Title: Coming Back
Summary: Twelve years after becoming a Genin, he finally became Hokage. He had everything: a good life, wonderful friends and a gorgeous Sasuke. However, an encounter with a strange Jutsu happened and had the both of them crashing back into time, twelve years earlier.
Chapter Eight: Neji's Proof
There were a few things in Sasuke's life which he was sure he would never forget until the day he'd die. He remembered the fierce expression Kakashi gave them before they became genins. Sasuke completely expected that they would fail and that he would just have to make himself stronger without becoming a ninja of the leaf.
He could remember the sudden panic that gripped his entire being with the realization that Naruto would die in Haku's hands. It was the moment when he felt a moment of clarity and realization of his definite purpose: to protect the ones that he considered precious to him.
Right here, at this moment, Sasuke was certain that this would definitely fall under the category of his memories that could never be buried.
It was apparent that Sasuke knew there was nothing wrong with him physically. He could feel the soft sheet against his legs and the soft bed which he was lying in on. It has been a force of habit that upon the first sight of any scene, Sasuke would take in everything that his senses could pick up. This actually didn't need the help of his sharingan.
As he stared at this man, who supposedly was 'Naruto', Sasuke was aware of how other things seemed to be ordinary but definitely new. They were currently inside a vast bedroom with a large bed by the center. There were two windows on the wall, just on either side of the bed. It was a kind of room that Sasuke thought that he would find comfortable. It wasn't as dark as his bedroom, and he bet that it wasn't as bright as the dobe's.
Speaking of the dobe, why was Naruto like this? Sasuke had finally paid full attention to the blonde. His hair was the same golden yellow and his eyes still had the vivid blue, even the whiskers marks on his cheeks had the same curves.
He also gave notice to the way Naruto's eyes was looking at him curiously, yet cautiously. Assuming from the way the dobe looked at him, he, Sasuke must have also looked different. He just hoped that his face wasn't reshaped into the form of Gai-sensei or Lee, or else he would swear to torture the perpetrator of this genjutsu very slowly.
"What the hell is going on?" Naruto asked alarmed, although his voice was quiet, as if the enemy was right there listening to them. Sasuke immediately noticed that Naruto's voice was deeper, even if it was obviously filled with panic.
"Obviously, this is a genjutsu." Sasuke replied, noticing how his voice hasn't changed much. "What was it that you remember last?"
Naruto stared at him as he recalled whatever it was in his dobe head. "We were coming home from a mission from some ranch…" Naruto started. He looked from Sasuke and frowned slightly, "...passed through the Konoha forest and … HEY teme!! I remember you passing out!"
"Yeah, yeah! I remember Sakura-chan started panicking…" Naruto trailed off again, trying to desperately recall any memory of what happened before. The blonde lifted a hand and scratched behind his head with a tiny nervous laugh, a habit which Sasuke has begun to associate with Naruto. "And … well, I can't remember after that."
"Hmm.. you must have passed out too." Sasuke said aloud what he thought. "Was there someone who was attacking us?"
"I can't re… no, I don't think so."
Why would someone have to render the victims unconscious if they would only be put under a genjutsu? A genjustsu should be cast upon a target who was fully conscious in order to merge all of the senses of that person into the illusion that was created, and thus make it seem real. Could that mean that this was not an illusion?
Without getting out of the bed, Sasuke formed a familiar seal. He noticed that his hands were bigger.
Back when they were training with Kakashi, they had a certain day specific for genjutsu recognition. He could still hear Naruto's stubborn question why they couldn't do the casting instead of the recognition training. It was because the detection of an illusion was always more difficult than casting. If they were able to master it, they would be part of the valuable ninjas in the village, for only a few people had enough intuition to see through lying images.
When in doubt of the surroundings that did not seem real, always focus on your inner chakra, because it would keep one in tune again to reality.
If only Sakura was here. She was always the one who was impressively good with detecting illusion techniques.
"Kai!" Sasuke said aloud. He felt a strong wave of chakra released from him, knowing fully well that soon, this genjutsu would go away. His techniques always worked.
"Teme! What are we going to do?"
No, it didn't seem to work. Naruto was still right there, clinging on the wall.
Sasuke knew that he himself must have looked pretty pale now. He didn't know what kind of genjutsu technique this one is. Not even the releasing technique could undo this illusion. Sasuke tried to recall his academy lectures about genjutsus.
