Edit: Well, hello. This is my first story, most of you will know. I'm working on the 45th chapter but decided to go back and rewrite the first chapter to get the writer's juices flowing. Well, my task is done but now i don't feel like writing anymore at the moment. Epic fail on my part.
Well, Ta da! First chapter rewriten. Made some changes, but nothing too major i think. I decided that i wanted Sakura to live with her parents instead of the apartment in the original version. But this minor change has now affected teh next few chapters, but not my much, i hope. So for those who are reading this for the first time and i have yet to edit the following chapters, sorry for the confusion. I'll get on the task of fixing this glich soon.
Well, enough of me talking. Enjoy the rewitten-ness.
The office dark except for the one lamp on the desk. Tsunade sat, her head resting in her hand in a frustrated manner as she tried, and failed, to focus on the piles of paperwork that had accumulated on her desk. Her eyes scanned the paper in front of her lazily before she sighed and put down her pen, leaning back in defeat.
Normally if something was bothering her, then she would try to fix it. But this time was different. Very different because she was unsure as to what she should. She had so much to consider for this one decision.
If she does decide to do it, then the whole thing could backfire on her. He wasn't called a traitor for nothing, after all. He has a pretty bad record and could cause problems. On the other hand, it could be what the village needed. He could someday, if she decided that he could be trusted enough, be a Konoha shinobi again, making the village stronger. And maybe he could even fill in the hole in Naruto and Sakura.
'Maybe' is the key word.
She sighed again and pulled out the file that was bothering her so much. She stared at the file blankly, not daring to open it. She took a deep breath, thinking deeply about the dilemma she was presented with.
A knock sounded at the door and she jumped. With her heart raising, she struggled to keep her scare out of her voice when she answered. "Yes, what is it?"
A familiar voice sounded from behind the door. "Sensei, it's me. Can I come in?"
Tsunade blinked and quickly threw another stack of files on top of file she had been thinking about. After making sure the file was safely out of sight, she spoke. "Yes." she said quickly.
Sakura entered with a smile on her face. Tsunade smiled back, it coming out strained as she tried to keep her nervousness off her face. Sakura blinked, knowing that some thing was wrong with her sensei but decided against saying anything. If she had learnt anything while under her tutorship, it was to mind her own business. With Tsunade, she would talk about it when she was ready and if you press than she will unleash her wrath upon you.
Sakura looked around the dark room and felt a horrible weight on her shoulders. Eying the stack paperwork that needed to be done, she knew her sensei would be spending a lot of time working on it all. She looked down at the folders in her hand and sighed, knowing she was about to dump another days work on her sensei's desk.
She crossed the room in a leisurely manner and placed the pile of paperwork in the corner where the pile wasn't as high. "These are the files on today's patients at the hospital. I'm about to head home, but, if you'd like, I could stay and help you go through all this," she said, gesturing loosely to the mess of papers that hide the top of the desk from view.
With a wave of the hand and an overly nonchalant attitude, Tsunade quickly dismissed her student's help. "That won't be necessary," she said quickly, earning an odd look from her student, "Go home and have a nice relaxing bath. Oh! And have at least one glass of sake for me."
Sakura eyed her for a moment before shrugging off and bowing with a smile. Wishing her sensei a goodnight, she received a fake smile and a similar response before she left the room, shutting the door after herself.
Once the door closed, Tsunade let out a deep sigh of relief that she alone again. Sitting for a moment to twiddle her thumbs, she pulled open the folder that she had hidden and stared at it, in a complete lose as to what to do. Slowly, she opened the folder and reread the contents for what seemed like the thousandth time today. No matter how many times she read it, or how much she wished it to change, it was always the same. She just didn't want to deal with it.
'Well at least he sent a letter asking for permission. No one doubts that he could have just snuck in and then came to me, creating an even bigger pain for me. And by taking the time to send it, he must be serious. He wouldn't risk of getting caught and all the hell he would get from his sensei if he wasn't serious,' Tsunade contemplated.
With a deep breath, she reread the letter, as much to reassure herself that she wasn't making this whole thing up than to try and get a better mindset of how she was going to deal with this problem.
