:P for those of you who have read this chapter earlier. This AN must be new. :P but i was totally half asleep and forgot to write this as i posted it :O. Well anyways... here is the first chapter... enjoy
I would like to request something of new readers to my fic. I would really appreciate it if you read at least two or three chapters before abandoning my fic as it does not really deviate from canon on this one… So please… read a few chapters and then decide if you would like to continue or discontinue reading.
I do not own Naruto, nor will I ever, Kishimoto does
For all of those who receive mail bout my update… I haven't changed anything plot wise on this chapter… just rephrased a lot… after a few months of writing… I can see how this chapter and maybe a few more are annoying…
Without Uchiha Sasuke
Chapter 1: the beginning
It was a peaceful, sunny day in Konoha as Team 7 waited for their new Jounin sensei to come and get them. Like all the other teams to graduate from the Academy that year, the 3 genin of Team 7 had been assigned to each other as a team, and a Jounin sensei to guide and teach them.
However, while the other Jounin had come and taken their teams, theirs had not even shown up.
"Oh man!" exclaimed Uzumaki Naruto, the loudmouthed dead last of the Academy graduates.
"Where in the Hokage's name is Sensei?" He asked impatiently.
"Why so impatient Dobe?" asked Uchiha Sasuke, the number one rookie of the year, a smirk adorning his face
"Can't wait to get yourself killed?"
"Teme!" screamed Naruto. "I just want him to hurry up so I can start training to become Hokage."
"Hmm." Replied Sasuke. "And pigs will fly."
Naruto was about to give Sasuke a piece of his fist when the remaining member of the 3 man cell spoke.
"Naruto! Stop disturbing Sasuke-kun and go train or something. Kami-sama knows you need it!"
Haruno Sakura was the smartest genin in their batch, getting the highest marks in the written portions of the exam while scoring average in other departments. On the other hand Sasuke had gotten the overall highest marks and was thus named the number one rookie of the year.
Naruto stood stunned for a while at the girl's words before lowering his head and mumbling out a soft, depressed "Sakura-chan."
Though it hurt him to hear her say that out loud, he knew she was right. He had gotten the lowest results of all and the only reason he had graduated to genin had been because of that incident.
Naruto pulled himself together and walked over to the farthest seat from the other two where he sat down and started recalling the events of the previous night.
He ran through the fine details of the events, starting from his use of Oiroke no Jutsu in order to knock out the Hokage, to his theft of the forbidden scroll, his learning of the Kagebunshin no Jutsu and finally to Mizuki's apprehension.
He personally considered himself lucky to have taught himself the Kagebunshin no Jutsu in one night as well as to have been able to produce so many flawless clones.
He himself understood that it had been the mass numbers that had gained him victory over Mizuki and not his battle skills. He shuddered at the thought of what would have happened had he not been able to make so many clones.
He hadn't learned much else that night, apart from the revelation of his tenant who resided inside the seal on his belly, and to make things worse he had even lost the small scroll he had copied some of the other forbidden Jutsu to.
Naruto's eyes widened as the realization hit him.
There was always a reason for things to be forbidden and he recalled the Sandaime had been very forceful in asking him not to teach the Kagebunshin to anyone.
That meant that if anyone else found the scroll and the jutsu leaked out, the Sandaime would know exactly who to blame for it.
He needed to find that scroll as soon as possible. Now if only he could be at two places at once.
The answer struck him like a thunderbolt from Kami himself.
Of course! The Kagebunshin!
But how would he perform the technique without it being seen by both Sakura and Sasuke?
It took him only a minute of thinking before the blonde boy got frustrated. After all, he wasn't known for his logical skills.
He walked over to the window hoping some fresh air would help. He leaned over the window sill and looked over towards the forest where he had hidden the scroll. If only he could find a way to create the clones. Naruto sighed and stood up only to bang his head on the raised window and fall all the way to the ground. Both his teammates saw him fall and they shook their heads in disbelief.
Meanwhile, somewhere in mid-air, a blond genin smiled to himself as he covered himself in the smoke of his new jutsu.
All had gone according to his plan.
Moments later, the blonde boy returned to the classroom, scratching the back of his head and grinning sheepishly as he entered.
The antics of the dead last caused the number one rookie of the year to roll his eyes. How in a thousand years had that Dobe managed to graduate?
However Sakura noticed something about the dead last that Sasuke didn't.
Despite the large cloud that had formed on Naruto's impact on the ground, there seemed to be not even one speck of dirt on his body except his feet on which she would have expected even him to land on.
