AN: This is a story based off an idea I had for a non-fanfic project two-three years ago, but never could work out at the time. Reading a TFF thread on the various ways of Sasuke dying brought to mind this idea and thus its writing. So, I present this piece as a new serial that I am currently writing.
To note, no this isn't inspired by Chunin Exam Day. While I read it in the past, I stopped reading that section for a long while now, and thus have no idea what's happening with that. This is more a morbid twist on the actual Groundhog Day story, of which the original idea was based on.
With that in mind, please enjoy.
Naruto is owned by Masashi Kishimoto. All rights reserved.
A Death in the Life of Sasuke Uchiha
Sasuke sat up ramrod straight in his bed. He instinctively checked his left shoulder, even getting up and using the bathroom mirror to be certain. Seeing nothing there, he breathed a sigh of relief.
That dream was just too real for his liking.
A look at his clock revealed the time was 8:07 am. A little later than normal, but, there was no training or missions today. Not when they were all set to take the Chunin Exams later that after noon, at any rate. Still, wouldn't hurt to get in a little bit of a workout in beforehand.
With that that in mind, Sasuke prepared himself for the day.
Sasuke sat up ramrod straight in his bed.
He checked his left shoulder in the bathroom mirror, which felt strange – he had checked his left shoulder in front of the bathroom mirror in his dream, too, looking for the same thing. Which, as in the dream, wasn't there.
And again, it felt too real to be just a dream.
Sasuke frowned to himself, looking at the clock in his bedroom.
Another weird thing…
He shook his head, trying to clear it. Perhaps he was just too overly eager to fight against that spook from the other day, Gaara of the Sand. That may have been it. Getting a little ahead of himself there and dreaming about today's events.
But what's with that Grass-nin girl biting him in his dream? And that guy in the green leotard with the really stupid haircut?
Sasuke sat up ramrod straight, blinking in utter confusion.
What the hell was going on here?
His dream kept getting weirder with its repetitive nature. He could have sworn he felt the bite even now, but a general look at his shoulder revealed clear, unbroken skin.
A glance at his alarm clock: 8:07 am.
He shook his head clear. Either Kakashi was going way too hard on them, or he was starting to crack. But over what? He hadn't even taken the Chunin Exam today!
Sasuke laid in his bed, looking at the ceiling.
"I think I'm going crazy…."
A look at his bedroom clock: 8:07 am.
He was starting to hate that clock.
Sasuke stood by, watching this sick dream play itself out again. Sakura would weakly say hi, mostly because she was losing her nerve, and whatever confidence in herself, then they would go to the Academy room 302 on the third floor, which would be blocked by those two guys who were masking the real the second floor as the third floor with genjutsu. Sasuke would say something that inspires Sakura, and then comes the altercation between him and that spiky-haired kid, only to be interrupted by that weirdo Rock Lee guy, whom Sasuke would end up losing hardcore to in a few minutes.
The first exam would be a paper test, given by Ibiki Morino, who tormented them with thoughts of failure, even though it was just a test of ninja skills, with the tenth question being the only "real" question needed to be answered. Which Naruto does so quite loudly in his spiel over not quitting, despite how badly he does in tests. Then comes Anko Mitarashi, flying in through the window, whom Sasuke started to think was Naruto's sister or someone closely related to him; they acted roughly alike.
Anko would then lead them down to Training Ground 44, aka The Forest of Death, where the second exam was effectively a deadly version of Capture the Flag. Naruto mocks Anko. Anko cuts Naruto. Anko gets really annoyed with the Grass-nin, and everyone gets squicked over the length of that girl's tongue. Naruto goes to take a leak, only for a Rain genin to capture him and masquerade as the blond – poorly at that. After scaring him off, Sasuke gives his team the ninja poem to recite to verify their real identities. There was that massive blast of wind that disperses the group shortly afterwards, and he and Sakura are attacked by the Grass-nin genin girl, who's anything but a Grass-nin genin girl. Naruto shows up, stopping Sasuke from handing over the scroll, punching him for his lack of guts. And then…
"You know something, I'm really sick of this dream," Sasuke grumbled sourly, seeing a feral-looking Naruto stop a massive snake with little more than two kunai and his own body, then call him a chicken. Just as the Grass-nin started to loop her tongue around Naruto's body to do whatever it is she does to him that knocks him out at this point, Sasuke let fly a shuriken, forcing the ridiculously overwhelming ninja away from his teammate.
