So, after I forgot my stupid password and wasn't able to log on for FOREVER (or so it seemed) I finally got this chapter up, which took a lot of patience that I didn't exactly have.
If I could say what I want to say…
The Konoha metal gates had never looked so intimidating. Large, over powering in a way that would have made him cringe. He roughly held his Konoha hitai-ate in his hands, the scar still marked through it. Mission complete. He thought bitterly to himself, the words he said all the time in the dark caverns. The grass was wet underneath his feet, from morning dew that always came in Konoha. Something he found himself missing. Of course, that wasn't the only thing he missed.
There was Naruto, his best friend who finally convinced him, of course, after his mission was completed.
There was Kakashi, who although blithely, probably still cared.
And that was about everyone…
Aside from the normal emotions he felt in his heart when he thought of her.
But that was a different story entirely. If everything was so simple, he figured they would have been a long romance, but nothing was that simple. It was almost as often as his family did he dream about lost cherry lips, usually resulting in morning wood of the worst kind. That was something that he didn't want, especially in the dreary corridors of sound. But looking at the concrete walls standing before him, he felt a flood of emotions.
"Well…" he grumbled bitterly. "I'm going to kill the dobe if this doesn't work."
He had a feeling if anyone heard that that they would take it seriously.
"Name and passport please." A newly promoted Gennin seemed nervous to greet the man with such an aura.
He slipped his hand into his back pocket soundlessly, pulling out forms.
The Gennin examined the documents, eyes widening considerably. "B-B-B-But your U-Uchiha S-S-Sasuke!"
Amusing enough, Sasuke didn't seem the least bit interested in the Gennin's spasm. "Hn."
"J-Just w-wait a minute…" The Gennin took out a radio commander. "I g-gotta call my commander."
Chuunin captain Uzumaki p-please?
/You need something Konohamaru?/
Y-yeah! Uchiha Sasuke h-has just arrived at the g-gates!!!!!
/Really? I'll be right there./
From what Sasuke heard of their rather short radio conversation, Naruto had been promoted to commander, the scared stiff Gennin in front of him was none other than Konohamaru, and he had an exceeding reputation. Not to mention the fact that whatever plan Naruto had to get him out of execution was nothing short of a miracle.
There was a loud poof, and gray smoke cleared to reveal a definitely grown blonde haired Chuunin captain.
Naruto gave another goofy grin. "Yo! How've you been?"
Sasuke gave a meek smile.
Naruto laughed at that. "Well anyways, I'd escort you, but I've got crappy guard duty! So you just have to get to the Hokage tower without any trouble, okay? Obaa-chan will know what to do, no worries!"
It was strange when Naruto didn't add his usual, "Believe it!"
But nevertheless, Sasuke trekked into the now opened gates; that made a loud screeching noise. Naruto gave the frightened Konohamaru a pat on the back, with his never ending grin as the two watched Sasuke slowly take his first few steps in Konoha since all those years ago. The streets, the buildings, they seemed to look the same, as if nothing changed. But no matter what, he didn't think he'd ever regret his decision.
He knew he shouldn't, but when he remembered that smile…
He shook his head to clear his thoughts.
Sasuke took a few more steps, his eyes wandering from the buildings, engrossed.
Even then, his shinobi instincts made him swivel around to catch an object speeding his way. He grabbed it, looking at the object that turned out to actually be just a simple red ball. He looked at it in wonder, how could he have thought that was a weapon. It seemed to be simply a ball with air in it, maybe a kick ball or something uninteresting and definitely harmless like that. It made him feel pained that he could think this was a weapon. How long had the influence of danger affected him?
The ball he caught must've belonged to a little kid-
"Hey mister, are you going to give that back to me anytime soon?"
He looked down, hearing the defiant tone. "Hn?"
She stretched her arm out, and he met raging emerald eyes. "That ball. It's mine."
"Oh." He tossed the red ball in the air, watching her long black hair spray as she leapt to catch it.
He turned, continuing his trek over to the Hokage tower, not sparing the little girl another glance. She watched his back though, as if wondering where his hitai-ate could have been. Absent-mindedly, she rubbed the bruises over her arms, before turning to play with her friends.
The Hokage tower was exactly like he remembered it to be.
Absolutely in-penetrable from the outside, aside from a few guarded windows to high to jump to, and a lot of Chuunin guards at the entrance. They seemed to be newly promoted Chuunin, because they weren't of faces he could recognize. Either way, he walked past them briskly, walking up the stairs to get to the Hokage's office
"State your name and-
"She's expecting me." He cut the ANBU guard off.
They stood stiffly, but otherwise watched him open the doors to the Hokage office. There were mounds and mounds of paperwork, a blonde Hokage working furiously to sign them. That wretched pig was in the corner, sleeping on one of the chairs lined on the walls. He didn't know whether to disturb her or not.
"I know you're there, Uchiha." She grounded out easily.
He blinked, standing rigidly. "I was sent here-
"I know that you little brat." Tsunade slammed a fist into the table, and the ground quaked. "Do you have any idea how much Naruto risked for you to stay in here? Not only are you not going to be executed, you're just going to get interrogated and maybe ANBU for at the most a MONTH. Do you have any idea how difficult that was for him?!"
Sasuke wasn't sure if he should reply or just let her continue her rant.
She sighed. "The Uchiha Compound is where you're going to sleep, okay?"
He nodded absently.
"I don't wan you loitering around the Konoha gates either. It's going to make suspicions that are going to put mine, and Naruto's finally forthcoming reputations. And something else important…
Sasuke raised a brow, as if edging her on.
"Stay.Out.Of.Trouble." She emphasised her point by jabbing him with a chakra enhanced finger. "It's going to really suck for all the people that helped you get in here nearly scott free if you blow it and go off to that other Uchiha."
Of course he had known that the Hokage would have said that. But it was the part where she mentioned that it was more than just Naruto who wanted him back in Konoha, something he hadn't figured when he thought about Team 7. He was fairly sure Sakura must've just about hated him, after all they had been through. He himself knew that he hadn't exactly came back just for her...but he was fairly certain some part of him had wanted to see Sakura again. They had alot of history, he supposed.
They had only had one other encounter when they were eighteen….
"Hai…" His voice sounded a little hesitant, as he dwindled closer and closer to the door.
"Good." The female Hokage grounded out. "Now scram!"
Although begrudgingly, already hearing rumors of how powerful the Hokage's punch was, and not willing to get to feel it full hand. Exiting almost as quietly as he came, he didn't miss the, "I need sake" from the Hokage as he closed the door. Idly he wondered how on Earth Naruto was able to get him such little punishment, but he figured it had to do with something like the fact the council always seemed to like him oddly enough…
At least him and Naruto had no hard feelings, just where was Sakura though?
"Hinata-chan, I'm home!"
Ebony tresses fell over her shoulder, as she looked up from pouring tea, brushing the strands out of her face. Endless blue met pale lavender in an exchange of emotions, relaying from happiness to sadness in nearly the mere seconds their eyes locked. It was enough to make the Hyuga Jounin a little heart-felt.
She knew what he was happy for. For her, for his new promotion to Chuunin captain, to the Jounin Exams on the horizon, for Sasuke coming home, and the he too was finally in the village long enough to take part in the Jounin exams. And his sadness, the fact that Sakura hasn't been in the village in over a year now, that there was a little terribly sad girl sitting in their kitchen, that Sasuke was going to definitely search for Sakura, and that everything he worked for might just be in vain.
But she returned his smile evenly, offering him tea.
He shook his head.
"What are you guys, mute or something?" A rude interruption to their silent plea. "Seriously, you haven't talked at all yet!"
Naruto opened his mouth. "Shut it little squirt; your elders are talking!"
"Elders my ass!" The girl counted indignantly on her fingers. "You're only… 17 years older than me!"
"I'm 23," He mocked. "And you; are just 5."
She stuck her tongue at him.
"Now, now you two." Hinata sighed. "Always getting into fights like this! I don't know what's came over you two now…"
"He-he-he," Naruto rubbed the back of his head sheepishly. "Sorry Hinata-chan."
"Yeah…Sorry Hinata-ba-chan." (ba means aunt…right?)
"It's fine." Hinata blushed. "I didn't think you guys would apologize so quickly."
"Well it wasn't one of our real debates anyways." Naruto sat down, staring into jade eyes. "But it's just with…him coming back that I-
"Him?" The little girl interrupted, viridian eyes lit. "Who's him? Some guy you used to know? Secret lover? Maybe even your child or something! Come on….TELL me!"
Naruto sent an icy glare that shut her up. "It's not for you to know."
Hinata could sense the tension. "Rei-chan, why don't you head upstairs? You need to take a bath from all that playing."
The corks in the girls head ticked by, as if she already knew what they were planning. She pouted, but none the less, trudged up the stares unwillingly and Hinata and Naruto heard the sound of the bathroom door sliding shut, and knew she had actually listened to them. Hinata gave a defeated sigh, looking at her reflection in the jasmine tea she had already prepared.
Meanwhile, Naruto seemed to do the same thing. He listened for the tell tale shut of the door, and knew that they could talk about the topic in silence. It's not that he didn't like the girl; it's just that, she reminds him of all the times he'd fight with him… As if he was still the same, reborn into another fire-spitting spirit just like his own. And he too, looked into the reflection in his tea.
Naruto broke the silence. "So he's back."
"But what about…" Hinata looked down. "What about S-Sakura-chan?"
"I asked the Hokage today again." He sighed. "But she didn't have any news. I think she's still mad at me because I keep asking her everyday. I know I shouldn't worry but…"
Hinata cut his ramblings off. "But we don't know anymore if Sakura-chan is-
"Don't even say it." Naruto grounded out. "Sakura-chan would never do that; she wouldn't just die on some stupid mission. I-I know her, and she cares way too much about us to ever think of going out and dieing."
"But Naruto-kun, it's been almost a year now, and Sakura's mission was only supposed to take 10 months…" Hinata mumbled off.
"But it was an S-class mission!" Naruto reasoned. "It's not unheard of to have to spend another few months getting out of the mission. There could have been something that went array and Sakura just had to re-position herself for the time being!"
Naruto…Hinata thought sadly, watching the blonde get himself worked up.
"However pressing Sakura-chan's whereabouts may be…" Hinata drifted her eyes to the upstairs. "What are we going to do with Rei?"
Naruto looked up to the upstairs too. "We promised Sakura-chan we'd look after her, I would never ever give her up to some stupid adopted-
"It's not that I don't want Rei to stay with us, Naruto-kun." Hinata interrupted. "But, saying if Sakura-chan does not return, what is going to happen to Rei?"
Naruto paused. "What do you mean by that?"
"She'll be mother-less, Naruto-kun. And as much as I care for her, we can never replace her parent…err…parents. However, now that the other one is back, even if Sakura doesn't show, Rei will still have another-
"No." Naruto's eyes almost bled red. "As much as Sasuke and I have been friends recently, I'll never forgive him for what he did to Sakura-chan. Never. And I don't think he's actually responsible enough to take care of a child."
"I suppose you are right about that." Hinata sighed.
"So Rei stays with us." Naruto put his "And Sakura-chan will come back, I know it…Believe it."
Hinata couldn't help but smile at her boyfriend's optimism. It was something she missed over the three years that he left to go train with Jiraiya. And although he had to re-take the Chuunin Exams, he passed, and was now going to become a Jounin just like herself. It felt as if the world was recollecting. Until everything went downhill again, Sakura was a single parent, sent on a long-term mission because she was the only one who could.
Sakura always had to put her friends and village before her, and now, Rei too.
What's with this village anyways? Sasuke thought bitterly. He came back for nothing. He thought that coming back would fill the hole in his chest, a hole that not even killing his brother seemed to close.
And, as he grudgingly walked to the house he didn't want to go to, he noticed the wind that picked up and fluttered his usually un-fluttering hair.
"Go away god damn wind."
It was like that stupid wind was always there when he was stuck in a grump, and he hated it. Truthfully, and for some odd reason, there had always been something of a draft in the corridors of sound, even in the dog days of summer. It made him wonder if the wind had a personal vendetta against him or something, it followed him around helplessly. And yet…it was always there, persistently popping back into his life, something he couldn't say from most things.
"What the hell is wrong with me?" Sasuke grounded out, feeling his head. "I'm debating about the wind!"
And it seemed that the breeze past him by, fluttering over to someone else to bother at that comment. He followed, the only traces of the moving current was the fluttering of leaves or the sound of wispy lost whispers in a blurred form of a thousand souls, unable to talk coherently without sounding like just a lot of noise. It moved soundlessly, until he heard the abrupt banging on the Hyuga door compound did he know where it went.
Either way, he had stopped debating about the wind when he opened the door, the steal grates screeching as they were pulled apart unwillingly.
