A/N: For Kantayra's birthday - because she so totally rocks. SasuNaruSasu. Two more parts to come after this one.
Disclaimer: The characters and the world they live in don't belong to me. Should their rightful owner request it of me, i would take this not-for-profit fanfic offline. This actual story and the sentences that compose it, on the other hand, are mine, and no, it is not acceptable for someone else to copy/paste what i wrote and use it in their own writing. Apparently this is not as obvious as i thought it was...
Rated M for adult situations and language.
The Story of How I, Uzumaki Naruto, the Greatest Ninja That Ever Lived,
Saved Uchiha Sasuke from the Rabid Fangirls of Doom
(aka The Story of How I Fucked the Bastard)
Part 1 - Like Old Times
When the bastard came back to Konoha, there wasn't much of a Konoha left. Which, granted, is not a good thing, but if he had to come back like he did, I guess it was the best possible timing. See, apparently he intended to destroy Konoha. No Konoha, no destroying, no need for me to kick his sorry ass extra-hard.
His timing was good too because he showed up just when that asshole Danzou decided to make his move. I was just a bit busy with Pain at the time, and everybody else was too hurt or exhausted to do much about Danzou and his bunch of traitors. When Sasuke realized who he was, he just went in for the kill. No angry accusations or grand declarations about his honor and his clan or stuff… yeah, he's not as emo as he looks.
He told us, when it was all over, about why he had a thing against Danzou. Well, after Tsunade sat him down and pestered him long enough, he did. She was shocked. We all were. His vow that he'd kill the elders too shocked us all a bit more – except, you know, they were already dead what with the village being leveled and all. Of course, we didn't know that they were dead at the time. We didn't know who was alive or dead for a while. That happens when there's nothing but crumbling rocks in your village.
I still had a bit of chakra left, because I'm totally awesome like that, so I made a ton of clones and started clearing out the debris to look for survivors. Everybody who was feeling good enough joined in. Not Sasuke or his gang, though. At least, not at first. Team Bastard just sat on the edge of town, arguing between them, until I went and punched Sasuke right on the nose.
OK, so I tried to punch him; I didn't actually land a blow. I guess he didn't spend all his time being molested by the snake creep and got some training in too. But it's the intention that counts, right?
So, I told him that if he wanted the elders dead, he'd have to help find them first. He rolled his eyes at me, and it was a bit like having the old Sasuke back. Except, the old Sasuke didn't dress that badly or hang out with losers like these three. Sakura-chan is way prettier than that Karin girl. A lot nicer, too. And I'm ten times cooler and stronger than the other two combined. But anyway.
The four of them argued a bit more, and then they helped. Karin was especially helpful to find people who still had some chakra. And I guess Juugo was all right too, with the super strength, but he was a bit creepy. The other one just watched for a while and then he said he had better things to do and he left. Good riddance, if you ask me. I didn't like the way he looked at Sasuke.
All in all, we worked for the rest of the day, and then all night. By morning, we had all the survivors, but we kept working. Now, we were looking for our dead. Too many of them, way too many. I should have been there, I should have—
Right. I was telling you about Sasuke.
I don't remember who found the elders, but I remember Tsunade came to get Sasuke right away, and she told him, and then she asked him what he intended to do now. He wanted to see them. He stood over their bodies for a while, not talking or anything. I was afraid he'd run off again, so I was ready. I was standing close with a couple of clones, and ready to rasengan him until he cried uncle. I mean, now that he was back, he was going to stay whether he wanted it or not. Not that there was a place for him or anyone else to stay, really, but it's just the principle of the thing.
When he was done glaring the bodies down into submission, he looked around him and his eyes fell on me. I swear, for a second, he almost looked… I know it's going to sound stupid, but he looked a bit lost. It twisted my guts to see him like that. Or maybe I was just hungry.
So, he didn't run. He glared at me and asked what I was looking at. You'd think a genius would have figured out I was looking at him, since, you know, my eyes were on him and all.
"I'm looking at a bastard," I said.
He grunted. And then he tried to punch me. He totally chose the wrong Naruto, though, and just dispelled one of my clones. If you ask him, he refuses to say whether he wanted to hit a clone or to hit me. I guess he can't admit he got confused, just like he can't admit he didn't really want to hit me.
After that, we went back to clearing out the village. I think… I think he just needed something to do. Something to take his mind off other things. Just manual labor, the kind that leaves you achy all over, and your mind too tired to even dream. Sometimes, it's good not to dream.
Karin left the second day, but Juugo stuck around. Apparently, he stuck around because Sasuke did. I don't care much about Juugo, but I was glad Sasuke was back. Working all together, we cleared the ground of the village, we buried our dead, and we started rebuilding. After a few days, Suna sent help, because Gaara's cool like that – just don't tell Sasuke I said so. Other villages helped too. I'm not sure why. Tsunade said it was historic and all. Not sure why either. If you ask me, age is catching up with her and she's becoming a bit gaga. I kind of feel bad about calling her old, now. But at least, she kept her wit long enough to do this really long speech and it was full of hope and nice and… well, yeah, I fell asleep in the middle of it. But Sakura-chan summarized it for me. Tsunade said the Will of Fire lived. Of course it does. We're Konoha. We're not going to let some deluded idiot with weird-ass eyes take us down.
