Wrong Side of Normal
Comments: Finally! The re-write of AIYH is here...! I'm so excited for this...it had a plot that is put together and characters I love...Ah. I hope all of you enjoy it, too.
The storm that hovered over the quiet little town was anything but normal. Dark clouds churned in the night sky, swirling and swarming like a manifestation of earthly evil, loud cracks of thunder echoing over the small city; effectively drowning out any signs of life.
The roads had been closed for hours and reports had warned drivers to find shelter; to stay out of the miserable and unexpected torrential downpour. Hail smacked down on the rough pavement of an old schoolyard hard enough to crack the concrete, and the lightning that flashed vividly in the sky shot clear across the horizon—stretching too far for anything ordinary.
It was too early in the summer for rain. A hazy fog had settled over the residential areas of the city, and as sewers began to gurgle and overflow, Sasuke Uchiha stomped through the mess of weather towards the house he reluctantly considered his home.
Something was wrong.
The book bag over his head was doing its job in protecting him against the vicious hail, which now seemed to be calming, but his shoes did little to effectively evade the running stream of water that trickled down the sidewalk. His socks were soaked and his feet were numb within them, and his school uniform was clinging to his body like a second skin.
No one had predicted this storm.
Not even him.
Sasuke flinched as the bright headlights of a car flashed in the distance and the low rev of an engine made him scowl. No one in their right mind would be out in this weather—especially when the flash flood sirens had made widespread efforts to clear the streets ever since he had left the academy. He was an exception.
He never went home until he absolutely had to.
The car came forward slowly and Sasuke made a valiant effort to avoid the cautious glare he was receiving from the driver. It made the ominous feeling in his stomach grow heavier, weighing on his conscience, urging him to pick up his pace. Even though the weather was awful and unexpected, it was only a small part of the disturbed feeling brewing in the pit of his stomach.
The car made a swerving noise behind him and Sasuke stopped, feeling the defensive part of himself freeze up. The driver had turned and was now directing the car back the way it had come, and Sasuke knew that it was because of him. The driver wanted something—directions maybe, he wasn't sure.
As the car pulled up beside him he tilted his head towards the passenger side window that was opening, not willing to give the two travelers any sort of indication that he was a helpful Samaritan.
"Excuse me, but it seems like we may be a little lost," the woman said and Sasuke was caught off guard when he had to strain himself to hear the comment. He glanced down and was even more skeptical when the woman who was addressing him was also no older than himself.
"There's a gas station up the way," Sasuke said noncommittally, motioning up the street. His insides were tight as he waited for them to respond, his skin curling at the suffocating feeling of the night. Something wasn't right, and even the car in front of him didn't seem to fit.
The girl smiled up at him, her luminous complexion catching on one of the overhead street lamps; kind eyes almost drawing him in. There was a sort of gravity around the vehicle that she was seated in, something unusual and odd that he couldn't quite place. He lowered his head slightly to catch a glimpse of the driver and let his eyes narrow when it was a boy—again, someone his age.
"Do you need a lift?" the driver asked, his voice welcoming. Sasuke snorted and shook his head. His age or not, the two people in the car weren't from his small suburb; it was easy to tell. Their car was old and their presence was too kind—only wealthy families lived near Sasuke and he doubted any of them were nice.
"Are you sure? It's really pouring out," the driver said again and Sasuke watched as disheveled locks of brown hair mussed as a tan hand ran through them. He shook his head again and turned on his heel, anxious to get home and avoid the strange car that moments later bolted up the street in the direction that he had given.
It wouldn't be long until he arrived home, he thought vaguely, and he brought his book bag to his side as the hail finally let up. He could see the gas station blocks ahead of him, its lights looking dim in the still-constant downpour. He wondered if anyone was actually at the facility, or if they had gone home due to the weather.
As he turned the corner, he decided it wasn't his problem.
It wasn't as though he disliked the city, or even that he disliked the people that he knew in it. He had the same friends since his childhood and had his future lined up for him; an investment firm of his father's was waiting with open doors once he graduated from college. He knew that any normal person would be perfectly content.
But then again, he wasn't normal.
The driveway leading to his house was empty and he wasn't surprised. Either of his parents parking outside when they had a perfectly sizeable garage was out of the question, and even his car seemed to always end up in the box-like extension of the main house. He didn't mind either way, simply because he hated driving. He hated driving because of other drivers, like the one that had caused him to be the way he was.
