AN: Yay! Another update before I start school. I will update "Unyielding Desire" after this. =)

Just a question though. I am just curious. Itasaku or Sasusaku?

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

Chapter 18

Delayed

"Last night, you told me that you are my teammate," she started.

"Yes I am."

"What's your name?"

Sasuke took a deep breath. This was the perfect moment to explain everything.

"I'm Uchiha Sasuke and I'm Itachi's younger brother..."

A few seconds later and he got was silence.

"Um...did I hear it right?"

"Yes," he tried to be patient as she slowly absorbs the information.

"Y...you can't be Sasuke! That's impossible!"

He took a deep breath. This was the actual reaction he expected.

He held her arms. "Calm down and look at me,"

She stopped blabbering about how nonsense the idea is as the stranger who called himself 'Sasuke' stared at her. His onyx orbs slowly turned red, revealing the clan's most treasured bloodline-the sharingan.

She was shocked. If he had the sharingan then there is no doubt that he is an Uchiha.

"Back when we were at the clan gathering, I already told you before that I came from another time-that I am from the present and so are you," he pointed out.

Back then, she was not able to comprehend his words so she was not as surprised as she is now. She took a minute to observe his features. Now that she was able to take a closer look at him, she was finally able to see the very striking resemblance he had to the young Sasuke.

Her surprise turned to confusion. Right now, she had a lot of questions.

"If we are really form the present the why are we here right now?"

That is the question that even Sasuke and Tsunade herself do not know the answer to. The Hokage was currently investigating the case when she sent him to bring her back."

"I don't have any idea as of now but I believe we would soon find out once we return,"

"I...I'm not sure. I don't know if I could trust you completely yet. How did we know each other in the present?

"I am your teammate. We found you unconscious so we took you to the hospital Upon further investigation, we found out that someone used kinjutsu on you. You were sent here without any warning and I am here to bring you back,"

"What else?"

He sighed. He wasn't used to speaking too much. "I've basically explained the important things you need to know."

"But I still want to know a lot of things,"

"It does not matter. We are going to return anyway,"

"Eh! Now?" she asked, disbelief written over her features. "I...isn't that too fast?"

Sasuke sighed as he brought out a small scroll from his pocket. Tsunade told him exactly what to do in order for them to be able to go back.

"Use these scrolls to bring you back. You only have to activate the kinjutsu sealed will recover her memories once she's back home"

He had to do this now before he changed his mind. He knows himself well enough to tell that he would most likely lose his conviction to immediately go back if he would not do this now. Worse is that he might really end up doing something the Hokage forbid him to do. He could still remember her words.

"Don't do anything that would alter the past in any manner,"

"Wait! Please I have to sort things out somehow. Everything is too fast. I mean, if I just disappear now then wouldn't that make them worry?"

"Is that even important? Don't you want to go back and see your family? You will recover your memories once we go back so I don't really have to answer all of your questions now,"

What he said makes sense. To put it together, all the signs would confirm that what he was saying was right so all she needs to do is to trust him. Even if she disappears and go back to her own time, life would go on for the Uchihas.

"I'll go with you tomorrow. Please just give me one last day with them."

He though for a while. Just one more day-perhaps he could give her that. He could hold on until tomorrow. He sighed. When did he start giving her this power over him? "All right. But you have to promise me something,"

Her face lightened up. "Sure. What is it?"

"Do not tell anyone about this."

"Why?"

"I could not give you any reasons now. You just have to trust me. Otherwise, we go back now."

"All right. Fair enough." she finally agreed.

Sasuke continued. "Yesterday was the clan gathering right? As far as I could remember, Itachi volunteered to train me a day after it. That is today. Later, he will train with me today in the forest. He will teach me how to hit targets with the kunai." He was trying to give her another proof because he wants her complete trust.

She noticed the way he addressed Itachi. As far as she knows, the young Uchiha is very fond of bis brother. He looks up to him. Now, all she could sense from the tone of this person's voice and his expression was hate.

"Do you, by any chance, dislike your brother?" she asked.

"That man is a liar. He made me believe he was the perfect brother. He trained with me twice a week. He listened to my stories about school no matter how nonsense they are and he even encouraged me in everything I do. I had so much respect for him." He stopped when he realized the sudden outburst. This was so unlike him. He figured that this might be because of the different overwhelming emotions he kept bottled-up from the first day that he came here and saw his brother and other relatives. He looked away for fear that she might see the vulnerability in his eyes. "Forget everything I said just now."

She felt something tugged at her heart when she saw his expression. Slowly, she raised her hand and held his cheek. This was her way of comforting him.

"I...I don't really understand why you hate him right now and to be honest, I find it hard to believe everything you just told me about him but..." he words were cut off when she felt something soft and warm on her lips. Her eyes widened when she realized that he just gave her a quick kiss.

