Disclaimer: Don't own.
A/N: This fanfiction is the first if a trilogy we, Twitch and Spaz, are creating. Please read and review. This begins with Sasuke and Naruto's fight as Sasuke leaves for Sound. They are 12. Enjoy.
I have to.
I have to bring him back.
The Rasengan was swirling in the palm of my right hand. The red chakra of the demon inside me wisped around me violently and took a distorted form of the Nine-Tailed Fox. I could distantly hear its roaring echoing inside my head, drowning into my own thoughts.
'I must win…' There is no going back. This is now or never.
I would not be the dead-last this time.
Not today. Not now.
Sasuke's sharingan eyes were outlined in black as his claw-like wings pounded the air in back of him. We lunged, time seeming to stop and halt in this one defining moment. I could hear the hands of time stand still as red met red.
"Sasuke…!" I growled, throwing all my power in this one blast.
"Naruto…!" Sasuke's eyes were spinning to no end as his Chidori screamed like a thousands birds.
'I will not let him go; I'd rather die than lose the only family I have. Not after I finally had one, after all this time.'
At last, we slammed our attacks into one another. I didn't even feel the pain of his blow, all I did was stare into familiar crimson eyes.
A blinding light poured in as darkness quickly filled, shattering the world around us to pieces. It was as if glass shattered, the jagged shards falling down, down…There was nothing, no sound, no air, anything. Just blackness tipping into a stretching, endless void.
A raven haired boy stood before me with a light smile on his pale features. He seemed so familiar, like an old friend I couldn't remember. My first friend. My only friend. I grinned back as we reached our hands out towards each other…
We finally connected.
And then suddenly, the reality of black exploded in-between our eyes.
I blearily opened my eyes and snapped them shut as a blaring light blinded me. Then the memories of what had happened flooded into my mind, sending a sharp panic down my spine.
'I failed… Don't tell me I failed…'
Sakura-chan. I promised her.
Turning my head to the side, I slowly opened them again. I sighed in relief staring at the raven-haired boy lying there. 'I did it…'
There, on the opposite bed next to me, was Sasuke. His eyes were bandaged around his head, black spikes jutting out everywhere. His right arm was littered in white wrappings, no doubt an after effect of his last attack.
I looked down at myself and grimaced to see bandages covering my otherwise bare upper chest. I could even feel one wrapped tightly around my forehead and saw that my hands were too.
I scanned what I knew to be a hospital room with the white tiled floors and plain white walls. I could smell cleaning products and antibacterial odors confirming my suspicion. I frowned thoughtfully, moving my arms to rub my stiff shoulder.
'I'm sore all over…damn you, Sasuke-teme.'
He had really tried to kill me. Seriously tried to. I wonder, if we both hadn't have passed out when we did…would have he gone through with it? Would he have actually killed me?
'No,' I thought reassured, 'I can't believe that. It doesn't matter right now anyway. He's back in Konoha.'
But… what if he tries to leave again? Could I really force him to stay here? Would Tsunade-baa-chan imprison him in Konoha to keep him out of Orochimaru's hands?
…what if that bastard Orochimaru came for him again? What if he went with him?
I clenched my fists, gritting my teeth as I took a deep breath. Right now, I just have to focus on what's happening today. The rest can come later…
I looked over at Sasuke once more and my resolve strengthened. It was for his own good, after all. He would have been taken over by Orochimaru. He can still get strong here, in Konoha. He can have his revenge without going to that damn Snake Sannin.
Sasuke's really strong already. Kakashi could train him more, then that way he could still get his revenge and be happy (though it was hard imagining Sasuke-teme happy). Yeah… that could happen…
Suddenly I heard a sharp hiss of pain coming from Sasuke's bed; I turned to see his hand reaching towards his bandaged, covered eyes. His fingers gripped the eyes of the cloth as he began ripping it off furiously.
"Hey! They didn't say you could take that off!" I said worriedly, tensing inwardly as Sasuke's hand froze in motion.
"…Naruto." Sasuke stated in a low voice, completely devoid of emotion if not for the lingering stray of aggravation.
"…Sasuke…" I began, not knowing where to start. "Listen, I know-,"
"You know nothing," I flinched at how venom-filled his voice sounded as he snapped at me.
"You think you've won? You think it's over?" A bitter chuckle broke out from Sasuke as he sat up in his hospital bed. "It's not. It'll never be if I remain here."