Yet, Sakura decided to let it pass this one time. After all, what could a dobe possess that could be even remotely interesting to her.
Naruto calmly walked over to his seat in the far corner of the table and sat in anticipation of his new sensei, his mind drifting, half worried about whether he could find the scroll his clones were looking for.
Another hour had passed and there had still been no sign of their sensei.
Both Sasuke and Sakura had fallen asleep due to the pure boredom of the hour spent, Sasuke in his usual evil gaze pose and Sakura face towards her crush.
Naruto had had it. This sensei thought he could treat them any way he wanted due to them being mere genin. But he was wrong and Naruto would make sure he found out the hard way. A grin crossed his face and he dragged a desk closer to the door.
The soft sound of the desk gently dragging on the floor woke Sakura, who never had been a heavy sleeper. She opened her eyes just in time to see the orange clad boy climbing onto the desk, something rectangular in hand.
Sakura stifled a yawn as she sat up and stretched.
"Naruto? What do you think you are doing?" she asked softly, half forgetting where she was, and who she was talking to.
A grinning face glanced back at her as the boy in question wedged a dusty eraser into the partially opened door.
"A little payback for keeping us waiting for so long."
Sakura looked at him quizzically as he got off and placed the desk in its original position.
"Do you think it will work? He is a Jounin after all." She said though her inner self screamed at her to join in on the prank.
Naruto just shrugged.
"Who knows? It's worth a try though." He said.
Naruto felt a slight tingling in the back of his brain as a clone of his dispelled.
Though he had already experienced a wave of chakra exhausted dispels, the dispelling was not something he had gotten used to.
Yet, this last dispel, had not been due to chakra exhaustion, but rather due to being bitten by a snake when the clone had accidentally stepped on it.
It was an unusual experience for him, to feel exactly what the clone felt as it 'died', the phantom pain of the fangs biting into his leg and injecting whatever poison it possessed.
However, like the last wave of dispelling, this had also taught Naruto a lot about the Jutsu and the possible reasons for it being forbidden.
Unlike the normal clone jutsu he knew of, each shadow clone required a lot of chakra from the user to create, though he didn't know exactly how much.
On top of that, the technique created solid bodies that could interact and speak however he wanted them to.
These clones could also go far from their creator and still stay intact. The disadvantage was that it took one blow, even a nonfatal one, to dispel the technique.
Interestingly, the technique also transferred all the experiences the clone had back to the user when the clone dispelled, and with the experience he had, he knew that absorbing this information could be dangerous in large amounts.
However, the possibilities of usage for this technique would be endless.
He would need to find out more from his sensei when he met him about this forbidden technique before he could put it to use though, because Uzumaki Naruto knew that nothing good came without a catch.
Speak of the devil, he thought as the sound of footsteps reached his ears through the hallway. Here comes the lazy guy right now.
The footsteps stopped at the door, and their first glimpse of their sensei was his hand coming through the slightly ajar door.
Both Naruto's and Sakura's eyes darted to the duster wedged, both of them silently wishing for their sensei to fall for the little trick.
A face appeared from the other side as a silver haired man poked his head through the door before opening it further.
Everything moved in slow motion, the duster taking all the time in the world to fall straight on the Jounin's head, the dust of the chalk blowing up in a small cloud at the moment of impact.
Naruto immediately burst out into laughter leaving an agape Sakura and a still sleeping Sasuke, who stirred at the amount of noise Naruto was making.
Inner Sakura immediately jumped up with a shout of victory at the success of the small prank while Sakura herself was wondering if this was the skill of a Jounin.
The masked face raised a quizzical eyebrow at the rolling ball of orange on the floor and Sakura struggled to speak, afraid that their sensei would be angry at them for playing such a trick.
"G-g-Gomen sensei. It was all his idea."
Sakura was cut off short by a waving hand.
"My first impression of you, Is that I do not like you."
The words caused Sakura's head to hang, knowing that all chances at a good first impression had been blown by her mischievous team mate.
"However, I will still give you a chance at becoming ninja. If you are interested, meet me up on the roof in 5 minutes."
Without a further word, he was gone, leaving the three genin to themselves.
Sakura immediately turned around to wake Sasuke up, allowing Naruto to walk out of the room unnoticed.
The only thing on his mind right now, was retrieving the scroll one of his clones had found just before it dispelled.
If it were possible for someone to see rage, the whole of Konoha would see it rolling of the academy's rooftops in waves. Needless to say, Sakura was very pissed.