It was like looking at a ghost town.
And he hated it.
He held a hand to his mouth, dust flying everywhere, even from the plants, that seemed long dead, frozen in the state they were when everything had went awry. But he spent some hours of his life, wondering if it would have been better if his family was alive? Would it? Or would he have been confined to a life where his parents had expected everything of him.
It was a regretting decision now.
But he would never pull back the hands of time, even though it was too late to play the role of a martyr, he knew it was true. He didn't deserve it. For all the other people's happiness he had spilt for his own, and then, he still couldn't get happiness.
He gripped his head rather comically. "Dammit I'm such an idiot!"
The wind fluttered through skies of azure, through the west gate, over the east gate, and then finally reached the north gate. There were two new Gennin sitting on the side, watching the deserted dirt path, with sleepy eyes. It wasn't that they wanted to sleep; it's just that this gate was never used. There was so much more traffic over on the east gate.
"Why couldn't we just go to the east gate?" One groaned, slamming his head into the concrete wall. "…ow…"
"You're such an idiot Konohamaru." The female brushed her pig-tailed hair. "You should know better than to do that."
Konohamaru folded his arms. "Yeah well there's never anyone here-
He stopped, as he heard the slight crunch of leaves, and the distant sensation of someone he knew.
Moegi turned her head too, finally stopped brushing her hair, and leaned to look into the forest. "You hear something?"
He nodded. "Didn't you?"
"No." Moegi scoffed, until she too heard the crunch of leaves.
She stood up immediately, in a slight defensive position. A hooded figure came through the bramble, a black cloak covering the head and everything but the legs. It had to be a shinobi, from the sandals and the shinobi pants. But, why would anyone go the North gate, instead of the east like usual? North lead from Cloud; and no one from Cloud was allowed. Well, Cloud and Sound, as the Uchiha had entered from there not too long ago.
"Who are you?" Konohamaru held out his hand. "You have to state your name, village, and rank and give me your passport."
It seemed that the unknown figure was laughing.
"Ah, you little kids are so cute."
The cloak rippled as she leapt over them easily, jumping to the top of the gate and disappearing over it, leaving Moegi and Konohamaru staring wide eyes. It was as if…she was flying. So easily did she leap over the towering concrete walls that the wind seemed to push the two Gennin back, all the way into the gates. It left them watching the cloaked figure land gracefully on one of the buildings, leaping from roofs to the Hokage tower.
We've got a problem at the North Gate! Someone just hopped the wall and is heading to the Hokage tower at approximately 70 miles per hour!
/Got it Konohamaru./
The boy put his transmitter down, following what little he saw of the black cloak now.
"W-Who was that?!" He gawked.
"I-I…" Moegi stared. "I don't know…"
The cloaked figure was speeding off, with a giant leap, nearly hurling into the Hokage's office, papers fluttering everywhere.
"WHAT THE HELL?!?" Tsunade growled out. "I just FIXED all these papers!"
It was then that the blonde Hokage realized there was another person in the room, and quickly slid into a quick defense position. She was glaring, not to mention growling at the intruder, and she only received what she thought to be a rather un-intimidated look from the face she couldn't see. It was then she studied the shinobi pants that she knew it was definitely a ninja. But from what country…?
"Who are you?!"
"If you really don't want me around-
The cloaked figure leapt for the window to be caught by someone it hadn't expected. A strong muscled arm kept her from leaping out the open window, a breeze caressing her face, hair beginning to slip out of its carefully placed bun, few slips of it, flowing in the wind. She mentally cursed. And looking at the arm, that was clothed in a dark color, this man, had to be ANBU.
"Not yet." It was an aloof voice that came from the man. "I would have left our dear Hokage-sama alone, but I couldn't help but see the commotion."
It only took two words and she knew who was talking.
"So, mind telling us who you are exactly?" The man pushed her back into the room.
"P-P-P-P…" Tsunade couldn't even get the word out of her mouth.
The man's only visible eyes furrowed as he studied the cloaked figure. "Pink hair? But that means…"
Of course, the woman who was now identified was already cursing her hair, and it's one of a kind shade.
Well, I suppose this is a rather long prologue compared to the ones out there. I didn't want it to be like one of those short teaser kinds of things. I hate those, because then I don't know if the author will make all of the chapters THAT small unless they wrote it in an author note.
But I'll stop rambling, REVIEW!!!