A chill ran down my back at how Sasuke's tone was so laced with utter dark conviction. I sat up as well, straightening my back as I kept my gaze on the Uchiha prodigy.
"Sasuke…" I started, "I'll help you get strong here. So will Kakashi-sensei and Sakura…just… let us help." I finished lamely, cursing myself for not having something better to say at the moment that would convince Sasuke that we were right and he was wrong.
But no, I amended in my mind, for Sasuke's view – he's never wrong.
The Uchiha said nothing as he tore away the white bandages from his eyes. Throwing them to the side, he slowly turned his head in my direction. He met my eyes with a glare of such hatred and anger that I felt my throat go dry.
"I should have aimed to kill," Sasuke said tersely, "Next time, I won't be so careless."
I fisted my hands, gripping the blue hospital sheets as I glared back into his onyx eyes head on.
The door slid open as we snapped our heads towards the entrance, watching as three ANBU filed into our hospital room. They shut the door behind them quietly and stood at the foot of our beds, gazing at us through their masks.
'Why is ANBU here…?'
"Listen boys," The one at the end of Sasuke's bed announced, "It would do you well to explain why you were found in our territory of the Fire border, why you have Leaf headbands when no data exists on you, and to answer our questions about the origin of that loud blast."
I blinked at him curiously, "What do you mean what we were doing?" I said loudly, "I, along with other gennin you must have found, were on a mission to rescue Sasuke!"
The ANBU at the end of my bed turned his cat-like mask towards me, "Don't lie, boy. There was no other gennin in that area and no such mission exists."
"Do you think they are from another hidden village?" The ANBU in the middle asked tonelessly.
"If they are, then they better have a good reason for wearing Leaf hitae-ate." The one on Sasuke's side warned, "What are your names?"
"I'm a Leaf ninja! That's why I have a leaf hitae-ate! I earned it, dammit!" I yelled, now getting angry that they didn't believe me. "Ask Tsunade-baa-chan if you don't believe me! Where is she anyway?" I demanded, pointing at them.
"How dare you speak of Hokage-sama in such a disrespectful way," The cat masked ANBU declared, "I should kill you right here for that." He took a step forward threateningly.
"Whoa, wait!" I said, waving my hands in alarm as I threw a glance at Sasuke who was just watching the ANBU with narrowed eyes. "Tsunade-sama knows me! You should too – my name's Uzumaki Naruto!"
All three ANBU stared at me for a long moment before I pointed to Sasuke, "And he's Uchiha Sasuke!" I proclaimed, "Don't tell me you don't recognize him, everybody else does…" I said weakly, staring at how the elite ninja watched us behind their white masks.
"You have some audacity to call yourself Uzumaki Naruto," The ANBU at my side said, "He has been dead for over twelve years." He turned his head to face Sasuke, "Uchiha Sasuke…that traitor… killed him." He spat.
My mouth dropped open in surprise as I wondered if I had heard him right. 'Wha-what did he just say…?'
"How could I have killed Naruto when he's sitting right there," Sasuke said, finally speaking, "Besides, he was only born twelve years ago."
"Yeah!" I agreed, nodding my head at Sasuke who didn't even look in my direction. "You guys are crazy! I demand to see Tsunade-sama!"
"He isn't lying," The ANBU in the middle murmured as the other two turned to him. "I can tell… he believes he is speaking the truth."
"Then he's delusional." The ANBU on Sasuke's side retorted quickly.
"What about the other one – he…" The ANBU at my side trailed off, "I haven't seen another Uchiha in over a decade but…he has the look of one…"
"Just because an Uchiha crest was on the back of his shirt doesn't mean their stories are true! No one knows where Uchiha Sasuke is anyway – he could well be another son of that man."
"He does look like him, doesn't he?" One of the ANBU men muttered.
The ANBU stilled and turned to Sasuke who was now glaring at them with a look that could kill, "If you're just going to stand there and talk, do it outside. I have nothing to say to you."
I winced at Sasuke's tone and sent him a warning glare which he promptly ignored.
The one in that cat-like mask stepped towards him, "If you-!"
"Good morning!" A voice suddenly broke in as the door opened once more to reveal a smiling Shizune. Except… she was different somehow. "How many times do I have to tell you ANBU to let us examine the patients before you start your questioning!" She said in an irritated manner, shaking her head at the ANBU before turning to us.
