The Butterfly Effect
HI! We just can't stay away for TOO long. Anyway, we won't be submitting this story once a day like all of our previous stories... this one'll be once a WEEK! OMG!111 Yes, every Friday we'll submit a chapter. Just felt like you should know that. With that said, enjoy!
Title; Only Child.
Chokai's Spiritual Stand was not something you wanted to visit frequently. As a matter of fact, you didn't really want to visit it at all. So, naturally, once people caught wind of the funky things that went on there, Chokai would have to pack up his wagon and travel to a new town where he could spread his trinkets with the new wave of unsuspecting folk.
His travels brought him to Konoha Village. A pleasant little village that was completely unsuspecting. Actually, Chokai thought, it wasn't really that small. In fact, it was by far the largest village he had ever worked in and, as his cart got lost among the crowds of other carts, the old creepy man wondered why he didn't choose large villages every time. It was easier to go unnoticed by the authorities in a large village.
He laid out his best selling item… which also just so happened to be the item that usually got him run out of town. But he had hundreds of them and they usually sold easily.
And they did. One by one, people walked up and bought them. Young, naïve genin to experienced jounin that should know better.
"What exactly does it do?" Uchiha Sasuke asked as he picked up the small crystal ball with a glass butterfly on the inside.
"I can see you have a good eye for the priceless objects!" said Chokai as he took the crystal gently from Sasuke. "That is called the Butterfly Crystal."
"The Butterfly Crystal?" Sasuke said skeptically with a raised eyebrow.
Chokai nodded. "It is said that if the user makes a wish upon the crystal to change something in his past then the wish will come true and change the future." He explained. "The Butterfly Effect."
"Isn't the Butterfly Effect a bad thing?" Sasuke asked.
"Only if you wish it to be." Said Chokai.
"Well, I don't believe in this so-called Butterfly Crystal." Sasuke said, taking the crystal from the Chokai. "But I like the crystal itself so I guess I'll buy it." he added quickly.
With that, he put the correct amount of money down on the table and hurried off.
Chokai watched him go and sighed to himself, glad to have another satisfied customer.
Sasuke traveled down the main road in his village on the way home. He looked at the crystal and at the still butterfly inside, and thought about the Butterfly Effect, as he came closer to where he lived.
Every time he approached his home, it made him angry. When he should have been entering an entire portion of the village dedicated to his prestigious clan where he would enter a home and be welcomed by a loving family, he went to an arbitrary part of the village and went to an empty building. Now, while it was furnished just fine, it lacked a certain WARMTH. A certain HOME FEELING.
Now, maybe that's because of the notorious Uchiha Itachi. You know, that one that killed the entire Uchiha clan. Yeah, that's the one I'm talking about. It's a tough thing for someone like Sasuke to get over. After all… that was his entire family.
As he entered the empty home, he looked around the room for a place to put the crystal. Before doing so, he inspected it in every which way but nothing appeared special about it. He set it down on a shelf that was across the room.
Sasuke had many reasons to buy the Butterfly Crystal. NOT because he believed in its magic, mind you. He simply needed something delicate that he could garnish his house with! Yeah, that's it! There weren't a lot of nice things in this cold and empty house that he lived in all by himself. Shouldn't he be allowed to add a bit of a decorative touch to the place he lived?
Yeah. Decoration. Yup. That's exactly what it was.
After he changed into his pajamas, he climbed into bed. The Butterfly Crystal was staring at him from across the room. He cleared his throat, tried to ignore it and then shut the lights off.
Upon lying down, he felt like he could almost hear the beating of wings. After trying to ignore it, he quickly sat up and turned the lights back on.
Immediately, he looked at the crystal, but the butterfly inside was as still as ever. So he got out of bed, grabbed the crystal and set it on the stand by his bed. Then he climbed back under the covers and lied back down, leaving the lights on. He stared hard at the crystal.
It didn't move.
So, he turned the lights off. After rolling over and getting comfortable, he heard that eerie sound again.