He twisted the knob to the front door, letting it open with a creaking noise. His mother never seemed to lock the door, it seemed, and Sasuke knew why even if she wasn't willing to admit it.
"I'm home," he said mutely, and he kicked off his shoes on the linoleum floor, dropping his bag as well. His homework assignments were probably shriveled bits of smeared ink by now which made him frown; at least with homework he had something to do at night besides listen to his parents complain.
From the living room his mother shuffled forward, her expression full of worry. "Sasuke? Oh my God," she drifted forward and enveloped his face in her hands, pulling him tight against her before pushing him away. "You're soaking wet," she noticed, and as quickly as she had looked distressed her expression turned sour.
"Where have you been? Your father is out looking for you," her tone was agitated, no longer worried for him but now for his father. He glanced outside as another bolt of lightning illuminated the sky, followed by a loud crack of thunder.
"Why didn't you drive to school today?" she asked him, and he attempted to twist around her towards the staircase leading up to the second level of the house, shrugging.
"I didn't feel like it," he said smoothly, and his mother frowned before tugging on his shirt.
"I didn't know about the storm mother," he said to her honestly, but she didn't look believing. When she released his shirt she dodged out to the living room, most likely to call his father's cell phone and tell him to come back home.
Sasuke snorted and wandered upstairs, finding himself in his room shortly after. He dressed down to his boxers and rifled through his dresser drawers, pulling out a neatly folded pair of Adidas sweats and a white t-shirt, all before glancing at his reflection in the mirror.
He stared for a moment before leaning down to pull on his newly acquired clothes, eager to hide his pallid-white skin. Heredity had ensured that he would never get a tan, and after a lifetime of living in a sun-drenched town without ever having one, he had given up on the prospect.
There was a knock and a thump downstairs that made Sasuke turn his head sideways, wondering if his father had arrived back home. If he had, he sure was making a lot of noise taking off his shoes, with all of the clumsy sounds coming from the entryway.
Thunder crackled outside and his light fixture blinked a little, and he narrowed his eyes as another crashing sound echoed from downstairs. And voices—was his father with someone? Had be brought someone in from the rain? The noises Sasuke heard sounded urgent, and they made his stomach start to turn.
Everything was wrong with this night. Nothing felt right.
He stood still for a moment, taking in the awkward silence that followed his effort to listen before exiting his room and jogging downstairs. He felt a wave of nausea overwhelm him and the lights shuddered and faded, and his adrenaline made him jump the last two stairs.
"Mom, what's—" As he turned the corner to enter his lavish living room he stopped dead in his tracks, his eyes widening as he took in the scene before him. The couches were overturned and the chandelier was hanging loose from the ceiling, its perfect little beads trickling to the floor like a necklace that had been snapped in half.
There was a rush of harsh breathing and a blur of red, and he stepped backwards in shock as he realized both of his parents were crumpled on the floor in front of him, their breathing terse, their voices—gasping for breath—unrecognizable.
Had his house been struck by lightning? Had his parents fainted?
His feet felt sticky against the soft plush carpet and he glanced down, realizing that his parents hadn't collapsed—they were dying, and a flowing trail of blood had soaked through the flooring to where he was standing. Every time his father wheezed against the carpet a new trickle of blood would seep into the fibers, and the lightning outside illuminated the fact that his mother and father were both covered in huge, inhuman gashes.
His head was pounding as he stumbled backwards, bile rising in his throat as he tried to control his breathing; tried to figure out just what was happening.
Someone had killed his parents?
In the ten minutes he had been upstairs, someone had broken into his home and slaughtered them?
He felt his head spinning as the lightening cracked outside, his eyes feeling numb with disbelief and his muscles turning to jelly. There was a voice—a familiar voice—a voice he thought he would never hear again calling out to him, teasing him as he felt his knees buckle under the weight of his emotions.
Sasuke's eyes snapped open and he grabbed his head as a searing pain shot to the back of his skull and down his spine. His head was pounding and he gasped into a fit of coughs, trying to concentrate on alleviating the dull roar that seemed to cluster in his head.
"Are you alright? You came downstairs and…" his mother's voice made him jerk his attention upwards, searching her features as she watched him with concerned eyes. She was alive—she was breathing; she looked just as energetic as he remembered when he had first gotten home.