"We just have to figure out a way to get out of this illusion." Sasuke slowly moved out of the bed while he stared at his palm. Even the small scars that he had on the back of his hands were there.
Naruto slowly stood up, "Sasuke, I don't think this is a genjustu."
"What are you talking about, look around. This is obviously not real."
"Exactly! A genjutsu has to be something that seems real!" Sasuke blinked, what Naruto said just simply made sense. "Why else would you make a genjutsu that could easily be noticed?!"
Even if Sasuke swore that he would never be surprised by Naruto's impromptu defensive and offensive strategies, he would always find himself impressed at the way Naruto thought. Sasuke guessed that maybe in order to come up with a lot of pranks and escape from the ANBU unharmed, you have to pretty creative and a fast thinker.
But was this really Naruto?
Sasuke headed towards Naruto, who still had his back plastered on the wall. "Who the hell are you?" He watched as Naruto stared back at him, with those wide, blue eyes. They didn't look different at all. "Hold on, let me see if we are not just imagining it."
With careful timing and a quick motion, Sasuke aimed a punch at Naruto's jaw.
But apparently, Naruto saw it coming. Out of reflex, before Sasuke could even crash his fist against Naruto's jaw, Naruto quickly ducked. "What the hell are you doing?!" the blonde screamed. With his hands covering his head for protection, Naruto looked behind him at the wall. Sasuke's fist punched right through it.
Sasuke was as surprised as Naruto. He never knew he was this strong, he hadn't even applied chakra to this punch. Recovering from his shock, Sasuke started to chase Naruto again, "Hold still! Let me punch you and tell me if the pain is real!"
"Eh?!" Naruto halted in his tracks just before Sasuke could stop himself from colliding with the blonde. Instead of punching Sasuke, Naruto pinched Sasuke's arm. Hard.
"OW! Fuck dobe!"
"Well, I guess that one was real."
Sasuke stomped his foot on Naruto's left foot.
"AHH! Damn it teme!"
"Couldn't agree with you more." At least they were even. "Shit. What the hell is happening?" Sasuke hadn't realized it, but even before he had decided to scan his environment, his sharignan has activated itself on its own. The clouds that were typically present in a genjustsu were not hovering in this world. His eyes continued to scan around the room until he met Naruto's eyes.
The blonde stared at him with shock. "Sasuke! Your sharingan!"
What about it? Sasuke suddenly felt alarmed. He scanned the room for a the nearest mirror - which happened to be a full length one – and sprinted as quick as he could in front of it. He hadn't noticed the mirror there earlier, and figured that he did now because he was looking for it.
Upon looking back at himself in front of the mirror, Sasuke knew he forgot to brace himself. He stared back at his own self and his pair of sharingan, only it wasn't what he was used to seeing every night before he went to bed… His sharingan now has fully grown. He could see the three black marks on his red irises.
"Kami-sama." No wonder he could see more vividly. He blinked his eyes several times and even tried pressing his face close to the mirror. There was no way, in all of the hokages' names, that THIS totally amazing sharingan was his.
While Sasuke was still trying to process this new information, he was observing Naruto behind him from the mirror, as the blonde saw something which caught his eye.
Then Sasuke saw something else that made his heart jump. He stared intently at the mirror again and looked at his left shoulder. Since he was five, Sasuke had wished for this every night, to have this symbol would be tattooed on his shoulder. The symbol that would proclaim you part of the elite force of shinobi in the village. "Oh my god." He whispered. "Oh my god." Was this a magical mirror that showed the viewer's desire[1
"Sasuke! Look at this! " He heard Naruto call from the background, but he barely registered what the blonde had said.
"I'm an ANBU."
"What?!" Naruto paused for a second, "What?!" he asked again. "Lemme see!" Naruto rushed to his side.
Sasuke moved his left shoulder so that he could see it better. It was unbelievable, just as everything else that was happening. As Naruto stood beside Sasuke to inspect his tattoo, he noticed that their heights were not much different, but Sasuke was a little taller. Sasuke smirked back at his older reflection in the mirror.
"If you're ANBU, then… what about me?" Naruto wondered.
"Maybe you turned into one of Kakashi's ninja dogs." Sasuke smirked, despite of their situation. That earned him a punch on the shoulder, which did hurt a little, but Naruto knew he was kidding so it wasn't really forceful.
Naruto was about to lift his sleeves to see if he had the similar tattoo, but they both froze as they heard footsteps near the door.