Her wide eyes blinked as I started at her in shock, 'Shizune looks…older…?' I thought vaguely, knowing for sure that she had looked quite different yesterday. Could people change that quickly? There were slight lines underneath her eyes and her hair seemed like a darker shade of grey than its normal black.
'I have a really bad feeling about this…' my insides clenched uncomfortably.
Shizune's eyes locked on mine, "You…you can't be Kenji-kun…" She muttered under her breath.
"I'm not Shizune-nee-chan! Come on, what's with everybody!" I complained loudly, crossing my arms in annoyance. "You only saw me yesterday and I'm not that forgettable!"
Shizune eyes widened even more as I saw her visibly go many shades paler than usual, "…Na…Naruto…?" She said weakly, her hands going over her heart as she stared at me like I had sprouted three heads.
"Who else?!" 'What is up with her?' I frowned. 'Jeez, it was like she saw a ghost or something…'
Slowly, she turned her head to the side and gazed at Sasuke who met her stare with a slight glare. "…Sasuke." She whispered as Sasuke just scoffed at her.
"Why are you acting so surprised?" Sasuke asked rudely, "And why have you all gone silent?" He questioned, sneering at the ANBU who stood behind Shizune.
"It is him," Shizune replied faintly as her eyes rolled to the back of her head and she passed out cold, the ANBU in back of her catching her before she fell to the ground.
Today started out as normal as any other day in Konoha. That is, it was normal for Shizune to come running in my office in a flurry of hysteria. Though, it was normal for her to look pale and on the verge of passing out- she was such a worry-wart. It was even normal for her to be breathless as I waited for her to compose herself to give me her report.
We were in a state of war, after all. Panic and distress were common in even the most emotionless shinobi nowadays. The thin ropes of peace and calm were cut a long time ago.
What she said, however, was not normal.
"Could you repeat that?" I said immediately, sitting straighter in my chair as I wondered if I had had too much sake this morning.
"Naruto… and Uchiha Sasuke… are here!" Shizune gasped, gripping the front of the desk.
"That's impossible!" I shouted; standing up now as my heart gave a painful lurch. "They both disappeared twelve years ago! It must be a trick, Shizune!" I implored, already making my way past her and we briskly walked to the hospital.
Even though my brain strongly wished against it, a hope was already budding in my chest. An old woman's folly I scorned, scowling. It's a sad day when I actually admit I'm getting old…
"That's not the strange thing, Tsunade-sama!" Shizune called from behind me, pacing faster to keep up with my long strides as we entered the Konoha hospital.
"What could possibly be stranger?" I snapped, pushing away the ANBU who were crowding the door in front of the designated room – they immediately made way – as I pulled the door open and walked in.
"They're twelve years old!" Shizune replied breathlessly as I stared in shock at the two figures lying on the hospital beds.
It was Naruto.
It had to be Naruto. He had the same whiskered cheeks. The same grin. The same determined blue eyes. The same build and shape, the same aura and chakra…
Except – he was twelve years old.
'What in Hell-?!'
I stopped my gaping as I grabbed a chair and fell into in, my mind still stunned as Naruto grinned good-naturedly at me. "Ohayo Tsunade-baa-chan! Now, could you tell those damn ANBU to back off me and Sasuke? Well, maybe not Sasuke – but at least me!"
He then turned to Shizune who was standing beside me, "Are you feeling okay?"
The medic didn't answer as I turned to her as well, "This isn't a genjutsu?" I asked a hand over my pounding chest.
"No," Shizune confirmed, "We ran all the tests and more – they even have the same DNA and chakra patterns!" He leaned up to my ear, "Also, Naruto has the seal of the Kyubbi and Sasuke has Orochimaru's curse seal on the back of his neck! Those can't be faked, Tsunade-sama!"
At the 'they' I moved my gaze to Sasuke who was sitting up and coolly glaring at everyone who looked in his direction. It was surreal to see him so young and sitting there. A part of me wanted to kill him where he sat but I held myself back, gritting my teeth as his onyx eyes flickered over to me and narrowed.
'What audacity', I thought with a distasteful frown. But before I acted on that matter I needed all the facts.
"Naruto," I said, my mind boggled as I stood and walked over to his bedside.
The whiskered boy sighed in relief, "Yeah? You were worrying me for a second there! But at least you don't look any different!"