Lightning cracked outside and he buried his head in his hands, rubbing his eyes, still attempting to calm his racing heart.
This one worse than usual.
"…Sasuke…" his mother placed a warm hand on his shoulder and he heard a shuffling behind him. He whipped around with an instinctive speed, his reflexes still pulsing from the scene he had just encountered. He stepped back a minute, eyes widening in surprise, as a vaguely familiar person came out of his kitchen with a banana and a glass of water.
"Whoa, major killing intent," the figure said, and Sasuke sifted through his memories, trying to place him. The car; he had seen this boy driving the car on his way home.
He was taller than Sasuke would have guessed, by an inch or so, and his bright hazel eyes were warm and playful; a feature that didn't quite match his unruly hair that had been gelled to a messy perfection. Sasuke stared for a minute before the boy extended the fruit and water to him, grinning.
"Bananas relax muscles—cognitive, too. It'll help your headache go away," he said and Sasuke raised an eyebrow at the stranger before turning his attention back to his mother. Her lips were turned upward in thought, an expression Sasuke rarely ever saw. Just what had happened during his blackout?
"Your father's car got stuck down by the creek," she explained after a minute, "and these two saved him. He's upstairs changing… You came downstairs when they got here but…" I think you had another vision.
It's what she wanted to say but had felt she was unable to, considering the company. There were enough people who thought that those who claimed to be psychic were crazy, and his mother had always done an amazing job at defending his strange talent.
"I see." Sasuke said, and he eyed the stranger in front of him before briskly rejecting his offer of food and drink.
"I'm not hungry." He turned around and sat back down onto the couch, rubbing his temples in irritation. He didn't trust people he didn't know, and the fact these two strange people had ended up in his home coincidently aggravated him.
"A-Are you sure he doesn't need to see a doctor?"
Sasuke lifted his head as the girl he recognized from the passenger seat politely sat in the loveseat across from him, her attention riveted on Sasuke's mother. Mikoto Uchiha smiled nicely and nodded, her features full of appreciation. Sasuke glanced to his mother with concern making his eyes narrow, and his mother briefly explained.
"He couldn't see the road and drove straight into the creek," she said, her voice soft and worried. "He would have drowned if they hadn't been there…" Her voice drifted off and a minute later she shook her head. "But he's fine. I'm going to go check on him," and with that and a reassuring smile she bustled upstairs to fulfill her statement.
"The name's Kiba," the brunet said, and it startled Sasuke when a hand flew towards him, too eager for formal greeting. Sasuke stared at it skeptically before the boy laughed a bit and turned to sit next to his partner. He set the banana and water on the coffee table and leaned forward, smirking.
"I'm not offended," he said smoothly, and he let his eyes settle on Sasuke's, looking somewhat challenging. "If I had powers like yours, I wouldn't trust people either."
Sasuke's eyes were quick to narrow, and he felt his skin prickle with an eerie sensation he vaguely recognized from when he had been out earlier in the blistering rain. A sense that something was strange: not quite right. The girl seated next to Kiba, a pretty little thing with thick black hair and sea-foam blue eyes, glanced up with an aura of apology around her.
"Please forgive us for making you feel uncomfortable," she said, and Sasuke only stared at her, wondering if she was able to read his thoughts. "Earlier," she continued, looking hesitant to speak any further, "it was actually you we were looking to find."
Sasuke took this opportunity to regain control of the situation. He stood up, his voice firm and brisk, and motioned towards the front doorway. "My mother appreciates your efforts. I have no interest in whatever you're trying to market, so if you'd show yourself out—"
"We're not leaving unless you come with us," Kiba interrupted flatly, and the audacity of his comment made Sasuke step forward, his lean figure like a dangerous silhouette in the harsh lighting of the living area.
"What are you talking about?" he growled out, his fists tightening. The feeling in the room was heavy and he couldn't help flashes from his earlier vision from invading his mind. The girl stood and came towards him, and he stepped backwards defensively.
Her eyes were concerned and she let out a small breath. "We've gotten off on the wrong foot," she said softly, and when Kiba opened his mouth to throw in a comment, one extended finger from her hushed him.