"Someone's coming!" Naruto whispered as he ran towards the door and locked it.
If the door was not an option then they have to find another way to get out. Sasuke looked around the room and rushed to the window to see if they could make their way out through here. "Over here, dobe! Hurry!" Sasuke grunted as he attempted to raise the windows open. But the windows were closed too tightly that they wouldn't even budge.
The footsteps were getting closer. "Naruto? Sasuke?" Sasuke's sharingan unconsciously activated again. Upon hearing that voice, he knew that he had heard it before somewhere.
Naruto mouthed 'Who is that?' as he pointed at the door.
"Help me out here!" Sasuke mouthed back. The blonde looked at the window and rolled his eyes at Sasuke. Naruto backed away a little and for a moment, Sasuke wondered what Naruto was going to do. Apparently the dobe just decided to break the glass, since the window couldn't be opened. Naruto gathered momentum at his feet and aimed at the glass…
… only to have his foot collide painfully against the glass which refused to break.
Naruto gritted his teeth as he tried not to scream. Sasuke gritted his teeth as he tried not to laugh.
"Oh my goodness! Are you guys awake?" The voice sounded relieved and … ecstatic. Sasuke and Naruto both held their breaths as the door knob rattled, "Wha… why's the door locked?" The voice seemed to mutter. The rattling of the knob stopped momentarily, "Hey, Konohamaru! Did you lock the door?"
Sasuke noticed the frown on Naruto's face. He knew what it meant because he was also probably wearing that same expression now. That voice wasVERY familiar.
Before Sasuke could even hold Naruto back, the blonde went to the door to open it.
Naruto found himself with a handful of pink.
When Naruto recognized that voice, he felt it in his gut that it was someone they knew. It had to be Sakura-chan! It had to be her. Maybe she was also stuck in this genjutsu. Naruto was still refusing to believe that they just skipped time. Hell, they couldn't really be IN the future, right?
"I can't believe this! You're awake! You're alright!"
Naruto saw the confused look Sasuke wore as Sakura released the blond and grabbed Sasuke for a hug, "I'm so glad you both are okay." Sasuke looked at Naruto, Sakura rarely hugged him.
"Are you guys alright?" Sakura released Sasuke and momentarily looked at the both of them. And this was the moment, Naruto knew, that they were really in a different world. For the first time, Naruto saw this Sakura. Her hair still had the bright pink, her eyes still had the vivid green. Her face was more matured though, and she has grown taller.
Both of them were utterly dumbfounded, which unfortunately, hadn't gone unnoticed by Sakura.
"Oh my god." Sakura eyes darted from Naruto to Sasuke as they started to get wider with some certain realization. "No… there's no way that it could … " She mumbled. "What was the last thing you remembered?"
Naruto felt the pain in Sakura's grip on his arm. When had she grabbed his arm anyway? "Oww…Sakura-chan… " What was wrong with her? Did she knew of the genjustu already?
"What was the last thing you remembered?!" She insisted again and this time stared at Sasuke.
Naruto tried to grab his arm back. It was starting to ache. "We were going home from a mission with Kakashi-sen…"
"OH FUCK!" Okay. Now this Sakura-chan was swearing.
"Hold still!" For a moment, Naruto wondered what Sakura was doing as she pointed each of her two index fingers on Naruto and Sasuke's foreheads. There hasn't been any kind of konoha gesture like this. He really wasn't expecting odd behaviors like this from Sakura.
…and they certainly weren't expecting that sudden sting of electricity on their foreheads.
They quickly backed away from Sakura while rubbing their foreheads. "What the hell was that?!" Sasuke shouted at her.
"To see if you really are who you say you are." Sakura replied calmly.
"By electrocuting us?!"
"Shut up! Now, answer my question! How old are you?!"
"Twelve." Without thinking or any form of hesitation, they both said in unison.
Sakura gasped. She put her hands on her head as if she was nursing a headache that suddenly came. "Oh no…" She slowly made her way to the bed, as if not noticing that Sasuke and Naruto were watching her warily.
Naruto wanted to scream out at Sakura. He still had the slightest idea of what was happening.
To be continued…
[1 Erised! Hehe. We all know where that came from.
[2 Chakra-infused windows: Specially made for the protection of the Hokage. :D (what the hell were you thinking, R. Liam?)
[3 From my other story 'Love Is More Than You Can Imagine'.