I gave him a weak smile, "I wish I could say the same."
Naruto blinked and looked down at himself, "Oh! You mean the injuries? Well, that was the teme, of course!"
My eyes widened as I looked over to Sasuke, "You mean the Uchiha?" I snapped as Naruto just shrugged, gesturing to Sasuke.
"Well yeah, you gave us the mission after all!" He exclaimed, his expression brightening. "And I did it! Wait until Sakura-chan gets here!"
Sasuke scoffed and said nothing as Naruto shot a glare at him.
I sat down on the edge of Naruto's bed, keeping a smile of my face (how could I not be?) as Naruto faced me again. "I want you to tell me everything you remember before waking up here, Naruto." I ordered gently.
After a pause, Naruto scratched the back of his head. "Well it was just like I said! You gave Shikamaru the mission to rescue Sasuke and me, Kiba, Chouji, Neji, and Shikamaru went – we all got separated because we ended up fighting different Sound-nin! How are they by the way? Those assholes over there wouldn't tell us a thing!" He said loudly, pointing to the ANBU in the corner.
I stared at him mutely as I looked over to Sasuke, "You confirm this." I stated.
Sasuke just rolled his eyes and sneered, "Does it matter? What else could have happened?" He deadpanned.
I narrowed my brown eyes at the lack of respect in his tone as my mind reeled with all this information. It was hardly even conceivable.
I stood and gazed down at the two twelve year old boys. "You're telling the truth." I said sadly and hopefully all at once. Based on those tests and the seals…it must be true.
Naruto threw his hands up in frustration, "What is all this suspicion anyway?" He tugged at his shirt collar and pulled out a string.
My eyes widened as he yanked out the necklace I had given his all those years ago when he declared he would be Hokage. 'My God…' I sighed heavily.
Tears of relief, anguish, fear, and so many other things I couldn't be bothered with at the moment gathered at my eyes and I went forward and hugged Naruto with all my might.
He choked in alarm, patting my back awkwardly as his face scrunched up in confusion. "Did I miss something?" he asked uncertainly.
I let a bitter laugh escape as after another moment I let go of Naruto and nodded to Shizune who was crying behind me. "You may leave, ANBU." I dismissed them as they all disappeared in a flash.
I noticed the Uchiha was watching me suspiciously as I cleared my throat, "You both may be shocked at what I'm about to tell you – but before I do – do you remember anything strange occurring before you…" I grasped for an accurate word, "passed out?"
Naruto turned to Sasuke who just stared ahead in silence and shook his head, "Nothing much – Sasuke and I were fighting but then we both passed out, I guess…" He tilted his head to the side in the normal 'Naruto' thinking pose.
"We ran at each other with Rasengan and Chidori – I suppose it made a big explosion because I remember a lot of darkness and shaking…" Naruto trailed off.
"But what does that matter now?" The Kyubbi container asked me again.
I stood in between their beds so I could gauge both of their reactions as I started the only way I knew how.
"Uzumaki Naruto had been missing for twelve years. Uchiha Sasuke has been missing for fifteen." I stated as Naruto blue eyes went wide with unrestrained shock.
I continued, "Naruto you were fifteen when you left Konoha to track down and fight Uchiha Sasuke who had left three years prior for Sound to gain power in order to avenge his clan."
I saw the Uchiha tense out of the corner of my eye as I went on, "No one knows what became of you, Naruto – you left without consulting anyone on the matter. We all thought Sasuke killed you and even though we have been trying to look for him and you ever since then nothing had ever turned up. It's as if you both disappeared.
Others think you did away with each other and while that is possible as I said before we found no evidence anywhere to attest to that theory. There are many opinions on what happened twelve years ago but it is only that – opinions. And now out of the blue here you both are sitting here on my hospital beds. Your twelve and probably have no idea what I'm talking about but you still must understand." I stressed, aware at how unbelievable I sounded.
Naruto for once appeared speechless; his mouth dropped wide open as he just stared at me incredulously.
"Bullshit," I whipped my head to Sasuke who was now glaring full force in my direction, "I don't believe a word you say – it's impossible. How could we be fifteen years into the future?"
I crossed my arms and frowned down at him, "Remember your place, Uchiha."
The sharingan-user raised a brow, "Why? You say I'm a missing-nin, right?" He snorted and looked away.
"That's right," I confirmed tersely, "You are." I snapped my fingers as two ANBU appeared beside me instantly.
"Detain him." I ordered, pointing to Sasuke as he was immediately bound with wires and chakra drainers. I smirked at his scowl as he uselessly struggled.
"Baa-chan!" Naruto said, "The teme didn't mean that – really!" He said, throwing a furtive glare to Sasuke who didn't respond.
"I don't care if he did or he didn't – Sasuke may have not committed any crimes as of yet but he still at twelve attempted to leave Konoha, and managed it the first time." I replied adamantly. "We'll continue this discussion in my office, away from prying ears."
I stood and with a nod to the ANBU they escorted Sasuke with me and Naruto (who silenced all his impending questions with a stern glance from me – for a moment I was reminded harshly of when he was twelve and fifteen, because the fifteen year old Naruto would have just ignored it) as we walked to the Hokage building.
I heard a sharp gasp from behind me as I glanced over my shoulder to see Naruto open-mouthed at all the changes in Konoha from his time period. The broken down buildings, the frightened looking people, the constant ninja guards, and the overall tense atmosphere must have made it seem like a different world.
Perhaps it was.
Sasuke however was viewing the changes indifferently with a guarded expression about him that seemed more paranoid than anything.
We entered my office in a few short moments as I paused at the doorway and stopped Shizune from coming in.
"Shizune, I need you to do something for me." I said in a low voice, careful not to let either Sasuke or Naruto hear me as they sat down on the seats in front on my desk. The ANBU waited patiently behind a murderous looking Sasuke.
"Hai?" Shizune snapped to attention.
"Get Sakura for me," I began with a heavy heart, "she out of everyone deserves to know of the boys' return… or rather, their skip in time. But make sure you don't bring her directly here; come get me before so I can explain it to her in the office down the hall before she sees them. I don't want to give her a shock… or a heart attack." I supplied, sighing.
"Also… contact Hyuga Hinata afterwards. She also needs to know of this."
Shizune nodded, "And what about Kakashi-san?"
"He's on a mission, but send him word anyhow." I answered as she gave another firm nod and walked away to do her duties.
I faced the room and cleared my throat getting everyone's (minus the Uchiha) attention, "You may leave ANBU, I can handle this from here on out. Thank you for your assistance."
The two masked ANBU bowed, "Tsunade-sama," with that, they disappeared in two identical bursts of white smoke.
I closed the door and walked over to my desk, slowly sitting down as I regarded to two past gennin.
'Okay… where do I even begin?' I thought tiredly. So much has changed…
"Before you ask any questions… I want to finish telling you everything that has happened since you two went missing so you'll understand our situation better. I believe you two know by now about the Akatsuki organization?"
At their nods, I continued, "The Akatsuki has grown to immeasurable lengths. Before you two disappeared, they were being pushed back by our forces. It had seemed back then like a battle we could hope to win. However, that changed the day the next Hokage vanished without a trace."
"…the next Hokage?" Naruto said mutely, the confusion still blatant in his eyes.
"Yes," I answered, my own gaze softening slightly on Naruto, "You were about to take my position. The counsel had just given their approval."
Naruto eyes widened in silent, stunned disbelief, I couldn't help but remember the determination the young Naruto of the past held. He was so close… so close to realizing his dream. Then, he vanished without a trace.
"Uzumaki Naruto was to be the next Hokage and Sound had been destroyed about two months prior by one missing-nin Uchiha Sasuke. It seemed you hadn't let Orochimaru take over your body like he had planned."
Sasuke's indifferent expression gained some interest as he studied my words closely, as if inspecting them for their validity under a microscope. 'Even now, he proves untrustworthy.'
"We never found Orochimaru's body, but we know he never successfully possessed you due to the termination of his village. Naruto had been unsure though, and knew that your next step would be to locate and kill your older brother, Uchiha Itachi."
At this Sasuke tensed and sat up in his chair, binds and all as Naruto eyed him nervously.
I forced myself to continue, "Even though we tried everything to get him to stay, Naruto left the village in search of Sasuke. Despite all the other failed attempts of rescue and capture, he was sure he could bring Sasuke back this time since he hadn't let himself be taken over by Orochimaru.
Naruto mentioned he still had a promise to complete… and left."
I sighed tiredly, trying to smother the pain in my voice, "Neither Naruto or Sasuke were ever seen or heard from again. Since that day, the Akatsuki had gone rampant. Grass, Stone, Cloud, Wave, and Mist have already fallen to them. Leaf and Sand hang on by an edge but we are fighting a losing war."
Sasuke and Naruto were quiet with their thoughts as I closed my eyes and collected myself silently, "There is one more important thing you should know... but I will leave that for Sakura to explain. She is the one with the right to."
Naruto's head darted up at that, "Sakura-chan!" The fox boy exclaimed, "Is she coming?"
I nodded hesitantly, throwing a glance over to the Uchiha to only see his long dark raven bangs covering his eyes. 'It wasn't him… no, yet anyway.' But even though I told myself that, the desire to punch him through the wall with all my strength remained.
I looked over to Sasuke again with mild surprise at his icy voice.
"How do you think we were thrown fifteen years into the future? It's impossible. It has to be…" Sasuke's onyx eyes darkened, "We did no jutsu to make this happen. And how do you explain how your time line has me successfully leaving Konoha when it obviously didn't happen this time." He snarled, shrugging towards Naruto.
Naruto rubbed the back of his neck as I shook my head, "Honestly, I'm not sure. Perhaps it was the clash of your techniques…? Well, whatever the case, I will investigate the matter thoroughly. It is quite obvious, I should hope, that we need to get you two back to your appropriate time before something disastrous happens."
Naruto blinked, "But wait! Then wasn't it a bad idea that you told us everything that happened?" He said, alarmed and wary sounding.
Sasuke answered, "Dobe, she told us that because she intends us to change the future in her own subtle way." I glared at his sneer, my hands clenching to give him a good right hook even if he was correct.
"…Oh." Naruto said, sinking down in his chair as he was weighted with all this new information.
A knock resounded on the door as my assistant Shizune poked her head in, "Sakura is here and waiting for you, Tsunade-sama!"
I smiled gratefully at her and stood, "Watch the both of them and make sure they don't go anywhere while I talk to Sakura."
Ignoring Naruto's cry of protest, I walked past Shizune and down the hall wondering how in the hell was I suppose to explain this to my student who already had enough on her shoulders.
I drummed my fingers against my leg impatiently as my thoughts were running away with what Tsunade had just said.
I tuned out Naruto's incredulous murmurings that had started after Tsunade left as my mind narrowed down the facts.
Somehow, Naruto and I had gotten ourselves thrown fifteen years into the future.
I had believed it to be impossible – but Konoha…. The village had been in shambles, which would explain Tsunade's speech of a losing war with the Akatsuki. I clenched my fists, Tsunade had notably left out when she was explaining the details of Naruto's and my vanishing and if I had managed to kill Itachi or not.
It must have been on purpose.
'I hate that damn Hokage…' I mentally cursed.
I looked away; perhaps I could just ask Sakura when she walked in? But Tsunade told us she had something of great importance to tell us… what could it be? I frowned thoughtfully, it could be anything.
'She survived fifteen years, three without either me or Naruto.'
I brushed that thought away, it was difficult to imagine that I would soon be 'meeting' an older Sakura who was…was….what?
I closed my eyes, hearing the hyper yells of Naruto. "Shut up," I snapped sharply as he glared indignantly in return.
"You shut up, teme!" Naruto responded angrily, "You might not care about this but I do! We're in the future! THE FUTURE! And…and… everything went completely wrong! I was going to become Hokage and then I hear you might have killed me!"
Naruto jumped from his seat and yanked me up by my high collared shirt, "Did you kill me?!" He demanded.
I kicked him hard as he dropped my shirt and groaned in pain, holding his right knee.
"Baka, how the hell would I know if I did?" I glared at him in return when he paled at my answer.
"You wouldn't have…"
I smirked, enjoying the expression on his face, "What makes you so sure?"
Naruto fisted his hands and bit his bottom lip, locking me in a fierce glare. "You always say stupid crap like that," He said lowly, "what makes you so sure I didn't kill you? You weren't found either!"
I smirked, "As if you could ever beat me – even yesterday or whenever our last fight was…" I scoffed, "You never put a mark on me."
Naruto shook with fury as the door opened.
We both turned to see a woman with shoulder length pink hair and familiar green eyes walk in. My eyes widened of their own accord as I took the sight of Sakura in. I knew she was going to look different…but…
She was taller and leaner than she was at twelve, and fully grown at what must have been twenty-seven. She was all curves in her red top and white skirt with black spandex shorts underneath. She wore a long knee length medic lab-coat over that as she stared at the both of us in silent wonder.
'Sakura…?' My mind tried to grasp the new image of her.
Sakura was so different but I could see traces of the twelve-year-old here and there. I took a step back, more startled than I wanted to be at how she appeared. Suddenly I had the notion that the room was too small and suffocating…
"Wow, Sakura-chan!" Naruto exclaimed in his own astonishment, "Your one HOT number!" He grinned, running over to her and pausing before making contact at her uneasy expression. "Sakura-chan?"
She looked very pale and I noticed she was trembling slightly.
Sakura smiled in reassurance to our blonde teammate, "I'm sorry… it's just so hard to accept… I can't believe I'm not imagining it, Naruto."
Naruto gave her one of his fox grins, "Nope, we're really here Sakura-chan!"
Sakura moved her gaze over to me and our eyes met. I stiffened at how her expression filled eyes were smothered in sadness for a second as she broke away from my gaze and turned to Naruto again, giving him a big hug.
'What was that?' I stilled, forcing myself to calm my tense nerves. After all, what did I know what happened in the future between us? The last thing I remember is leaving Sakura on that bench…
I fisted my hands again and stared at the ground.
"You really are twelve… it's so strange to see you this age again!" Sakura said weakly, darting her emerald eyes back and forth from the both of us but never again meeting my gaze.
"Tsunade told me she informed you about everything that's happened…"
Naruto nodded, "Is Kakashi-sensei okay? She never mentioned him to us and I got nervous…"
She nodded gently, "He's alright, don't worry. Kakashi-sempai had been given word to come back from his mission early because of this."
"Sempai?" I questioned, eager to distract myself from my thoughts.
Sakura smiled lightly in my general direction, "I haven't called him sensei in years."
"This is crazy." Naruto murmured, shaking his head, "I still don't understand how any of this even happened!"
"There's a lot I still need to explain Naruto." Sakura said, "And as for how you got here, Shishou is already getting a team and gathering information about jumps in time. I'll be helping her shortly as well."
'Shishou?' I frowned, "So Tsunade is your teacher?" I asked airily, gauging her expression. She was supposed to be easy to read.
"Hai." Sakura answered, "But I surpassed her a long time ago as well." She gave a bitter sounding laugh, "I sound old, don't I?"
"No!" Naruto replied immediately, "It's so cool! You're stronger than a sannin!"
I paused at this and realized its truth… that meant in this time period Sakura is stronger than me right now? At my present – or past – twelve year old self? How strong am I right now? The Sasuke in this time?
"Anyway," Sakura interrupted (I noticed how her voice lacked its usual bounciness), "I think Shishou told you how Naruto and you, Sasuke, disappeared twelve years ago, right?"
At this Naruto looked down, "I failed you, didn't I?" He said in a low murmur so that I could barely hear.
"No, Naruto… I failed you." Sakura said softly, her green eyes filling with tears before she brushed them away and turned to me.
"… I failed the both of you."
I tensed at how utterly sad she looked at that moment and wondered what in the hell could have happened. What did I do? Did I hurt her or something? Or is this because I never came back to Konoha? I clenched my jaw; they should have given up by then anyway!
I tore myself away from those green eyes, not liking the stir they caused.
It reminded me too much of the confession and pleas of a Sakura that was only twelve – that happened only a few hours ago to me. But I was never planning to be around for the aftermath.
Sakura cleared her throat, I watched as she now stared unsurely in my direction with an unwavering expression set on her pale features. "I need to tell you something important…"
"Oh yeah! Tsunade mentioned something like that." Naruto said, staring at her expectantly.
Sakura took a deep breath and was about to say something when the door burst open abruptly, a boy of no more than twelve walking in.
I backed up against the desk in shock, staring at the carbon copy of myself.
'What in the world…?' my heart hammered in my chest.
"Satoshi!" Sakura said in surprise.
The boy in question frowned objectively at me and then narrowed his onyx eyes at Naruto before turning to Sakura.
"Kaa-san, who are they?"
'Did he just call Sakura his mother?'
A/N: And that's the first chapter! Please read and review to tell us if we should continue!
Twitch and Spaz