Sasuke watched her as she looked up to him, the nervous waver in her eyes turning into a vivid sort of intensity as she urged him, wordlessly, to listen. He felt compelled, even though his stomach still didn't feel at ease with the situation.
"There isn't any way for me to explain all of this and expect you to believe it right off, but it would be better than having you think that he and I are a threat to you," she started, and when Sasuke visibly relaxed a little, she continued.
"Itachi has escaped from the facility." Her voice was steady and firm, and Sasuke's eyes widened. It was impossible. A million thoughts ran through his head, and he felt his stomach bunch into knots, winding inside of him, making him feel sick. He snorted in denial. "That's impossible."
Kiba frowned. "If it was impossible we wouldn't be here," he said shortly, and the girl nodded. Sasuke still stared in disbelief, before anger overwhelmed him.
"There's no way he could have escaped—he's in prison for the rest of his life for what he did. He can't even get mail—"
"Itachi Uchiha is psychic, just like you," Kiba bit out and he looked strangely annoyed. "And we were sent here to take you back with us, someplace safe where he can't get to you."
Sasuke fumed. "I don't believe a word you're saying. I don't even believe the shitty story you fed my mother about saving my father," he ranted, "If you rescued him from the creek, why aren't either of you wet or covered in mud?"
The girl glanced back at Kiba before she spoke, her voice calm compared to either of the boys'.
"I heard your father from the gas station."
Sasuke raised an eyebrow, obviously unimpressed. "There's no way you could have heard my father from that far away."
"I heard his voice calling for help," she said, and Sasuke shook his head, still skeptical and confused.
"No one's voice is that loud," he concluded, but he stumbled backwards when a delicate voice, one clearly the girl's in front of him, invaded his mind.
It depends on what voice you are listening for.
His eyes were wide as he took in the two, and the girl looked apologetic again. She stepped backwards, as if she felt as though she had cornered him, and nodded lightly.
"That still doesn't explain how both of you look like you've barely been in the rain." Sasuke said after a minute, realizing she had avoided his original question. The girl let out a small breath and nodded.
"My name is Hinata. Kiba and I are both from the coast, from a place where a few people with psychic abilities stay. It was one of our abilities that helped us to save your father. It… would be best if you came with us, and avoided bringing danger to your family and friends by staying here."
Sasuke stared, unable to form the right words to say. Everything they were saying was clustering in his mind, making perfect sense and no sense all at the same time. He frowned.
"How do you even know me?" His voice was icy and bitter, and reluctant to know. Kiba stood up from the loveseat and pocketed his hands, looking resolute.
"The man who runs our school is a friend of your family's or something. He told us to come, and so here we are," he explained halfheartedly, and Sasuke felt the growing feeling of heaviness returning to his body.
"Stop whatever you're doing," he said, and he glared at them, willing them to stop the feelings constricting him. He had felt it earlier too—the thick and nauseating feeling of being watched; the uncomfortable feeling of something not quite right in the world around him.
The two across from him exchanged confused glances before the girl named Hinata stepped forward, holding out a pale hand to him. "We're not doing anything," she said softly, and her eyes were honest. Even Kiba looked analytical about the comment Sasuke had made, and spoke shortly after.
"It's Itachi. It's been him this whole night—he's probably in your head right now, making you—"
"Stop it," Sasuke warned, remembering his brother's gifts all too well. Itachi had always been the more dangerous of the two, and Sasuke had struggled to forget the terms on which his older brother had left. Kiba's words made the memories resurface, and he held his temples momentarily, willing the anxiety in him to go away.
After a minute, it did.
"Better now?" Kiba asked, but his voice didn't sound concerned. Instead he was glancing down at a watch on his wrist and shifting his eyes towards a window that revealed the storm. "It's letting up," he said suddenly, and Sasuke didn't bother to ask how he knew.
"You both can leave then," he supplied instead, still feeling as though too many things had happened in one night. There was a creak from the staircase behind him and Sasuke was surprised when he found his father staring down at him. He was dressed down to jeans and a shirt and his expression was cool, although his normally demanding eyes couldn't even meet Sasuke's when he spoke.
"Go with them," he said firmly, and Sasuke blinked, tearing his vision between the man he felt sure would protect him from whatever was taking place and the two students who looked visibly confident with the command.
"What? Why would I—"
"Sasuke," his father's voice was a baritone tremor that silenced him almost immediately, and finally his father's dark eyes opened to meet his. "Go with them."