"What is your deal anyway?" he snapped boredly.
The Grass-nin regarded him carefully. "Oh, what do you mean?"
"Every dream, you show up and bite me on the neck, burning something into my shoulder. I black out, and then wake up in my bedroom at 8:07 in the morning, only to be starting out for the Chunin Exam, which is really just this sick dream looping back on itself, ending with you biting me, only to begin all over again."
The Grass-nin looked genuinely surprised for a moment, as did his teammates.
"Uh, Sasuke, what are you talking about?" Naruto asked. "This isn't a—"
The opposing nin began to chuckle darkly, drawing Naruto's attention.
"I suppose there's no point in hiding my objective, then, since you seem to be thoroughly aware of at least part of my intentions." She took hold of part of her face, then violently ripped off the skin, making everyone shudder in sympathetic horror. However, instead of blood and gore, there was only another face beneath. One that was more male, pale and looked vaguely snakelike, with amber eyes lighting upon Sasuke squarely.
"My name is Orochimaru, young Sasuke, and I have come to take your body."
There was moment of pause, as Sasuke stared at the unmasked ninja. Did he hear that right?
"You want… my body?"
Naruto gagged. "Oh, gross! What kind of pervert is this guy, wanting a boy's body!"
Sasuke blanched, feeling his lunch wanting to make a second appearance. A soft thumping sound revealed Sakura laid out and foaming at the mouth. Apparently, the shock was too much for her, and she opted for blissful unconsciousness.
Shame he couldn't do likewise; for starters, being unconscious around a guy that desired his body was a definite no-no.
Orochimaru snorted in mild amusement. He disappeared in a puff of smoke. The summon popped out of existence as well, causing Naruto to fall over backwards.
"Where did he go?" Naruto asked, hopping to his feet quickly.
"I don't know, and I have no intentions of waiting around to find out." Sasuke hopped down to the ground, where he scooped up Sakura in his arms, noting with certain irony how much she'll kick herself for not being able to enjoy this. "Let's get the hell out of here."
Sasuke was only just aware of the presence behind him. Sharingan ablaze, he tried to react, but with Sakura in his arms—
And he screamed, feeling the burning pain flare right into his chest, followed shortly by darkness.
Sasuke sat up in bed quickly, clutching at his chest.
That was a little different.
Not that it was any less terrifying, but it was… different.
The bed clock read 8:07 am. Again.
Was this some weird kind of genjutsu?
"Hmm?" Kakashi looked up from the gravestone marker he had shown his as-yet-unclaimed Team 7 to see one of the abovementioned. "A bit surprising to see you here, especially at this hour."
Sasuke nodded. "I had to ask around. Someone said you might be here."
He shrugged. "Well, now that you've found me, what can I do for you?"
"I think someone put an illusion on me."
Kakashi turned away from the gravestone marker to face Sasuke more directly. "What makes you believe this?"
Sasuke frowned a little. "Today is the Chunin Exam, right?"
Kakashi nodded. "Of course."
"…I've already went through the first day of it five times in five days."
Kakashi only looked mildly surprised. "Really?"
"Of course. It's been driving me insane since it started. I can tell you who the examiners are, what kind of tests we're given, and most of all, some guy named Orochimaru keeps biting me on the neck, which causes me to blackout and wake up in my—"
"…did you say, Orochimaru?"
Kakashi rubbed his temple again as they sat in his apartment. "Once more."
"Master, for the third time, someone used some kind of genjutsu to force me to live through the same day over and over again. I can't break it, no matter how much I use the Sharingan, and it always ends in the Forest of Death, where Orochimaru bites me with some weird power. I wake up, note that it's 8:07, and the day begins anew, only it's the same day with the same people, and it's stating to drive me crazy!"
"Sasuke, what you're describing is something even I'm not certain a master of genjutsu can perform. The fact that your Sharingan hasn't been able to penetrate it means, either you've been subjected to an illusion stronger than any ninja technique I can think of, or you're going to need a psychic examination."
