's no other option, we can't leave them out there unprotected. Even if this Uchiha Sarada never manifested the Sharingan, she would have still passed the necessary genetics on. If that appears outside of the Elemental Countries, who knows how those living there would react. Through Sarada they are citizens of Konoha, and we cannot leave them to Itachi's mercy either. Get going, you need to pack to pass as civilians, keep your weapons well concealed," she warned and they left the office.
"So Sasuke might have family," Naruto muttered, and Sakura nodded as they walked into the Village.
She understood, now, that it would be hard for Naruto to hear that. Naruto had never had a family, when Sasuke lost his clan it had been something that gave them a link, one Sasuke had severed when he left them, when he nearly killed Naruto. And now the link was further changed by Sasuke-kun having possible family out there.
Kotetsu looked down the road, frowning slightly as he watched something approaching. The form staggered, drunk…or worse? "Izumo?" he called and his partner moved up. He signalled the watch tower and then leapt over the desk, cautiously moving out the gate to get a better look, Izumo shadowing him.
The figure suddenly collapsed and they moved quicker but still cautiously, wary of a trap.
"Is that…" Izumo trailed off in shock and Kotetsu didn't blame him.
He knelt and rolled the body over, taking in the older features and…interesting outfit. "Get the Hokage!" he stared at the blood on his hand, realising the clothes weren't actually that dark…it was blood.
Tsunade stared at the battered form lying unconscious before her. The boy was stable now, his wounds carefully recorded and healed, drugs being used to ensure he remained asleep. She'd sent for Jiraiya, wanting him to examine the seal on his shoulder. There was no way his return was a coincidence only days after Itachi invaded the village and they learnt of the possibility of more Uchiha.
"Huh, he's really here," Jiraiya's voice brought her from her thoughts. "Guessing you want me to check him over?"
"I wouldn't put it passed Orochimaru to have sent him back as a trap," she grimaced, and he nodded.
"Especially considering why you called us back. Speaking of…there's no way the brats won't hear of this soon," he warned.
She nodded. Sakura would heed her and stay away, but Naruto? She knew the Council would be pleased to have their precious Last Uchiha back, that he wouldn't face execution for his actions. Then again, if there were more Uchiha out there, they might be more willing to see him punished. She would never forget seeing Kakashi carry Naruto back to the Village, the very distinctive hole in his jumpsuit giving away how he'd been injured. The injuries to the others couldn't be blamed on the Uchiha, they had been attacked by those who had taken him, but the attack on Naruto…his own teammate and friend. Up until then, there'd been no real proof that Sasuke had gone willingly, other than Sakura's panicked words, but even they could be discounted if the boy had been pressured to leave with his teammates threatened to make him comply. Even after years with Orochimaru, the only crime they had full proof of was his attack on Naruto. There'd been nothing since he'd left Naruto behind with his scratched hitai-ate behind.
"Did he have anything on him?" Jiraiya snapped her out of her thoughts, and she motioned to where his gear had been dumped.
She went back to checking the Uchiha's medical records thoroughly, triple checking it really was him, she wouldn't be surprised if he was some kind of clone or who knew what with her old teammate involved.
She looked up and saw Jiraiya with a scroll. "What is it?"
"Specialised storage scroll…for corpses, and it's active."
"Don't open it here!" she glared in warning and he nodded.
She went back to the records, finding some changes since his last Konoha medical, the one she had performed after waking him from Itachi's attack. Looked like Orochimaru had been experimenting... 'enhancing' his next body. Thankfully, it was nothing that would harm the boy should he be spared. She didn't really want to have to put in the effort to save him if it had.
Jiraiya stared at the contents of the Uchiha's scroll in shock. What…what had Orochimaru done to himself! He felt kind of sick and one of the chūnin had already bolted from the cell to throw up, not that anyone would blame the poor guy. How could he have fallen so far? After everything he'd done to stave off death…it was strange to realise his old teammate was dead, the first of them to die. Technically, it wasn't totally confirmed until Tsunade checked the medical records, but he knew it was Orochimaru. And with him, was the decapitated body of his assistant, Kabuto.
With their deaths, the kid would likely have managed to lessen any sentence he was to be given for deserting. And depending on what he found in the boy's seal, some may argue that he was influenced into leaving by it. He'd kept an eye out for word on the Uchiha but there'd been so little, rumours really, but he never seemed to leave Orochimaru's bases. Because of that, he knew that other than desertion and his attack on Naruto, there wasn't anything to charge him with. Then again, leaving the village was enough to have most executed or at least locked up for life with their chakra permanently sealed.
Sakura frowned, there was a lot of extra security in the hospital and she'd thought they were leaving soon but now she had shifts scheduled? Something had changed, but what? It took a little observation to decide that they had a high security patient of some kind. She was surprised she hadn't been called in to help or observe but shrugged it off and went about her own work.
He blinked groggily up at a vaguely familiar ceiling, taking longer than normal to realise where he was…Konoha hospital. And from how groggy he felt, he was drugged. What was…oh…right…he'd killed them…he shifted slightly, feeling a twinge in his hip and shoulder.
"You're lucky to be alive," a vaguely familiar voice spoke up.
He managed to turn his head, seeing the Hokage herself watching him. "Tsu…d…ama…"
She blinked but then grabbed a glass of water and held it to his lips. "Slow sips," she ordered, and he struggled to obey. "Do you remember what happened?" she asked.
