Authors Notes:

A strange idea this one, pretty much inspired by this poem. Choosing the starting point for this was difficult, only as it had to be a change that Sasuke himself brought about, rather than one forced upon him. How far I will go with this I don't know. I hope far, but as a full time student, I have less time available for creative writing than I would really like. Please no spoilers in the reviews for eps 110+ as I really don't want to know yet. Also all comments on writing style, and how it can be improved will be gratefully received. (Oh, and you might want to go watch episode 33 before reading this if your memory is a little rusty.)

After growing dissatisfied with how the series writer was treating Sasuke, I decided to run a thought-experiment to see if his path of hate was really so set in stone. After all, if Naruto is allowed to find his way from emotionally stunted, badly behaved orphan boy to one of the best ninjas in the village, shouldn't Sasuke equally be allowed to find some measure of peace without the plot screwing him over every time he starts to progress out of his trauma? So, I'm going to go back to the 2nd Chuunin exam, and change one small thing that was an act of shutting out Naruto originally by Sasuke, to an act of trust, and see if a butterfly effect would ripple through the series. (Please note that butterfly effects start small in most cases and that more visible effects of this are not visible until chapter 7 of this fic. Before this point, most differences are small as the 2nd chuunin exam is still running which affects much of what the characters decide to begin with.)

This fic is not currently planned to have romance in it, and to keep the tone somewhat of the anime/manga. It will be focusing mainly on Sasuke and Naruto and how the relationship is changed by one simple event. After episode 33, and the curse seal first taking control of him, Sasuke,( in a moment that he personally would see as weakness,) instead of swearing Sakura to secrecy, tells Naruto about the cursed seal. And so, by using trust, he starts to walk the road less travelled by…

The Road Less Travelled By

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost