The Unfinished Paradigm

Summary: Four couples. Three couples cut short and one a blend. Will it work or will it fail like the others?

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or any of the characters used.

A/N: This came to me in a dream….nah. I just took all the similarities and meshed them together with my own twisted thoughts.

Sasuke-kun! Sasuke-kun!

The Uchiha scowled at his memories of before. In the darkness of his room, he was confined to the musings of his mind. Orochimaru had been secretive as of late, not giving him any missions of any sort. He had nothing to do but train and think. His thoughts did not please him at all. They reminded him of the past. That past should have been left behind along with his worthless and pathetic bonds. Reminiscing was useless, yet it seemed that was all he could do. His recent fixation was the first actual mission with Team 7. That disturbing moment of almost dying with Sakura's annoying wailing bringing him back to consciousness. Sasuke's expression turned sour at thinking of Sakura. He abruptly sat up and opened his window. He decided to train. The moonlight was better than sunlight to train, in his opinion, anyway.

Kakashi Hatake was sitting in a tree, seemingly reading his book like normal. In actuality, he was trying to shake off a feeling of nostalgia that hit him in the late afternoon. It happened right after he had visited Sakura at the hospital. He saw her attending to a chuunin. Their interactions reminded him of Rin when she helped him with whatever idiotic mistake cost him an injury. Thinking back on his 'childhood' made him think of Obito, which just made him want to drown himself in sake. It was a pity he had a mission in the morning or else he would've done that. His demeanor become morose at the thought of regressing to that period of time where he would deaden himself to try to forget all of his fallen comrades. It was especially worse when Rin wasn't there to shake him out of it.

"Kakashi! Kakashi!" Rin's soft hands cupped his face as he groaned at the excessive volume of her voice. He squinted as sunlight filtered into the room. He was alarmed at the drops of liquid that fell onto his face. He grabbed her wrist and winced at the pain emanating from his hand. He thought back on what had happened previously but drew a blank.
"Rin…what happened?" He knew he royally screwed up, if she was so affected that she was crying. He looked up to see her wipe her tears away with her other hand. She shook her head and gave him a watery smile. She tugged on his hold.
"I need to heal you now, so give me back my hand." Kakashi let go and shifted himself to sit up. He grit his teeth at the ache in his abdomen. She shook her head in a disapproving manner.
"Kakashi, just lay down. You're in too much pain to be moving around this much."
"Rin…" He looked at her with an almost ashamed expression on his face. Rin just smiled sadly.
"It doesn't matter."

Kakashi looked up at the sky that was filled with stars. He clenched his gloved hand into a fist. He smiled bitterly and jumped off the tree to land on the ground smoothly. He decided to visit the memorial again.

"You never know what you've got until you lose it, right Rin?"

In the early morning, Hana Inuzuka was buying groceries to stock up for a big feast with her kin. Her dogs trailed her loyally as the sniffed around routinely. She looked around the stands and quickly averted her eyes from the younger woman buying tomatoes. Hana could not stand to see Sakura Haruno. She didn't hate her. She never really minded the girl before the 'last' Uchiha had betrayed the village. After that event, she could not shake the sense of utter gloom around the girl. Hana couldn't bear the fact that she saw herself in Sakura. It seems Uchihas have a penchant for leaving not-quite-there relationships incomplete and in the dust. Hana chastised herself as her thoughts rebelled against her.

"Look at the Inuzuka girl, she's so uncivilized. She probably has fleas with all that time she spends with her dogs. Ugh, why is she in our class? She hardly ever pays attention. All she does is pick fights." A girl of 10 years was whispering to her classmates. Hana's eyes were covered by her bangs as she looked down at her notes. Her hand was trembling with suppressed anger at her classmates. She knew they didn't like her but it was hard to ignore their jibes. She felt eyes on her and turned around quickly, ready to attack the next idiot who couldn't shut his mouth. She was growling under her breath as she scanned the back of the room. She caught red eyes that were slightly obscured, but she knew who it was. Itachi Uchiha, the genius of the class as well as his clan. She didn't understand why he was in their class. It seemed like a waste of time if he was as brilliant as they said. His red eyes were eerie yet intriguing. She blinked in confusion and turned around to face forward again. Why would he be staring at her, she asked herself but didn't come to any conclusion.

"Inuzuka, Uchiha, and Hashimoto" Hana's eye twitched slightly as she heard the listing of teams. She was somewhat glad to not be placed with other people in her class, but she knew there would be major backlash from the female population because of Uchiha. She walked over to Hashimoto Naota and greeted him with a polite hello. Uchiha was conversing with their new sensei about something. Hashimoto slouched against the wall of the school building. Hana sat down on the grass looking at the engraving on her newly acquired headband. She was finally a ninja of Konoha and no one could criticize her for that.

Hana picked up some more vegetables as she mulled over her relationship with Itachi Uchiha. She couldn't exactly define it. It wasn't a friendship. It wasn't just being teammates. It certainly wasn't something like they were a couple. It was more of a blend of everything with certain parts left out to make her feel like she was missing something that was never there to begin with. Hana liked to think that the elder Uchiha never associated with her. She never mentioned the fact that she once meant something to him. She supposed opposites would always attract. Spring with Winter and Traitor with Loyalist.