It had been bad enough that she had had to wake Sasuke up to come to the roof ending in him giving her a cold stare as he stormed off, but Naruto had seemingly disappeared on his way up.
The Jounin seemed the least bothered with the fact that one of the 3 were missing, busying himself with a book that was labeled Icha Icha.
Sakura had seen one of those books at her place once when she had been cleaning her dad's closet and her knowing exactly what that book contained did nothing to calm her rage. She also noted that Sasuke was trying to snatch a few winks in the meantime as well.
The silver haired Jounin finally spoke, snatching a glance at the sun.
"Well, we've been here for 5 minutes already. If your teammate is not here in 5 more minutes, then the 3 of you are going back to the academy."
This woke up the nodding off Sasuke who immediately jumped up, furious.
"What?" he exclaimed. "YOU are going to send ME, the number one rookie of Konoha, BACK to the academy just because the dead last of our batch chickened out?"
"Yup" replied the Jounin, nonchalantly, not even bothering to look up from his book.
"Each of you is part of a 3 man cell. And as such you are a team. And without your teammate, neither of you are going any further."
The color literally drained from Sakura's face at the Jounin's words.
Another year at the academy was something serious.
She would have no problems graduating again, yet the chances of being put on Sasuke's team again, was slim to none.
She had considered herself very lucky this time around and she could not help but believe that her luck may not stand up to the test of time.
Sasuke scoffed and crossed his arms across his chest in a proud manner.
"There is no way that is going to happen." He said, his confidence in his words apparent as he spoke.
"I am an invaluable asset to Konoha and there is no way that the Hokage would let me go into the academy for another year. He will put me in another team and send another weakling to the academy. Maybe that fat Akimichi or that stuttering Hyuuga girl."
The statement the Uchiha made got a reaction from both other occupants of the roof.
The Jounin's eye had left the page of the book he was reading and was rested on the boy in front of him while Sakura stared at him with shocked eyes.
She had come to know Hinata from the academy class and had grown to like the gentle and caring Hyuuga. Sakura had no doubt that once Hinata got over her lack of self confidence that she would be the number one Kunoichi of their age.
Never, even in her wildest dreams, had she thought Sasuke would think of Hinata like that.
Her opinion of the cool and mysterious Uchiha pegged down one notch, finally as she saw one blemish upon his normally attractive facade.
Sakura was about to raise the question of why Sasuke thought them weaklings when the exit to the roof flew open to reveal a panting Naruto.
The look of relief flashed across her face as he slowly walked over to him. None of the 3 genin noticed the Jounin lift his headband across the left eye for a second.
"Okay. It's getting late already so let's get this over with fast. I want you to introduce yourselves. Likes, dislikes and ambitions. Let's start with the latecomer."
Naruto winced as the Jounin looked at him in eagerness. He had been found out, though he had no clue how, that he was a clone.
The quick meeting line was an overly obvious hint. Naruto was about to oblige the Jounin when Sakura spoke out.
"Wait. You want us to introduce ourselves while we know nothing about you?" she said. "How about you give us an example?"
The Jounin sighed audibly, not too happy with having to go first, or having to go at all.
"Fine, fine. My name is Hatake Kakashi. My likes are reading literature."
Kakashi could have sworn that he had heard Sakura scoff at that statement.
"My dislikes are people who are too full of themselves and I have no ambition. Blondie, continue."
Kakashi sighed audibly once more, in truth he had not come with the intention of giving them any information apart from his name, but the appearance of a Kagebunshin instead of one of his students had put an unexpected twist in his plans.
He couldn't help but smile as Naruto stood up to speak. The boy had gotten the hint after all. Maybe he wasn't as stupid as they say.
"My name is Uzumaki Naruto. I love Ramen and I hate the 3 minutes it takes for the ramen to be prepared. My ambition is to become Hokage."
As soon as he sat down, he received an appraising look from Kakashi as well as an odd one from Sakura. He sounds just like Sensei when we were young, thought Kakashi with a smile.
Sakura meanwhile was astonished at how calmly and quickly he had given the information and at the same time fail to confess his love for her. However she decided to ask Naruto later as Kakashi turned to her.
"Ok. Pinky. You're next."
Sakura rolled her eyes at the nickname Kakashi had called her, but let it go considering the strange occurrences of the day so far.
"My name is Haruno Sakura. My likes are *glance towards Sasuke followed by a blush*. My ambitions are *another glance towards Sasuke followed by another blush* and my dislikes are those who are not the people they seem to be."