"It's driving me crazy, not that I am crazy!"
Kakashi held up his hands defensively, sweating a little. "Relax, Sasuke. It is possible someone may have placed a seal on your mind that's altering your perception of things. It's something I believe Interrogation can locate. They have access to various mental techniques that makes this quick and painless."
"I'm sorry, Kakashi; if there's a seal or something of the like, I can't find any trace of it," Inoichi Yamanaka said regretfully. "There is something odd, in that his recent memories seem to… repeat themselves, though, obviously, because they're of later today, the times haven't matched up. Other than that, though, I can't help you."
"So, I'm just losing my mind, is that it?"
"Hmm… Not necessarily," Kakashi said to his annoyed student. "This could merely be a side effect of the Sharingan."
"As you are well aware of, the Sharingan can predict movement and copy various jutsu. However, it's entirely possible that, at higher powers, one can pierce the veil of time and see the future, much like a fortune teller, though with better results." Kakashi looked skyward. "Though I myself had never encountered such a thing, not having the true genetics of the Uchiha."
Sasuke looked at his instructor with a new sense of hope. If it was just a Sharingan effect, he should be able to master it.
"Now that you mention it, every time I get bitten, I am using the Sharingan."
Kakashi gave Sasuke an eye-smile. "Well, in that regard, the best way to prevent that future is to pre-empt the situation. I'll go alert the Hokage to this possible new development. If Orochimaru is hiding among the genin in the exam, we'll flush him out."
Sasuke smiled. "Thanks."
Sasuke felt very uplifted by this change of events. Apparently, his family trait was just trying to warn him of the imminent danger Orochimaru posed. Sounded reasonable. It would explain a lot.
He went through the motions of the day after that. Meeting up with Sakura and Naruto, going to the exam room, boost Sakura's confidence a bit, encounter Rock Lee's challenge, watch Naruto get beaten, and now, his turn.
He wanted to win against Lee, even opening up his Sharingan when Naruto first charged after the green freak. However, he couldn't really follow Lee's movements, or figure out just how was he able to break his guard. He couldn't even avoid the juggling kick that launched him skyward.
At this point, Sasuke turned off the Sharingan and just listened to Lee's speech, seeing if he could divine the answer from him. He was definitely going to beat this guy, no problem.
"This particular move of mine exceeds your genius… completely."
Yeah. Yeah… Sasuke thought mentally. Big words when the fight's going to—
And then, Sasuke felt bandages wrap themselves around his whole body. He blinked in surprise, being wrapped up like a mummy. Lee grabbed hold of his bound form and they began a rapid spiral downwards.
"What the!" And Sasuke could only make out the dizzying rocketing to the ground and an insane speed.
This isn't supposed to hap-
And Sasuke was piledriven headfirst through the floor.
"Sasuke!" Sakura shouted, running to the spot where the Uchiha's boy's legs were flopped about uselessly.
Shock overcame Naruto, as he scrambled to his feet. "Whoa, Sasuke lost?"
Lee smiled. He did it! He defeated the so-called Uchiha genius through his hard work! One step down! The next, his teammate, Neji!
"Do not worry, Sakura-san," Lee spoke sagely. "I pulled the blow at the last minute. He should be fine."
Sakura looked at Lee aghast, tears streaming down her face. "Fine? Fine! How can Sasuke be fine with his neck bent at this angle!"
Lee sweated, panic overriding his system. "Eh!"
Naruto stared down at Sasuke. It was like Land of the Waves all over. Except, the way his neck had been broken, he didn't think he was playing possum.
Sakura cried miserably over the Uchiha's dead body and Naruto looked on, numb. Lee was horrified beyond words.
"What have I done?"
Sasuke shot up ramrod straight in his bed, checking his neck.
He could still feel it snap, the broken vertebrae tear through his spinal cord, killing all feeling below his head, that sickening weird feeling of his head slipping in a completely free direction.
He puked, in remembrance, trembling as he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
"What. The fuck?" he gasped for air.
Did Lee… kill him?
He puked again, the horror clinging to his guts with fervor.