He sat up in bed and remained in the dark, hearing the soft sound of tiny wings going up and down. Slowly, he reached over and turned the light on.
He took hold of the crystal, but the butterfly of course wasn't moving.
He sighed heavily and thought for a moment, remembering what that creepy old man had told him about the Butterfly Effect. It could be a bad thing only if he WISHED it to be…
But then again, what was he thinking? The thing wasn't real anyway.
"There's no harm in making a wish on it though…" Sasuke said out loud, though no one could hear him. Considering he was alone, and all.
He thought hard on what the perfect wish could be. And, as he glanced around the room, he knew exactly what it was.
"I wish that Itachi was never born." Sasuke said. He closed his eyes tightly and waited. Slowly, he opened one eye and looked around to see that everything was the same.
Sasuke felt stupid for momentarily believing in the stupid Butterfly Crystal. So he put it back on his desk and lied down. He didn't hear any more beating wings as he went to sleep, dreaming about ways he could go about killing Itachi in REAL life.
The next morning began like any other morning. The sun rose in the east and lit up the sky. Just like every OTHER morning.
Sasuke got out of bed and immediately felt like something was not right. Somehow… DIFFERENT. He couldn't explain what it was, but as he flung off the covers and set his feet on the floor, he knew something was not only different, but something was definitely wrong.
He got up and looked out the window, but as far as he could see, nothing was out of the ordinary.
But maybe that was just as far as he could SEE…
That's when the doorbell rang. After standing in the middle of his room for a moment, Sasuke decided that it was time to answer the doorbell. AFTER clothing himself of course.
He opened up the door to see someone he hadn't expected.
"Oh, hi Sasuke." Said Chouji.
Sasuke stared at Chouji for a few moments. "Um." He said. "Hi Chouji."
He wanted to blatantly ask what Chouji was doing on his front door step, but he decided to wait for him to explain himself first.
Chouji noticed that Sasuke did not accept or appreciate his presence. "Are you…not feeling well?" he asked.
"What do you mean?" Sasuke said. "I feel fine."
"Then did you forget about training?" Chouji questioned.
"I don't have training today." Sasuke replied. "Kakashi gave us the day off."
Chouji gave Sasuke a very questioning look. "Well, if you don't want to come, I'll tell Kurenai that you're not feeling well." He said, turning around.
"Tell Kurenai?" Sasuke repeated.
That last comment piqued Sasuke's curiosity. He decided to follow Chouji to wherever he was going to get a few more answers to explain Chouji's strange behavior.
"Look who decided to show up!" said the teacher that Sasuke recognized as Hinata, Kiba and Shino's teacher, Kurenai. He looked around to see that only he, Ino and Chouji were around. His initial thought was maybe that this was another one of those contests that all their teachers had enrolled them in while they were feeling competitive, but after waiting for a few minutes and taking a look around the area, he couldn't find anyone else.
"Where's everyone else?" he asked.
"Everyone else?" Ino said.
"Yeah." Sasuke answered.
"Uh…there is no everyone else." Said Kurenai, looking around slightly. "You guys didn't invite anyone else, did you?"
"I didn't." Ino shrugged. Chouji agreed. Sasuke only continued to stand there blankly.
"Um…Sasuke's not feeling very well today." Chouji explained.
"I feel fine." Sasuke snapped.
"Are you having a bad day?" Ino asked. "You're acting really strange."
"No I'm not." Sasuke said. He suddenly remembered that he had temporarily zoned out during Kakashi's closing lecture the day before. Maybe Kakashi had mentioned something about jumbling up the teams for a day… Sasuke wasn't about to admit that he didn't know what was going on so, to save face, he took a deep breath and said, "Let's just get to the training."
Kurenai looked surprised. "Well, okay then." She said, seeming impressed. "I'm glad to see this attitude coming from you, Sasuke."
The first thing Kurenai ordered them to do was to throw their shuriken at the targets on the trees off in the distance. Sasuke reached for his shuriken and threw them with expertise only to find that they swayed off in another direction and missed the target. He frowned, figuring there must be a strong wind.