Though her sentence was meant in general, Sakura was sure she saw a brief flash of hurt pass through Naruto at her mention of dislikes and decided to add it to her list of Questions To Ask Naruto Later.
After all, she couldn't afford to miss hearing Sasuke's introduction, there could be something in there that could help her claim the heart of the man she loved.
Kakashi barely raised his eyes from his literature before he said one word.
The Uchiha stood up and put his hands in his pockets before speaking, not to anyone in particular, but to everyone that would be listening.
"Uchiha Sasuke. I like power and people that possess power. I dislike weaklings and those that get in my way. My ambition is the revival of my clan and to kill a certain someone."
Great, thought Kakashi, an avenger much like myself when I was younger.
He saw that Naruto was not paying much attention to Sasuke anymore but was concentrating on him. Sakura meanwhile was in dreamland, imagining Sasuke reviving his clan with her by his side.
Kakashi's words, however, brought her out of her daydream.
"Okay. I have to go and catch up with a friend. So I want you to meet me at training ground number 4 at 8 o'clock in the morning. Sharp. And don't have breakfast or you'll throw up."
He then poofed away in a cloud of smoke before either of the genin could say anything any further.
Naruto was the first one to recover from the sudden shock of abandonment, scratching his head before saying.
"Well, it seems we are done here. So I'll be going. Ja!"
Sakura could barely manage a nod before the orange ball of energy jumped from rooftop to rooftop going in the general direction of the Konoha village square, her thoughts being along the lines of 'did he really not ask me out on a date?'.
Sakura didn't really care though, now that it was only her and Sasuke on the rooftop of the Academy.
It was the perfect chance for her to get her first kiss but somehow, for reasons that avoided her, she just didn't want it that day.
Sighing out loud much like Kakashi had, Sakura just walked off towards the stairs with her hand on her head as if she had developed a sudden headache. All she knew was that Ino would have a laugh when she finally heard the story.
Things could not be peachier for Sasuke. The dobe was gone and so was the fangirl. Both of them out of his way, though it was temporarily and he hoped that they would stay that way through out their time as a team. He had one final thing to whisper out to the world before he jumped off much like Naruto.
"Don't get in my way. Or else."
Getting to the forest had been easy for Naruto.
Once he had gotten out of that classroom, things had been a piece of cake.
However finding the exact tree the last clone had dropped the scroll near was difficult in a forest of very similar trees and had taken a lot of time.
Luckily, his plan of sending a clone made from the last dredges of his chakra to the meeting with his sensei had worked and he knew everything that had happened in the meeting as if he had been there himself.
However, he still had no clue how Kakashi had discerned him from his clone so easily. And there was also the question of where he had disappeared to as soon as the meeting had been finished.
The answer to his question was standing in front of him with the scroll in his hand.
"Ah, Naruto-kun. How nice to see you in person."
Naruto didn't know whether the happiness in the Jounin's voice was faked or not, but he knew that what he had been looking for, now rested in the very Jounin's hands.
"What are you doing inside a forest? Looking for something?" asked Kakashi as he hefted the scroll, tossing it a few times in to the air.
Naruto scratched his head. It was apparent that he had been found out once again. This Jounin is something else, thought Naruto, realizing that Kakashi had tracked his chakra signature from all the way inside the village to this very spot.
"I know what this scroll is Naruto-kun." Said Kakashi, looking down at the blond boy, his tone serious, yet surprisingly gentle.
"I hope you do what's right with this." Finished the Jounin as he handed the scroll back to Naruto.
The blond looked at Kakashi for a second not sure if he was joking. The Jounin was handing him the scroll, fully knowing what it contained and was still trusting him?
Kakashi spoke as soon as Naruto had taken the scroll, the blond still obviously confused as to why he had gotten the scroll back.
"Since you are here, and who I met was a Kagebunshin. I am assuming that you already know of the information gathering ability of the technique." The boy nodded allowing Kakashi to continue.
"What is interesting is that everything the Kagebunshin learns is also learned by the user once the clone is dispelled. However, large amounts of information can overload ones brain and put them in a state of coma or outright kill them."
Naruto looked at the Jounin, not sure where the silver haired man was taking this lecture.
"My point is. You have a lot to catch up on, knowledge wise, and training wise. Maybe it is best to use the Kagebunshin to catch up."
The light bulb lit up as if it had gotten that surge of electricity that it had needed really bad.
It made sense really, now that he thought about it. It would save him time than relearning everything on his own.
"But, Remember, it only applies to your knowledge and familiarity with jutsu. Your physical abilities will not be transferred. So you will have to work on them by yourself."