Dear Fifth Hokage,
I know my record is working against me and you would like nothing more than to just pretend this letter never came. However, I just ask that you hear me out. I know what I am about to ask will not please you, but I must ask anyways. I, Sasuke Uchiha, am requesting to come back to Konoha with my nephew, Seto Uchiha. Due to certain circumstances, I have been put in charge of the young boy. We are currently living in the Sound Village under command of the snake, Orochimaru. However, as I'm sure you will understand, I can not keep him in this village, so close to Orochimaru and his ever deepening thirst for the Uchiha blood. Let it be known that my brother will have nothing to do with this besides being the father of Seto.
I know I do not deserve any sort of kindness from you or another person. However, I do not ask for my own sake. I will take whatever is thrown at me because I deserve every bit of it. Seto, on the other hand, has done nothing but have the misfortune to be born into the dysfunctional and disgraceful Uchiha family. If you will not allow me into the Village, which I would understand and not blame for you, then I ask that you at least put Seto with a good family that is equipped to care for an Uchiha child. I am in no position to negotiate, so I will expect anything you will give me. I'm not equipped to care for this child here in the Sound Village. For his sake, I am seeking your help as to get him to a proper environment.
Tsunade placed the letter down and closed the folder in disgust, suddenly sickened by the wave of guilt and pity she felt for the poor boy. She placed her hand over her eyes and leaned back in her chair, cursing which ever god put this weight on her shoulders. And with a even harsher curse, she decided that she hated the god that was responsible for giving this huge decision to her and hadn't even had the decency to at least give her sake with it.
'Damn it all,' she cursed.
He sat by the window, feeling his eyes droop from sleep deprivation. He was stressed, and when he was stressed his mind starts working in hyper drive, constantly going in such as way as to cause even more stress. This results in his inability to claim some sleep, even though he desperately needed it. Then added to the fact that he had several hours of intense training with his sensei today, was awoken by Seto in the wee hours of the morning and then had to watch the boy for the entire day, it left him feeling as if he would drop to the floor any second.
But he couldn't allow this to happen. He had planned it all carefully and if he fell asleep now, he would surely miss his chance to escape and then the whole thing would be ruined. For both his and Seto's sake, he wouldn't allow that to happen.
He glanced at the small figure laying on the bed. The boy's raven hair was sprawled out on the sheets, his hair tangled from tossing around. His eyes were closed and his face was completely calm, a expression of pure innocence that tugged on Sasuke's heartstrings. The blankets were tangled around his limbs, in a way very similar to the way Naruto used to sleep, and his hand loosely clutched his favorite stuffed animal, a snake.
Sasuke listened to his light and even breaths, knowing that he had to get him out of this hellhole. It was too dangerous to have him so close to Orochimaru, who everyday was eying the boy more. The snake had even suggested to Sasuke to let him start training, though he was only he was only two, soon to be three.
Plus, the Sound nin weren't exactly angels either. Most were here because they had no other place to go, while others had done some sort of crime and joined Sound to escape prosecution of their own home. While Sasuke and Seto had their own private quarters away from the general population, they still were put in contact with them all more than Sasuke liked.
After sitting for an immeasurable time, Sasuke finally stood, deciding that it was time. Most of the base was fast asleep or were in the common area partying or hanging out. Now was the best time to move out.
He slung his bag over is shoulder, containing a little food and a few pairs of clothes each. Quietly and carefully, he stepped up towards the bed and adjusted the blanket around the boy before he gently picked him up. As if sensing Sasuke's warmed and protecting presence, the boy automatically cuddled up against the teen's chest, tucking himself into his chest in just the right way.
Sasuke made a move to cross the room but stopped when the stuffed snake slipped from the boy's hand. He eyed it for a moment but turned away from it, not wanting to risk waking Seto up while trying to pick it up with his hands full like they were. He mentally promised to buy Seto another one as he reached the door.
Opening it and glancing down the hall, he then exited the room and turned to take one last glance at the room he had called his safe haven for the last few months. He took a deep breath, knowing that he was closing a door on a chapter of his life. He exhaled deeply and turned away without a second glance. He was ready for this chapter to end so that a brighter one would open. He was tired of the cold, damp, life of the underground. He needed life, he needed light. He needed Seto to be happy.
It wasn't long before he was out of the secret base, fleeing to his hometown. He was able to get out without being noticed, but he still traveled quickly in order to try and get as much distance between the Sound and himself. Being extra careful not to jostle the sleeping child in his arms, he ran quickly, jumping through the trees.
It was nearly dawn when he reached the village gates. With a sudden burst of energy, he dropped down from the trees and slowly strolled towards a pair of men standing guard at the gate. He ignored their presence and tried to enter but the two quickly stepped in front of him. He blinked and then tried to go around but they block his path yet again. They had on masks, but Sasuke didn't recognize their chakra.
"What is your business here?" the first one asked. He was a rather large man and Sasuke couldn't help but picture him sitting on his opponent to end the fight. Sasuke mentally chuckled at the idea, there was no coming back from that one.
Sasuke glanced over at the second one. He was a tall and skinny man. From the looks of it, he could probably be blown away by a strong gust of wind and looked as if he might drop dead if he didn't get some fat on his body and stat. The teen also noticed that the man was eyeing the bundle in his arms. Seto was bundled up tightly to protect him from the cool October air. He was hidden from view and it looked at if Sasuke was just carrying some sort of odd bundle.
"What's in the bundle?" the second man finally asked after staring for awhile.
Sasuke, acting on instinct, leaned away in such as way as to hide the bundle from view the best he could and held Seto tighter to his chest. The men exchanged a glance and Sasuke realized his reflex action had made them even more suspicious of him.
Sasuke looked straight ahead and sighed, feeling his exhaustion worming its way into every inch of his body yet again. He shifted all of his and Seto's weight to is one side and made a move to dig in his pockets. The guards jumped at his sudden movement and quickly got into fighting stances. Sasuke just eyed them incredulously before he finally dug out a pass Tsunade had given him.
Calmly, he held it out to the large man, who hesitantly took it while the skinny man stayed alert and focused on Sasuke's every move, ready to attack at any moment. The large man skimmed over the pass and then waved off his partner, who reluctantly got out of a fighting stance. But instead of letting him just pass, then exchanged a glance and then turned back to the teen.
"We will let you pass, but you have to show us what is in the bundle," the first one said.
Sasuke blinked and glanced at them. The words "like hell," came straight to mind, feeling protective of the boy. He chewed on his lip for a moment. "And what if I don't want to show you? What are you going to do?"
The men seemed angered by his words, if not slightly insulted by his attitude. Sasuke made a mental note to work on his attitude. People seem to dislike him in general and his attitude doesn't exactly help him. He had been trying to work on it for Seto's sake, not wanting to get the two of them in more trouble than they already have. It's a work in progress.
"First of all, you will not be allowed to pass and second, you will be leaving here hurt. It would be wise to show us, now," the large man said and Sasuke noted that he seemed to be more talkative than his partner.
Sasuke glanced over the men. They didn't look like much, but he didn't want to underestimate them. With that being said, he was confident that he could take them out if it came down to it. But he hoped that it wouldn't come to that, because that would be messy and he really just didn't feel like wasting the limited energy he had left. He sighed and shifted his weight, trying to keep himself moving so he wouldn't collapse. "Look, I'm not in the mood. I'm not afraid of your little threats and I honestly don't feel like dealing with you. Let me pass, I have a meeting with the Hokage that I am currently late for."
The men ground their teeth together, seeming insulted again. Sasuke rolled his eyes, while secretly feeling proud of himself. Pissed them off after spending less then ten minutes with them, has to be a new record.
"Why you little-," the large man started but Sasuke interrupted him, not wanting to let him finish the thought.
"I'm not going to tell you again. Move."
The large suddenly seemed to reach his limit and stepped forward. Sasuke quickly shifted his weight again so that he could free up his hand. The man grabbed Sasuke's arm and the teen quickly twisted around so that he could get a grip on the man's arm as well. With sudden strength, Sasuke gripped the man's arm tightly, causing the man to let out a yelp of pain and to release his arm.
Sasuke tightened his hold on the man's arm slightly to make his point. The man shouted again, and Sasuke glared at the other man with his Sharingan, effectively keeping the man from stepping to help his partner. "You really shouldn't have tested me. I told you to move and you didn't. I'm tired and I'm cranky, and now I'm pissed off," Sasuke growled, but suddenly stopped and released the man and stepped back.
The two men eyed him as he adjusted his grip on the bundle, that was now moving. They stepped back too, suddenly afraid of the teen and what might pop out of the mysterious bundle. Sasuke briefly glanced at them before he turned to look at Seto, who popped his head out of his blanket and looked around with his eyes hanging down heavily due to sleepiness. He looked around in confusion, glancing at the two men and then a calm Sasuke.
"What's going on, Daddy? Where are we?" he asked, tucking his head against the teen's neck.
The two men blinked in confusion, trying to think it over. Apparently, they concluded, the teen that had almost just kicked their ass was a father and almost did it while holding his son. They eyed the two, unable to deny the resemblance between the two, though the age of the two of them were kind of scary to think about.
Sasuke smiled lightly at the boy and then switched back to a blank face as he turned to the men. "Does this mean I can pass?" he asked, and they nodded dumbly in response.
He smirked and then glanced at the man's arm, seeing distinct bruises of each one of his fingers imprinted in the man's skin. "Sorry about your arm. In my defense, you attacked me first," he said, walking slowly past them. "I'm going to tell the Hokage that."
"What's a Hokage?" Seto asked while mispronouncing the word, his eyes slowly starting to droop again.
Sasuke smirked and secured the blanket around him again. "The Hokage is the leader of the Konoha, the Village Hidden in the Leaf."
Seto nodded slowly and closed his eyes again. It wasn't long before soft snores were omitted from the small boy. Sasuke smiled softly and made his way through the familiar streets towards the Hokage Tower. Lucky for him, it was still very early and no one was really out yet and he was able to slip into the Hokage Tower without further trouble.
He slowly made his way to Tsunade's office, where he knocked softly on the large wooden door. "Come in," sounded from behind in a tired voice and Sasuke slowly entered.
While Sasuke closed the door behind him, Tsunade took the time to study him. He had grown, that was for sure. He had the same raven hair and pale skin, though his face looked worn from lack of sleep. He was taller, leaner, and possibly the most handsome man she had ever seen, and was no longer a little boy anymore. Though only eighteen, he looked much older and wiser than someone of his own age. She blinked, thinking that he had probably been through more than a person of his own age as well, probably resulting in his wiser and much older appearance.
Tsunade stood and Sasuke crossed the room to stand in front of her desk. She held out her hand and he took it without complaint, holding the small boy in a bundle with his other hand. She eyed the boy for a moment, silently noting that he was quite a cute kid, before she turned her attention back to the teen. "Thank you for seeing me," he said, obviously taking great pains to be polite and accommodating to her. She noted this fact and also made note of the Great Uchiha Pride he was surely wounding by doing this.
She nodded and gestured for him to sit. He nodded and did so, making sure that Seto was comfortable before looking up to the woman that decided his fate. She was studying him carefully and after a moment she took a deep breath and then looked away, choosing to focus on the papers on her desk. "Well, lets not beat around the bush," she started.
Sakura exited her bathroom dressed in her colorful undergarments and a pair of matching knee-high socks. With a toothbrush sticking out of her mouth, she walked over to her dresser and grabbed her hairbrush before walking back into her private bathroom. Spitting out the toothpaste, she quickly rinsed out the tool and her mouth before she brushed through her hair, grabbing the blow dryer and starting on her hair.
Movement out of the corner of her eyes caught her attention and she turned to see her mother leaning against the doorway. Turning off the blow dryer so that she could hear her mother, she smiled. "Good morning, Mom."
"Morning, sweetheart. I just wanted to remind you of a few things before I leave. I left dinner in the fridge and some money in the jar on top of the fridge in case you want to order out tomorrow," she started before Sakura cut her off.
"Mom, we've been through this. I'm seventeen and I can handle myself for the three days. And I have Aunt Kimi's number in case of emergency," she said, combing through her hair while she stepped towards her mother.
The older woman sighed. "I know. But you know how I hate leaving you alone," she said, gently placing her hands on either side of her daughter face so that she could pull her in to kiss her forehead.
"I'm not a little baby anymore. You can trust me to be able to take care of myself without fear of me being alone. What's going to happen when I move out?"
She mother gave a fake gasp of pain. "Oh, do not say such a thing! You know I would never allow such a thing!" she exclaimed in a teasing manner before kissing her daughter once more. "Okay, I have to get going, the carriage is waiting outside. Goodbye and be careful. Make sure the party you are bound to throw is not too wild," she joked.
Sakura smiled and nodded. "Who says I'm having a party?"
Her mother shook her head and eyed her like it was the most obvious thing in the world. "You are a teenager. It is customary to throw a wild party when both of your parents are out of town. Now, I am not one to break tradition, so just promise that the party isn't too wild."
Sakura snorted at her mother. "Fine, I'll cross the biker gang off the invitation. Happy?"
Her mother smiled brightly and nodded. "Yes," she said before giving her daughter yet another kiss. Sakura smiled and hugged her mom before telling her to scat. Her mother rolled her eyes. "Fine, I'm going. I'll send your love to the family. Oh, before I forget, put some clothes on. I don't know where you picked up the habit to do your hair before getting dressed." she muttered as she exited the room.
Sakura briefly glanced at her underwear clad body before shrugging and walking back over to the mirror to finish her hair. Her father was out of town on a mission while her mother was leaving to visit her crazy aunt and family for three days. Contrary to her mother's teasing, Sakura wasn't going to have a party. She had a work today and then a relaxing weekend to herself all planned out.
After finishing getting ready, she ate a quick breakfast her mother had prepared for her before leaving. With her stomach full, she collected her bag and left for the hospital. She was greeted kindly by the receptionist and then she made her way down to her office, where she found the files for her patients waiting.
She didn't take long in her office before she started on her rounds. Checking in with her patients, she was happy to realize that today was going to be an easy day. Luckily, no one seemed to be dying or really sick. By the looks of it, she would probably be able to start her relaxing weekend early, probably by noon.
Like she had assumed, she was able to leave after only working a few hours. Heading over to the Hokage Tower with a few files in her hand, she hummed happily to herself. While walking, she couldn't help but wonder if her sensei had gotten any sleep or if she had just given up with all that paperwork.
She reached Tsunade's office quickly but stopped when she noticed Shizune outside the closed door, seeming to be waiting. As she got closer, she could see the puzzled look on the older woman's face while she stared at the closed door. "Hey, Shizune, what's going on?"
The jumped upon hearing her voice but quickly recovered from her scare. She gave Sakura a sweet smile. "Oh, hello Sakura. Are you here to report to Tsunade?"
Sakura nodded and glanced at the closed door. "Yeah, There isn't much to report but I thought I would stop by and check up on her. She was working late last night and I just wanted to make sure she didn't overwork herself too much, or worse, get into the sake bottle again," she said, ignoring the fact that her question was unanswered.
"Oh, well Tsunade has someone in there right now, but you can wait out here if you would like. I doubt it will be much longer."
Sakura nodded and they made their way over to the chairs outside the door. They chatted idly about nothing of importance for a little before Sakura glanced at the still closed door. "So, how's in there?"
"Oh, well actually, I don't know. They were already in there when I got in this morning and they wouldn't let me in."
Sakura raised an eyebrow. "Really? Hm, that's odd. Who do you think it is in there?"
Shizune gave another puzzled look before the sound of the door unlocking interrupted their conversation. They stood up and made their way over to the door, which had opened slightly before it stopped. Sakura could hear some muttering from close behind the door but she didn't bother trying to pick out what was being said, not wanting to intrude on someone's business.
After a moment, she heard a strong male voice mutter a 'okay' and a 'thank you' before the door started to open again. She stepped back to make room for the person about to exit but froze when she caught sight of the male standing in the doorway.
He wasn't facing her, instead looking at Tsunade as she stood behind him saying something to him, and he hadn't noticed her yet. She opened her mouth to speak, to say something, to clear me throat and draw their attention, to do something, but found she couldn't. Instead, all she could manage was a small whimper.
As soon as it escaped her lips, she mentally cursed herself. But after a moment, she inner self rationalize that, given the current situation, it was understandable. After all, she was still having a hard time accepting the fact that the Sasuke Uchiha was standing in front of her.
Reviews are welcome.