He accommodated to the wind and threw again. This time, he missed by even more.
Defects in the targets, he decided. Uchiha Sasuke did not miss simple training targets.
He looked over at Chouji and Ino who were throwing their shuriken at the targets as well. They were hitting their targets.
Well, there must be a defect in the shuriken then.
"Chouji, could I borrow one of your shuriken?" Sasuke asked, holding out his hand.
Chouji looked reluctant. "You're going to go find it after, right?" he said.
Sasuke frowned. "It'll be on the target." He said. "It won't be hard to find."
Ino gave a slight laugh under her breath.
"What are you laughing at?" Sasuke demanded.
"Nothing." Ino said, taking a break from her throwing. "It's just… you say that every day and then you leave me and Chouji to go and look for the shuriken."
"Every day?" Sasuke said, sounding irritated. What did THESE two know about him? Besides, even if he DID miss targets, which he didn't, then he certainly wouldn't send Ino and Chouji of all people to go and find his shuriken for him.
"Hey!" said Kurenai before Sasuke could angrily retaliate. "Enough! Get back to training!"
Afterwards, the three worked a bit on taijutsu. Sasuke decided that maybe he was having an off day because he just didn't feel like his heart was into it. After all, he had awakened that morning knowing something was amiss and therefore it was acceptable that when he and Ino sparred, she pinned him first.
But he was just going easy on her because she was a girl.
"Good job, Sasuke." Said Kurenai. "You almost got her that time."
Sasuke stood up and brushed himself off. He was willing to let it go until Kurenai simply HAD to put her commentary in. Now, at Ino's expense, he was going to prove to Kurenai that he could easily defeat anyone in any form of fighting.
"All right." He said. "This time is for real."
"For real, Sasuke?" said Ino with a raised eyebrow. "I thought you said we weren't supposed to fight for real."
"Well, now I'm saying fight for real!" said Sasuke even though he couldn't even begin to remember ever saying something like, "We're not supposed to fight for real!"
"Fine!" said Ino, getting in a fighter's stance.
"Don't hurt each other." Kurenai said.
Sasuke turned on his Sharingan and began to adjust his attacks so he could fight effectively. He knew that he would always be one step ahead of Ino so if he dodged and threw his punches just a speck later than his vision dictated then everything would connect.
Ino came towards him but, since he had his Sharingan on, he knew that she was still a step back from hitting him so, as he drew his fist back, he suddenly felt pain on one side of his cheek. Ino had somehow connected with her punch, even though he could predict her movements. And, as Sasuke fell backwards and slumped against a tree, he looked up to see Ino standing over him, shaking her head.
"I can't believe I used to have a crush on you." She said.
"All right, that's enough." Said Kurenai. "Sasuke, are you all right?"
"I don't understand." Sasuke said as he touched his nose to find that it was bleeding. "My Sharingan didn't work."
"Your Sharingan?" said Chouji. "Is that a new attack? Can you teach it to me too?"
"Yeah, like he'd master a technique without us knowing about it." Ino said.
"The Sharingan isn't a technique." Sasuke said, standing up. He was shocked that they didn't know this, because he was pretty sure he had explained it to everyone. "It's part of my bloodline. You know, the Uchiha bloodline?"
"Oh yeah." Said Chouji. "But I guess we'll never know what it looks like."
"I can do it." Sasuke said with a glare. "And so can my brother."
"Brother?" said Ino. "I thought you said you were an only child."
"Are you kidding me?" Sasuke said, on the brink of ripping his hair out. "Have you all forgotten about my brother, Itachi? Remember how he killed my entire clan or is that old news now like the Sharingan?"
"Sasuke, I know it's tough for you since you lost your parents three years ago…" began Kurenai.
"Five years ago." Sasuke corrected. "I was seven. And I didn't just lose my parents. I lost my entire clan."