Sasuke was very mature for his age. His grades kept him in the running for valedictorian and his mannerisms made townsfolk mistake him for a visiting college student all the time. So when he clenched his fists at his sides and glared up at the one person he admired the most and spoke childishly, it seemed to catch everyone off guard.
"Until someone explains what is going on, I'm not going anywhere."
Fugaku Uchiha's eyes held a small bit of guilt and Sasuke watched as his mother drifted down the stairs behind him, looking less skittish than she had earlier. Though it looked like she wanted to race down the stairs and embrace him, she refrained to let her husband explain briefly what he could.
"Sasuke, with everything that happened with Itachi—if it's true and he really has escaped, you need to be someplace safer. He'll come after you, just like—"
"What are you talking about? He came after you—"
"He came after us because we were protecting you," his mother blurted unintentionally, and she stared at him so intently that it seemed as though she would will him to believe her.
Sasuke stared for a minute, only because he couldn't think of anything to say. He couldn't remember the day his brother had turned on his family, only that he had been the only one not hospitalized after the incident. His mother and father had nearly died that night, and when Sasuke's memory tried to recount the events he only ended up with headaches and queasy feelings in the pit of his stomach.
It was quiet for a few minutes before his father spoke, aware of the tension that had overcome the house.
"Kakashi Hatake is a friend. If he sent these two here for you… He said he only ever would if it were absolutely necessary. I trust him, Sasuke, even if you don't understand."
Sasuke watched as Hinata stared nervously at the floor, looking guilty for the events taking place. Kiba looked as though he felt a little remorse as well, but atop that was an expression of an almost sarcastic nature.
"Why haven't you gone someplace already?" he asked briskly, his voice somewhat irritated. "I mean, you're psychic. You can't just pretend you're not for your entire life," he continued, and Sasuke almost snarled when he chanced another glance at the rebellious looking teenager.
"I don't think you're in any position to judge me or my decisions," he threw back, and from the staircase his father sighed.
"If anyone is to blame it's us," he said smoothly. "We wanted Sasuke to have a normal life…" his words faded off, as if he meant to continue with, 'not like Itachi's'.
After all, Sasuke did remember the pressure on his brother. The fact that his parents had won their millionaire status by Itachi predicting a lottery number outcome immediately struck his mind, and how his brother had always attended private schools away from home had always struck Sasuke as odd. Had Itachi been at a place like the two standing in front of him?
"Go get your things together."
He glanced up at his father who still stood firm in his decision, and watched as his mother looked away, a small sign that she was in agreeance with the man in front of her. It was a losing battle and he glanced to the side, finding it useless to argue. Kiba looked more than eager to leave and Hinata still traced patterns on the carpet with her kind eyes.
"Fine," Sasuke said suddenly, and weaving past Kiba pushed past his father to get to his room, fully intending to pack before he left for whatever crazy house he was preparing to enter. Other people with psychic powers sounded not only threatening, but stupid. Like those ridiculous films a couple of his friends liked on the sci-fi network, full of nonsense and fictional intrigue.
He stormed into his room and closed his door before yanking out the large travel suitcase he had rarely had an opportunity to use, packing it tight with everything he could fit. The way his father had spoken made it sound like he wouldn't be returning for a while, and the hushed sound of the rain outside made him wonder if he even had any appropriate clothes for the 'coast'.
He was angry and confused though, caught off guard by the sudden change in his parents' demeanor. If Itachi was really after him, what did that mean about what he remembered about the event all those years ago? He changed out of his comfort clothes into jeans and a tight-fitting black shirt, doing his best to preserve the state of his layered hair.
Even after packing as much as he could his room was still crowded with belongings. He snorted as he yanked his rolling suitcase out and hoisted it down the stairs—or tried until his father's mighty grip finished the job.
"I know you don't understand Sasuke, but please try," his mother enveloped his face and kissed him lightly on the cheek, and his father looked stern as he held the front door open, signaling towards the parked car outside. Kiba and Hinata were already inside and the lights glowed in the darkness. Sasuke grabbed his windbreaker from the closet before trudging outside.
"Sasuke," his father's voice echoed across the lawn as rain batted down on Sasuke's figure, and he glanced back reluctantly to meet his father's gaze.
"What?" he asked, and his voice sounded deceived and irritated.