"I...I'll meet you tomorrow just as planned." He ran away before she could say another word.

OOOOOOOOOO

"kaa-san, where is my lunch?" Sasuke asked as he pack the things he needed.

"Here. Let me put this in your bag,"

"Thanks kaa-san,"

Mikoto smiled. It's rare for her to see her younger son this excited. She laughed as she pinched his right cheek.

"You look kawaii, Sasuke-chan,"

Little Sasuke pouted at the nickname. He hates it whenever his mother attaches that suffix to his name. It's too girly.

"Don't give your aniki a hard time,"

"Of course. I know how to behave well." He said proudly as he went out of the house as his mother followed from behind.

"nee-chan," his face brightened up the moment he saw Sakura outside.

Sakura snapped out of her thoughts the moment little Sasuke approached him and took her hand. "kaa-san, can onee-chan come with me?"

"Of course but only if she would agree,"

"Where?" Sakura asked.

"To the training grounds. Aniki promised to train with me today."

OOOOOOOOOO

Sasuke held his lips. He could not believe what he just did. He liked the feel of her hand on his cheek-it was warm and comforting. Then she started talking about how hard it is for her to believe that Itachi was a bad guy. At that moment, the need to stop her overwhelmed him. He could tolerate almost anyone defending her brother but not her.

That was when he kissed her. It was a quick kiss meant to stop her from talking. However, what he didn't expect was the fact that his heartbeat quickened once their lips came into contact.

His thoughts were abruptly cut off when he heard a little girl shouted.

"Leave her alone!"

He wondered where it came from. He looked around and saw that not far from him were children who seemed to be arguing. His eyes widened. One of them was sprawled on the ground. She has pink hair. 'Could it be her?' he though as he walked closer. The blonde is shouting at one of the boys. He was taller but she did not seem a bit intimated.

Sasuke decided to intervene "What is happening here?" he asked.

They all looked at him. The blonde was glad upon seeing someone older than them.

"It was them. They bullied my friend. One of them pushed her,"

He gave the boys an intimidating glare. They ran away.

The blonde gave a sigh of relief. She went over to her friend to help her stand. The pink-haired girl dusted the dirt off of her clothes.

"Sakura-chan, are you all right?" she asked worriedly.

"I'm all righ Ino-chan. Thanks"

Little Sakura looked at the person who helped them. "Thank you also mister," Sasuke thought her eyes looked like real emeralds with the way they sparkle with happiness and gratitude. He felt his heart leap.

"Are the two of you always bullied by those boys?"

She nodded. "But Ino-chan is always with me so it doesn't matter,"

"But I'll not be with you always so you have to be braver. Don't let them see your weakness," the blonde reminded her.

"Hai Ino-chan," she saluted like a military officer.

"Okay, where's Bunny-chan?"

"Here," Sakura picked up a pink stuffed bunny from the ground. She dusted it and hugged it tight." Sasuke smirked.

"Okay Sakura-chan let's go and play with the others." the blonde started to run towards the direction of the playground but not before thanking Sasuke again for his help.

"Mister, Bunny-chan wants to thank you too," Little Sakura said as she pointed to the stuffed bunny before running after her friend.

Sasuke looked at their retreating forms.

OOOOOOOOOO

Itachi and Sasuke just finished picking up the kunais from the ground.

"You've improved otouto," Itachi complimented.

"Really? Thanks aniki but I'm tired already. Let's go home." He yawned.

Itachi chuckled as he poked his brother on the forehead.

"Mou. That hurts aniki!" Sasuke pouted.

Sakura watched the scene from afar. What Sasuke said was right. Itachi indeed trained with him that day. He was telling her the truth.

"Let's go,"

"Hai" she walked alongside them with her hands at her back. It was Sasuke who talked the entire time on the way home. The sun was about to set when they arrived in the mansion. No one is around. They saw a note that Mikoto left on the table saying she would not be home until after 7pm because she needed to attend to some of her duties.

OOOOOOOOOO

Sasuke just finished another round of training together with the others. He panted as he sat down to take a rest with the others.

It was not long when he saw Mikoto arrived with Shisui. She was carrying a large basket with her. He wondered why his mother was around. His question was soon answered when she set the basket down and brought out packed snacks for all. She personally distributed them to each one.

Sasuke stared at her. She looked very happy with what she was doing. Memories after memories of his mother flooded his mind.

"Here. Thank you for your continued support in the clan," she handed him his share of the food. Sasuke mumbled a small 'thanks' before accepting it.

She proceeded to distribute the rest to the others. It was just a short encounter but he felt his heart ache once more.

AN: Done with chapter 18. =) Finally! The next chapter will have lots of important development in the story so stay tuned.