Kurenai paused, not knowing exactly how to respond to these preposterous comments. It was then that a figure dropped down from the trees and, when he stood up, revealed himself to be Kakashi.
"Oh, hello Kakashi." Said Kurenai. "What brings you here?"
"I seem to remember a little agreement that we had decided on." Kakashi replied. "But I can't say the same for you."
Kurenai slapped her forehead. "I can't believe I forgot!" she said. "I've been looking forward to this all week! Students, remember how I said I had a surprise for you? Well, we're going to spar with Kakashi's team!"
"I want to fight Sakura!" Ino exclaimed.
"I call Naruto!" Chouji said.
"No way, you have to let Sasuke take Naruto." Ino said, lowering her voice even though Sasuke could hear every word of it. "It's not fair that you stuck him with Shino last time."
"With Shino?" Sasuke said.
Moments later, Sasuke, Ino and Chouji were face to face with Sakura, Naruto and Shino.
"All right, Ino and Sakura will be fighting each other, Sasuke and Naruto will be fighting each other, leaving Chouji and Shino to fight each other." Kakashi dictated.
"Why do I always have to fight Shino?" complained Chouji.
"We'll switch off later." Kurenai assured him, but it was totally a lie.
Sasuke didn't mind. He would have liked to fight Naruto over Shino. Even though he still couldn't quite understand what had gotten in to everyone today and what Shino was doing over there, he wasn't going to let it bother him as long as he had an opportunity to fight Naruto—
"Do I have to fight Sasuke?" Naruto whined.
Heh, thought Sasuke. He must be scared. Well he should be.
"All right, split up and begin the fight." Kakashi instructed.
"Come on, Sasuke, catch me if you can!" Naruto yelled as he darted off into the trees. Sasuke smirked. Naruto sure was a fool for isolating himself from his other teammates.
He pursued Naruto, following his obvious trail.
"Hey buddy!" came Naruto's annoying voice as he hung down from a tree. Sasuke looked up to see Naruto dangling from his knees on a low branch.
"Come down here and stop running away like a coward." Sasuke said.
Naruto frowned and hopped down. "All right, all right, you don't have to do that anymore." He said. "I don't think they can hear us."
"What?" said Sasuke.
"Let's go get something to eat." Naruto said as he started walking away. "I've been starving all morning. Kakashi wouldn't let us eat any breakfast."
"What about our fight?" Sasuke said slowly, taking a step in the direction that Naruto was walking.
"What about it?" Naruto said with a shrug. "We'll tell them you won this time since I go the last one. Or did you? Whatever."
"I'm sure it was me." Sasuke said with a glare. "You've never beaten me."
"Right, whatever." Said Naruto, leading Sasuke into a local restaurant. The two of them sat down across from each other. Naruto peeked over his menu at Sasuke who was still glaring at him. "What is with you today?"
"I'd like to have our fight." Sasuke said. He'd ask one more time before he would have to provoke the fight out of Naruto.
"Why?" said Naruto.
"So I can raise my self esteem by beating you, improve on my ninja skills and prove to people that I'm better than you are." Sasuke said, working on his provoking right then.
Naruto stared at Sasuke blankly for a second and then started laughing. "That was funny." He said. "Hey, let's go find Kiba, okay?"
"What?" said Sasuke as Naruto hopped out of his seat and ran out the door. He quickly followed after him, not really knowing exactly why he was doing so. Did Naruto just say, "Let's go find Kiba"?
After pursuing Naruto for a few minutes, Sasuke finally got fed up and grabbed his arm. Naruto stopped and turned around, looking a little annoyed. "What's going on with you today?" he demanded. "You're acting so weird!"
"Naruto, TALK." Sasuke said. "YOU tell me what's going on today. When did Kakashi decide to change the teams around and why is everyone acting as though it's normal? Why are you acting like we're friends?"
Naruto looked utterly stumped for a minute or two.