"You were never meant to stay in this town," his father said, and it made Sasuke's chest lighten a little, a strong feeling of weightless surprise coming over him. "Follow your dreams," his father said, and before he had an opportunity to respond, the front door drifted closes, and an eager car horn sounded from behind him.
He rolled his eyes.
"Need help?" Kiba had dodged out of the car after a minute to grab his suitcase and lock it in the trunk, and Sasuke climbed into the backseat in the meanwhile. After Kiba was back in the driver's seat and had backed up into the low-flooded street, Sasuke snorted.
"The highway's going to be closed off," he said bitterly. The water was too high, and the sirens had been sounding for too long. Kiba chuckled a little before turning onto a better lit street.
"I don't think so. They took down the caution gates a little while ago," he commented and Sasuke raised an eyebrow in disbelief. Hinata tied her hair into a ponytail from the passenger side and smiled peaceably back at him.
"Kiba can communicate with animals," she explained, and Sasuke just stared, the feeling of being swept into a b-rated movie sinking over him. He decided to not even comment; save himself from saying something he'd regret, considering these people seemed to be in control of his future.
He was about to make some smart comment about how fitting the talent seemed to be when Kiba's face turned serious and his hands tightened on the wheel.
"Hey, Uchiha," Kiba stated from the front, turning onto the ramp towards the highway exit, "are there a lot of cops here?"
Sasuke blanched at the fact he hadn't even bothered to call him by his first name—which actually worked well for him. He could already tell that he and Kiba weren't a good pair, especially because they both seemed too irritated with each other and they had only just met. He shook his head. "No. Especially not in this weather."
"Shit." Kiba slowed on the accelerator and Sasuke leaned forward, peeking between the two front seats to see what the apparent problem was.
Cop cars. Three of them. And not normal ones either. "Those aren't police vehicles," Sasuke said, and he could see Kiba tense in the seat in front of him. He felt an odd anxiety build in the car, and glanced between the two, wondering what it was.
"Did you steal this car?" he asked blankly, not surprised if the answer turned out to be 'yes'. Kiba growled back at him and shook his head. "Of course not!"
He drifted closer to the small gap they had for cars exiting and entering the town and cursed again when a man in a large yellow hazard jacket waved for him to stop.
"Shit," he said again. "Shit shit shit. They found us already."
Hinata was biting her lip and Sasuke felt himself grow nervous because of the other two, yet amused at the fact that this little plan of 'saving' him was turning out to be pitiful in the long run. Hinata rifled through the glove box to look for the car registration as she spoke.
"There are three of them, we have to stop," she said quietly, hinting that they wouldn't be able to outrun them. Kiba nodded and slowed to a stop, rolling down his window and blinking with agitation as rain bounced off his window towards his face.
"Hello, officer," he said politely, and the officer leaned down, a flashlight in his hand, nearly blinding all of the passengers in an attempt to identify. There was a moment of awkward silence before he spoke, his words like liquid ice.
"What are three teenagers doing out in a storm like this?" he pondered, and Kiba was quick on his feet.
"We're in a hurry to make it back to the university," he said cleverly, "you know how exams are," and he chuckled away the thought. The cop didn't smirk however, and Sasuke couldn't help but think there was something suspicious about the way he kept his eyes rooted on Hinata.
And with all of the stories in the news about corrupt police officers, it made Sasuke just about as uprooted as Kiba seemed to be becoming in the front.
"License and registration," the cop said stridently, before narrowing his eyes. "And I'd like to see an ID from each of you."
Sasuke raised an eyebrow at the odd request and waited for Kiba or Hinata to give some sort of signal as for what to do. It was obvious to Sasuke now that they weren't being pulled over for something as normal as being out on a stormy night—it was something more suspicious and more dangerous.
Kiba sat up in his seat to pull out his wallet and Hinata rifled through a purse at her feet, so Sasuke withdrew his wallet as well. He handed his ID forward, but the man barely glanced at it before taking the others, a strange expression coming over his face. He smiled upwards, a questionable smile, and Sasuke felt Kiba's expression go icy and Hinata's face go pale.
"Hinata Hyuuga," he said with a smirk. "Fancy that. We've been looking for your cousin for quite a while now, you know?"
It was then that all hell seemed to break loose.
a/n: So there it is.