So that was the catch of this particular jutsu. Mentally shrugging to himself, Naruto decided that what he got in return for the catch, was better than most, and that he would still make the best use of it.
Seeing the thoughts flit through Naruto's mind, Kakashi smiled, before adding in his own senseis touch to the whole meeting.
"I suggest you start with chakra training. You do need to learn not to waste so much chakra creating a clone."
Naruto's eyes widened. So that's how Kakashi had figured out that it was a clone. The release of chakra combined with the small amount left in the clone would be abnormal for someone who had created hundreds a few nights ago.
Kakashi smiled at the boy.
"Remember our meeting tomorrow and don't tire yourself out." He said before disappearing in a cloud of smoke after giving him the trademark Kakashi goodbye wave.
Naruto stood still for a moment before starting off towards the Hokage tower. He needed to give the old man the scroll and besides, he had no idea where else to get help on chakra control.
On the other side of town, Sakura was having one of her worst days. The first thing she had done once the meeting had ended had been to visit her childhood best friend to tell her about the events of the day.
It was Ino's reaction that Sakura had not liked.
Ino had been flabbergasted. She had not known what to think when Sakura had told her the story.
The look that Sakura had given her when she had told her the story meant that it was something more than an odd occurrence for her friend and being a fellow Uchiha fan girl, Ino had decided to try and lighten up the mood.
"Hehe. Maybe you should give up on Sasuke-kun, Sakura. After all, that was probably your only chance to get ahead of me."
The joke had not really been a joke for Sakura and the rest of the time between them had been spent in awkward silence before Sakura had gone home.
All of this, starting from the time they waited for their sensei, had basically ruined her day and Sakura had gone to bed without having dinner. The thoughts had kept running riot inside her head and had made her not want to do anything. Even now, they were preventing her from falling asleep and she needed her beauty sleep if she wanted to remain beautiful for Sasuke.
There was a slight knock on her door and Sakura glanced to see her mother poke her head through the door.
"Are you okay sweetheart? You haven't had your dinner tonight." Asked the pink haired woman.
"No mom. I don't really feel like eating tonight." Said Sakura as she turned away once again.
"Are you on another diet again?" asked Haruno Sayaki hoping to lighten the mood but decided to probe again once she got no response from her daughter.
"Want to talk about it darling? Maybe it will help."
Sakura thought about it for a second. She had gone to Ino hoping for some advice on it and had gotten none even though Ino was considered an expert at giving advice to girls her age. Might as well try this she thought. It couldn't become any worse.
Sakura told her mother everything that had happened, going into detail and voicing her questions where she was confused and needed answers. There was a momentary silence after Sakura had finished speaking before her mother spoke.
"Naruto is the boy in orange right?"
Sakura nodded and saw her mother's eyes fall in sadness.
"From what I know of him, he has suffered a very hard past, Sakura-chan. That reason that he is so loud and obnoxious is to cover his suffering up. It is the only way that he can gain some attention. I feel that the boy you saw today is a glimpse of who Naruto truly is beneath the act."
The tears glistening in Sayaki's eyes made Sakura wonder what would cause her mother to cry.
"Surely his past is not harder than Sasuke-kun's. Naruto never had to see his family die."
Sayaki looked at Sakura.
"True. Naruto never had to see them die."
There was a slight pause before Sayaki continued.
"Both of them have very different pasts Sakura."
Sayaki only shortened her daughter's name when she was sad. That was the only time she shortened anyone's name.
"One who has had love, has lost it, and does not want it again and another who has never had love and wants it but I do not think he will ever get the love that he deserves."
Sakura frowned at the statement her mother had made.
"Don't worry mom. I will make sure Sasuke-kun gets the love that he deserves." She said smiling.
Sayaki sighed inwardly and stood up, giving Sakura a warm smile.
"I'm sure you will get whatever you set your mind to sweetheart. But at all times, keep an open mind and an open heart. Then you will understand what I am talking about. For now, go to sleep. You have to meet your team tomorrow, and you will need to get as strong as you can for when he will need you."
Sayaki bent over and gave her a kiss before walking out the room, the tears finally falling from her eyes. There was a boy, a very needy boy, in front of her that needed love, and again there was nothing she could do. If only you knew his burden, Sakura-chan, and the sacrifice he has made for the whole village. Then you would love him too.
Yayy! my first chap of my first story is done! though i got one more story coming up soon and lots of chaps for this one XD
REVIEW! and keep me updated on my flaws and plusses! :D