"Okay…" Naruto said. "Well…I thought we were friends ever since we were ranked in the bottom five in the class four years ago and we decided to work together to improve…"
"Bottom five?" Sasuke demanded angrily. He felt like wringing Naruto's neck for even suggesting a thing. "I am ranked the best in the class, Naruto."
"No… Shino's the Number One Rookie." Naruto said. "And remember how we said we'd make sure we'd end up on the same team? Well, that didn't happen, obviously. I got stuck with Shino and he's such a pompous jerk." Sasuke stared at Naruto blankly. "Did you hit your head or something?"
"No, I'm fine." Said Sasuke, turning around. There was obviously a conspiracy. Everyone was against him. "I have to go home. Maybe I'm not feeling well after all."
"Well…okay." Said Naruto with a shrug. "I'll tell Kakashi and Kurenai that I beat you up."
"No you won't." said Sasuke with a glare.
"Whatever." Said Naruto, shaking his head and figuring that Sasuke was just feeling a little off today. So he ran off to continue his search for Kiba as Sasuke turned around and headed back home.
He knew something was out of the ordinary when he flung the door open and finally got a good look around. In the morning, he had been in a bit of a rush and hadn't taken the time to notice that things were out of place… things were missing and some things were there that shouldn't have been.
He reached for the box that he kept under his bed of the things he had kept after Itachi killed the clan. Instead of finding an old cardboard box, he found a photo album and a tin box sitting on top of it.
After pulling them out, he first opened the album.
He turned the pages and saw pictures of his parents, his aunts, his uncles, his cousins and himself. But the one person he didn't see was his brother.
Still, even as he turned more pages and passed more family photos, there was no trace that Itachi ever even existed. He was just about to consider that perhaps he was going crazy when he looked up to see the Butterfly Crystal sitting on the desk by his bed.
Slowly he reached for it as he pulled a recent photo of himself out of the album and flipped it over.
"Our one and only little Sasuke, age nine."
Then Sasuke looked at the Butterfly Crystal.
"Okay then…" he said hesitantly as he set the crystal down in front of him. "Okay…so it worked… okay… so Itachi didn't kill the clan because he was never born."
He sat there blankly for a few minutes.
"Okay…" he said again. "So…where is everyone?"
That's when he turned his attention to the tin box. He pried off the top and pulled out a newspaper clipping. The headline read, "Terrorists attack prominent bloodlines of Konoha."
He read on."The Uchihas and the Hyuugas weren't the only families attacked two weeks ago by the seemingly unprovoked assumed terrorist attack. While five other main families were also attacked, no losses were as devastating as those felt within the walls Uchiha and Hyuuga portions of the village. It is assumed it is because of their isolating living conditions. No one can explain the motives of the attacks but it can only be presumed that it was an attempt to weaken the Konoha village."
Sasuke dropped the paper and decided that he had read enough. "So…" he began. "I stopped Itachi from killing my parents… but yet they get killed anyway just two years later?"
He stopped and thought more.
"And I'm friends with Naruto and Kiba?" he went on.
He paused again.
"And I'm not the Number One Rookie?" he continued.
Then he stopped.
"I'm SO bad… that INO can beat me?"
Then he picked up the Butterfly Crystal again. "I don't believe this." He said. "This can't be true."
He stood up and ran outside, hurrying back into town. He searched around frantically for the old man that sold him the crystal the day before, but if he had truly altered time somehow then who's to say that the man would have ended up coming to this village at this time in this strange alternate future? Then again, if he had the crystal then the man HAD to be there.
That's when he caught sight of Iruka just strolling around as if he had nowhere to go. AS IF he was not obligated to somehow explain the situation even if it was unknown to him.
"Iruka," said Sasuke, practically ambushing his old academy teacher.
"Oh, hello there Sasuke." Said Iruka. "No training today?"
"Um…no." said Sasuke quickly.
Iruka saw right through the lie. "You're never going to become a good ninja if you keep skipping out on your training." He warned.
"I already AM a good ninja." Sasuke said and then paused. "…At least, I WAS…Iruka, I need to talk to you."