"Kil'd them," he answered. "H'd to," he was struggling to force the words out, his tongue like lead, his head pounding.
"Hmm, the drugs haven't worn off fully. You had a nasty concussion but that was healed with no problem."
Good to know. He was having trouble remembering why they had to die…what had happened? Why'd he come back? Team…he eyes closed against his will, everything fading away.
Tsunade watched him pass out, frowning slightly. At least he remembered killing Orochimaru and Kabuto, but why did he think he had to? Had Orochimaru decided to take his body already? Why had he come back? Jiraiya had found nothing outside of the cursed seal and the corpses he'd brought were real. Surely he knew the penalty for becoming a missing-nin, unless he assumed he'd be pardoned for his clan name?
She just didn't like the timing of all this. Did he know about his brother's actions? Had Itachi come for the information planning to get Sasuke to track the family down for him and then torture him some more with their deaths? Had his discovery in the Uchiha compound been a mistake? She'd have to wait until the drugs wore off enough for him to remain awake and speak properly.
Naruto slipped into the hospital room silently. It was amazing how people forgot he'd been outrunning and hiding from higher ranked ninja all his life, even Anbu. The sudden suspension of their mission to find Sasuke's possible family, the security, Sakura even being kept in the dark, Ero-Sennin attitude…it had all added up and as he stared down at the patient in the bed, he found he'd been right. Sasuke…
He studied him, seeing how he'd changed in their time apart. He looked thin, worn out, even while asleep. He thought Sasuke was taller, his hair a bit longer, but he mostly still looked the same. It was easy to see he'd been badly injured, stitches and bruises still visible and so were bandages. Thanks to his time with Ero-Sennin he could also pick out the various seals to restrict his chakra which, as much as he hated it, made sense.
"Sasuke…" he whispered, and then froze in shock as dark eyes fluttered open, glassy, but then slowly focused on him. He waited, silent, for him to curse him, sneer…but Sasuke just stared at him.
"N…Na'to," he finally slurred. His hand twitched on the sheets and then shakily lifted towards him, reaching…
Naruto swallowed but took a slow step forward, his own arm lifting to reach back, taking Sasuke's hand. "Hey," he whispered, not sure what to say.
Sasuke's hand twitched, weak grip holding on, dark eyes focusing more, taking him in. He licked his lips and Naruto looked at the table, spotting a glass of water. He grabbed it with his free hand and held it to Sasuke's lips, letting him drink. "Here?" he asked, and Naruto was relieved when it was a full word.
"You're in Konoha Hospital, Sasuke," he assured him, squeezing his hand.
Sasuke…didn't seem mad or anything, despite their last fight. "Hate me?"
Naruto blinked, but then shook his head. "Never," he whispered. He looked up and grimaced, the nurse would be by soon. "I've got to go, I'm not meant to be in here," he offered a cheeky grin and was surprised to see Sasuke's lips twitch in a familiar smirk. "I'll try to come back later." With that he took off out the window before he could be caught, heading home.
His heart was soaring, that…that was the Sasuke he remembered, not the one that had tried to kill him. Could he have his friend and teammate back?
He was shocked when he heard the news, but also relieved. Orochimaru was dead and his brother back in Konoha. Then again, that could prove even more dangerous than the snake. Should he risk a visit to Danzō to remind the man his brother was to be kept safe? He had hoped the possibility of family would make Sasuke act; he'd just done more than Itachi had expected.
Kakashi honestly didn't know what to think as he set the file down. Sasuke had returned of his own free will and had killed both Orochimaru and Kabuto. He hadn't been interrogated yet due to his injuries but had said he 'had' to kill them while drugged. It explained why their mission had been put on hold at least. "What will happen to him?"
"Honestly, I want to throw the book at him, but the Council would revolt and so would most of the civilians."
He nodded in agreement. For some reason, they loved the Uchiha, probably due to their years serving as the police force for the Village. And…having family in the Village might help entice those they were meant to be finding to come to Konoha.
"This won't stay quiet much longer. I know Sakura is curious, and Naruto's been giving Jiraiya and I odd looks," he warned.
She sighed, reaching for the sake, before grimacing when she came up with an empty bottle. "I know, I'll call them in later today to tell them." It was obvious she wasn't looking forward to that at all and he didn't blame her for feeling that way at all.
Sakura walked out of the office, mind spinning, not even reacting when Naruto yanked her to the side to avoid knocking into someone carrying a tower of paperwork.
"Come on," he pulled her into a run, leaping out a window to dash across the rooftops, landing in a familiar training ground. 'It's him Sakura. I, uh, might have snuck in," he whispered, and she blinked before shaking her head, typical Naruto. "He was really out of it but…he was Sasuke, not like he was at the end, but before the exams."
She swallowed, the Sasuke they'd known between Wave and the exams had been different to the one before their mission and after the invasion. He'd been…warmer, more willing to work together, the kind of teammate she'd dreamed of if still not very talkative. It had hurt to see him change back to how he'd been after the exam, even worse than that actually. She'd seen the hole in Naruto's jumpsuit and she never would have believed Sasuke could try and kill Naruto before. So what had caused the change back?
"His neck, did you see his neck?" she whispered. While they thought they were alone, you never could be positive with how higher ranked ninja could hide their presence.
Naruto's eyes widened as he realised and then he frowned in thought. "It's gone…he whispered. His neck was bare, the seal's gone!"