Tsunade sighed as she looked at the dying sun. Another day of getting older is almost done.

"Shizune! Get me more sake! I have a headache…" Tsunade trailed off as she saw Naruto and Sakura eating at the Ramen stand. She was fond of the kid even though he was so disrespectful. He reminded her of so many people from her past. In fact, all of the original Team 7 reminded her of the past. It was like the damned council planned it. They probably did; those crazy old bats loved to play God. She snorted at the irony. What did they expect from a replica of her old team? Different results because of a generation gap? Those kids were following their footsteps almost exactly. Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke would be the new Legendary Sannin. They would fight and bleed just like they did for a cause beyond their understanding.

"Shizune!" Tsunade rubbed her temples. Damn, I'm getting old.

"Orochimaru! You can't do this! You're going to be labeled a traitor!" Tsunade couldn't breathe properly with the chaos going on in her mind. Orochimaru responded to her yelling with his usual smirk.
"Tsunade, I'm well aware of the consequences to my actions. In fact, you could say I almost want those consequences." Tsunade's eyes widened at his confession.
"B-But why? Why would you leave your home?" Orochimaru gave a sickening smile at her words.
"My home? You mean your home. This is not my home. This can never be my home. They don't understand me at all. They fear me and now…I'm going to give them a reason to. I'll gain more power and destroy this weak village!" He laughed at her expression of terror.
"Tsunade, do you fear me now also? Do you want to live in peace? Or be sacrificed for this village that will never amount to anything? You have a choice." Tsunade shook her head.
"No, I don't. You're insane. I can't go with you…" Orochimaru put back his stony façade.
"If that's what you want," he disappeared with a rustle of leaves.

"We're going to get him back, hime. That bastard thinks he's leaving us to rot. We'll prove him wrong. We'll beat his ass and drag him back here." Jiraiya told her in a serious voice totally the opposite of his regular demeanor. Tsunade looked down to the ground with a guilty feeling in her heart. She straightened herself with determination. He could win a battle but never the war. She wouldn't allow him to win the war.
"Yeah, we'll get him. We'll get him good." She gave Jiraiya a grim smile.
"With whatever it takes." Jiraiya nodded as he agreed to the implication of the statement.

She fought with all her might and the monster Orochimaru had become did not back down. How dare he offer her a temptation like that? He would just betray her trust again. It wouldn't be Dan; it would be a monster just like Orochimaru. It wasn't fair. He didn't care anymore. His greed had consumed him. He must've lost his sanity at some point when transferring into those countless bodies. She couldn't let him destroy Konoha. She wouldn't let her grandfather down. She wouldn't let Sensei down. He wasn't Orochimaru anymore. He wasn't that clever boy who had trusted her with some of his thoughts. He wasn't her genius teammate who insulted Jiraiya constantly. He was a different Orochimaru. He was the enemy.

Tsunade shook her head. She hoped Sasuke wouldn't turn out like Orochimaru. Sasuke still had something, whether it would help or not, she couldn't predict. It was small but it was there. The new Legendary Sannin, she mused, would turn out differently. History repeats itself to learn from past mistakes and correct them.

Sakura looked at the moon with a melancholy expression on her face. She was perched on her window sill, swinging her legs against the house. She hummed a tune she had learned when she was younger. She couldn't shake off the feeling of loneliness in her. She couldn't sleep, so she chose to watch the moon instead. It reminded her of the day Sasuke had left. She wouldn't cry. She had cried enough because of him. She would smile instead, because he helped her in some respects. She became stronger because of his defection. She had realized it was pointless to try to coax him into coming back to Konoha. The others almost died because of him. She couldn't put their lives in danger because of her selfishness. She saw a bird fly up from the trees. It was darkly-colored and looked a bit mean, but was gracefully flying towards the moon.

"Goodbye," she whispered as she watched the bird fly farther away from her.

In Oto, Sasuke was walking through the streets of the silent village. The wind was blowing strands of his hair into his face. He shoved them away irritably. He kept on walking to ease his agitation. He stared at a cat in his path a couple yards away. It looked scruffy and frail. He had a feeling it was the runt of its litter. It stared back at him with its lamp-like eyes. Its eyes looked too large for its face. Another gust of wind blew some more hair into his face. A light-colored petal drifted across his vision. He looked perplexed for a second.

"Sakura?" As far as he knew, there were no Sakura trees in this area. He looked up to the sky and saw the moon shining brightly onto his path and the peculiar cat. It had grey fur that was dirty, probably from being on the streets for too long. He turned to head back to the base. He heard the cat give a pitiful cry. He glared back at the cat. The cat slowly approached him, like it was afraid of him hitting it. He walked slowly back, giving the cat a chance to trail along.

"Annoying," he muttered to himself.

A/N: Woo. I'm done. Finally. I've been working on this for about a week and I finished it. I'm totally beat. Stupid SATs that shouldn't be called SATs since they don't mean anything anymore. grumbles Anyway, I put a lot of symbolism and stuff at the end because I thought it was fitting.