"What about?" Iruka asked.
"Tell me about what I was like as a student." Sasuke practically pleaded.
"What?" said Iruka, looking confused.
"Tell me about me!" Sasuke repeated. "And I want the complete truth!"
"Well… all right." Said Iruka slowly as he took a seat on a nearby bench. Sasuke sat down next to him. "You never struck me as one of the more motivated students in the class. Your parents didn't push you too hard so that's probably where it came from."
"My parents didn't push me?" Sasuke repeated, sounding amazed.
"Yeah." Iruka answered. "I think they were a little weary about you becoming a ninja in the first place after what happened to their first few attempts at having a child. You know, you probably heard about it all the time."
"Miscarriages?" Sasuke tried.
"Right." Iruka said.
"So… I don't have an older brother?" Sasuke clarified. "For sure?"
Iruka looked at Sasuke skeptically. "Not that I know of." He replied.
"So I was never at the top of my class?" Sasuke asked. "Never?"
"No…not really." Iruka answered. "You were in the bottom half of the class most of the time. Occasionally, you'd get to the middle but usually you'd slip right back down. Especially after the accident."
"My parents?" Sasuke said. "After they were killed?"
"Yeah…" Iruka sighed. "Sorry."
"It's okay." Sasuke replied cautiously.
This certainly was strange.
He got to his feet and started walking away, continuing his search for the old man without even acknowledging that Iruka had helped him. Iruka didn't really care all that much because he was used to kids being rude to him so he's accustomed to it by now.
"Okay." Sasuke said, sorting things out in his brain. "Itachi was never born so therefore he could never kill my parents. Instead, an outsider kills them two years later. And I'm a terrible ninja."
That's when he saw the old man's cart.
"It's not worth it." he said. "I have to change it back."
He ran up to the cart.
As soon as Chokai saw Sasuke approaching, he tried not to sigh. Not EVERYONE can be pleased with the magic.
"Old man," said Sasuke as he put the crystal down on the table. "I don't want it. I want everything to change back. How do I change it back?"
"You can't." said Chokai.
Sasuke froze. "What?" he demanded.
Chokai laughed. "Just kidding!" he chuckled as if he had anything to chuckle about, especially with the murderous glare that was coming from Sasuke's direction. "What displeased you about the product?"
"Everything." Sasuke answered. "You said the Butterfly Effect would only be a bad thing if I wished it to be. I didn't wish for it to be bad."
"No one wishes for something bad to happen to them." Said Chokai. "The initial wish is always a good thing but surely you know the story of the Butterfly Effect. A harmless thing like a butterfly flapping its wings once could end up starting a tornado in another part of the world."
"So how do I undo it!" Sasuke demanded.
"How do you think?" Chokai asked.
Sasuke gripped the crystal tightly in his hand.
"Do I have to smash it?" he asked.
Chokai nodded. "Unfortunately." He said. "But be sure that you would prefer things to be the way they were before you bought the crystal."
"The whole reason I made the wish was so that my parents would be alive but they're dead anyway and the only difference is that I'm a bad ninja and I associate myself with Naruto." Sasuke said. "As bad as my life was before I got the crystal, I would choose that over this any day."
"Well then go ahead." Said Chokai.
Sasuke raised the crystal up in the air and threw it down on the ground as hard as he could. It shattered immediately upon contact, and within seconds, Sasuke felt that same feeling he had felt that morning when he had awakened and known something strange was going on.
He looked back at Chokai.
"Is everything back to normal?" he said, trying not to sound frantic.
"I don't know." Said Chokai. "Is it?"
Sasuke gave the man one more glare for good measure and took off running. How would he confirm that everything was back to the way it should be? He didn't have training today and he wasn't about to waste time looking for any of the people who SHOULD be his teammates.
He ran back up and, as soon as he entered, he got the initial feeling of relief that things were back in the places they belonged. But, just for a little extra reassurance, he practically dove under his bed, finding an old cardboard box just where he had left it.
Next chapter: Fabrication