Wait – I meant Pain, there, not Sasuke, you got that, right?
Three weeks after the attack, the village was up and running. We were accepting missions, and new settlers were coming in every day. Every time I left for a mission, I never knew what Konoha would look like when I returned. We got a new monument to the dead. Before all that, I never understood why Kakashi-sensei went to the old one so often, but when I saw the names of all the people I knew on that stone, when I saw his name there… yeah, I got it. I wish he could have seen Sasuke come back, and Team Seven reunited at last.
Because, it was. Reunited I mean. At first, Sasuke didn't want to. But I convinced him.
"You're scared," I said when I came back from my first mission with Sakura-chan and Sai.
Sasuke just looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language.
"You're scared you're going to see just how much better I've become. And then you'll have to admit you didn't have to run off and you could have learned amazing stuff if you had just stayed home. Although you couldn't have become as good as me 'cause I'm the great Uzumaki Naruto and Ka— and everybody says I'll become ever greater than the Fourth Hokage! "
He stared a bit longer. And then he called me dead last, and said some idiotic stuff about how he's better than I could ever imagine, blah blah, just making himself sound important. All like old times. And then we fought, like old times too. Maybe we got a bit carried away. We broke some stuff. Tsunade was mad. I don't think I had ever seen her that mad – or maybe that one time when I hid her sake. She beat us both over the head. She told me that if I intended to be Hokage, I'd better try not to destroy the village. And then she told Sasuke that if he planned on staying in Konoha, he had better start doing some missions and getting money in. He turned up his nose and said he didn't give a damn about Konoha.
"Why did you stay, then?" Tsunade asked. "Nobody's stopping you, Uchiha. We've got enough to do without worrying about missing-nin."
He gave me that weird look when she said no one was stopping him, like he knew I was definitely going to stop him if he tried to go anywhere.
The next day, he showed up at the Tower. He didn't say anything, but when Tsunade handed me the next assignment for my team, he stepped forward. He had found a new forehead protector somewhere, and he was dressed like us – like a jounin, I mean, except with his clan emblem on his back. Tsunade rolled her eyes a bit, but she sent him off with us. I was still captain, though, so he had to obey me. That was fun – or rather, I thought it'd be fun, but Sasuke was his usual pain in the butt self, and he wouldn't do handstands when I told him to. And then Sakura punched me, and Sai said I wasn't a good leader because I lacked… well, never mind what Sai said. The mission went fine, so that proves I am a great leader, and I'll be a great Hokage too. And as the rest of the story will prove, I do have a dick. A mighty fine one too, if I may say so myself.
On the third night, when we were returning home and stopped for the night, Sasuke went off by himself. I'll admit I got scared when I realized he wasn't in his sleeping bag anymore. I had just turned my back for a second, and poof, he was gone. Except, without the 'poof' noise. I was sure he was gone for good, and it hurt, you know? He'd done that to me once, left without a goodbye or anything, and I wasn't going to let it happen again.
I didn't wake up Sakura-chan or Sai. I just made a bunch of clones, and launched them in all directions to find him. He was sitting on the riverbank, not very far from the camp. I thought he'd run when I got there, but he just looked at me, acknowledged me with a nod, and went back to throwing little rocks in the water. I was confused. A lot.
"I thought you'd run off," I said, and only when I heard myself did I realize I sounded angry.
Sasuke shrugged. He didn't even look at me. "Where would I go?" he asked, very quietly.
I don't think he expected an answer. I didn't have one to give. But I did understand in that moment why he had stayed in Konoha, and why he wouldn't leave anymore. He was just like our village. Shaken down to his very foundations. He'd lost everything. But he wouldn't let it destroy him, and he was rebuilding from scratch. I liked that.
"I'm glad you came back," I said. I'm not too sure why I did. He knew that already, and when he looked at me, that was what his eyes said. That and, "Hn," of course.
The next day, when we finished the journey home, he didn't speak any more than he had so far, but it felt like he was truly part of the team again. He continued to pretend Sai didn't exist, but he looked at Sakura-chan when she talked to him about something, and he even called me dobe twice.
As I said, it was just like old times, except that we were older, and Sai is good, I suppose, but he's no Kakashi. It went on like that for a few weeks. When we weren't on missions, Sasuke and I would spar a lot, or sometimes I helped him rebuild his family house. He'd get mad fast if everything wasn't perfect, though, so it usually didn't last long. When Ichiraku reopened, we all went there together, even Sasuke, and I started forgetting he had ever left.
I was a jounin. I had my own team. I had my best friend back. It was all… perfect.
And then it happened. I guess we should have seen it coming. The peace couldn't last, it was bound to break at some point. And it did.
Sasuke's fanclub was reborn, and all hell broke loose.