The Chaos Theory

by Bullwinkle's Lady

Chapter 40

The young Sasuke was not easily aroused. Even since puberty, there had been little that stimulated him, or inclined him to want to be stimulated. He'd look at Naruto's perverted behavior and ponder upon his own sexuality, or lack thereof.

And then one day he was kissing Hinata on the roof of her house.

Sasuke pulled back, feeling himself begin to respond in an inappropriate way. It was okay, he told himself. It was a normal physical response. He just had to cool down.

Hinata's lips remained parted, and her eyes, closed. She slowly opened them, blinking in confusion. "Sasuke?"

He took a deep breath and stared up at the night sky, trying to think of things less attractive than the girl beside him.

She predictably panicked. "D-did I do s-something to offend you?" she said, though she was the one who should have been offended. He watched her fidget madly from the corner of his eye.

"No," said Sasuke, glancing back at her, then pausing. His gaze wandered down from her face.

Her zipper had inched downward at some point in her twisting and turning, maneuvering just right to reap all the benefits of the kiss.

"No?"

He didn't hear her. Apparently he liked breasts. More specifically, he liked Hinata's. She usually kept herself completely concealed, but as of late, her guard was weakening around him. Even then, he didn't realize he was staring at her cleavage... Or how he mused that the other girls didn't have cleavage. The other girls barely had anything there. But Hinata...well...

"Your nose..."

Sasuke blinked and looked up. It was only then that he noticed his nose was running. He hastily wiped it and glanced at his armguard. It was blood. "Oh."

He experienced a moment of calm followed by an onslaught of horror. He had a nosebleed!?

Hinata was staring at him.

"I have to go," Sasuke mentioned, standing.

Hinata blinked. "Wait, don't-"

He dropped from the roof and disappeared.


The night passed before they met again.

The young Sasuke awoke earlier than he was used to...too early. A searing flood of daylight poured through his windows, invading his apartment, burning his eyes – making him wonder what had compelled him to crawl out from beneath his covers.

Right, it was whoever was presently knocking on his door. Clad in shorts and a t-shirt, Sasuke stalked towards it, expecting his visitor to be Naruto, because who else would have the nerve? He opened his door just slightly, glaring through the crack, and upon seeing who it was, his sleepiness evaporated. He opened the door completely.

Hinata seemed surprised by his disheveled appearance. Maybe she had thought him to be a morning person. "S-Sasuke-kun," she stammered, being overly polite again. "I w-wanted to apologize...about yesterday...you must be...something w-wrong...r-really sorry...more sensitive to your feelings, a-and..." She continued to ramble on. He tried to put together all the fragments of what she was trying to say.

His mind was foggy from sleeping. He rubbed the side of his head. "That's not it," he said, interrupting her. "It's..." he trailed off.

"What is it?"

Your body.

"Please tell me!"

Sasuke grit his teeth. "You're very pretty," he mentioned.

Her face turned pink. "What?" she squeaked.

"You're – very – pretty," he repeated.

It was more of a complaint than a compliment. Hinata's color only seemed to deepen in shade. Sasuke bit his mouth and wondered if they shouldn't continue this conversation later. He observed her long lashes, amethyst hair, and ghost white eyes that he oftentimes mused about.

Though glancing away, Hinata persisted, "D-demo – what does that have to d-do with yesterday."

"What does it matter? Let's-" What was it that Kakashi called it? "-icha icha."

Maybe she was beginning to catch on to the fact that he was trying to embarrass her to death, that he had no intention of humoring her query, that he, in fact, sought to snuff it out. Though far from making demands, she remained where she was, pressing her pointer fingers so compulsively he was tempted to intervene.

Sasuke sighed. Every time she became even vaguely comfortable around him, something stupid occurred and drove her several steps back. "I don't think you want to know."

The fidgeting came to a halt. "Please, S-Sasuke-kun. I have to know when I'm d-doing something wrong." She looked at him with a perilous determination usually unique to Naruto.

Sasuke began to measure the benefits versus the detriments of closing the door in her face, but to his surprise, Hinata walked inside, bringing them closer whilst reinforcing her resolve. She reached out and took his hand, tentatively at first, a curious tremble about her fingers. Sasuke secured the connection, idly examining how delicate her fingers were compared to his. Was it wrong that he found enjoyment in her timidity?

She took a deep breath. "I'm n-not a child."

Yet she cried at the drop of a needle, blushed at a sneeze. She was so innocent.

"I'm your wife."

The fogginess was back. "I'm not trying to pressure you into anything. In fact, you're the one who's - insisting..."

Her confusion returned.

"Sometimes when we're kissing, I start to get..." And so he told her. Never in Sasuke's life did he expect he'd be discussing male arousal with Hyuuga Hinata, but odder things had happened.

He watched as her face drained of color. When he finished, she stood unmoving, not-breathing, and maybe regretting her persistence on the matter. He wondered if she would redden again, or turn green? Cry or faint? Run away?

He didn't expect her to attack. "Hakke Hasengeki!"

Sasuke grunted as his back connected with his kitchen counter. He eyed Hinata as he straightened, watching her walk forward.

"You're a...a..." She grasped for words when she stood before him.

"Pervert?" He pulled back her hair, enjoying as she blushed. "Apparently."

"Jyuu-"

He caught her wrist, jerking her forward, causing their bodies to connect, and then their lips. She sunk in his embrace, dizzy by then. She allowed him to kiss her all he wanted.

Hinata brought out traits in him he hadn't known to exist. He kissed her with a newfound greed, coaxing her lips until they parted.

But Sasuke slowly came to realize that Hinata was shaking. Even as he pulled back, the shaking persisted. She slipped like water from his fingers. "What is it?"

Hinata turned away from him and held onto the counter. "You think I'm p-pretty?" she said woozily.

"It's not a matter of opinion."

He said it impassively, like it was an indisputable fact. Sasuke wasn't a charmer. In fact, went out of his way to not impress girls. Her face burning, she was tempted to believe him. "I don't feel pretty. I feel dirty."

Sasuke's lips parted. He suddenly understood.

"When I was a-attacked in the f-forest, they – th-they tried to-" She bit hard on her bottom lip, unable to continue. "I d-don't want to push you away. I don't want anyone else to have it!"

Sasuke simply watched her. "It's mine," he stated.

Her eyes widening, Hinata abruptly turned back to him, but then quickly looked down. Her face reddened more, as though it was only then that she realized what she had said. "I – ano – I-I have to go," she said weakly. She made her way to the door, feeling Sasuke trail her, like a curious reaper.

Sasuke wanted to go after her, but refrained from doing so. He stood in his doorframe and pocketed his hands, feeling an incredible sense of impotence fill his chest as she left.

Maybe she didn't know it, but that night had left a burden on him as well.


Uzumaki Naruto was a great burden to Inner Sakura. The intensity of his presence possessed Sakura in her stead. With his blue eyes, maybe one day he would hold her captive.

Naruto and Sakura were meant to find each other at the age of twenty. At twenty, they would reach an emotional maturity that would scream the necessity of their relationship-

...the logic, the perfection...

But by twenty, Sakura would have had five years to abuse her body with Tsunade's seal. Between fifteen and twenty, Inner Sakura would have free reign, and Naruto would be none the wiser, busy with protecting the world, and not protecting Sakura.

He should have been watching over her, the way she watched over him. He should have looked into her eyes with the intentness of a lover and seen the discord running rampant about her mind.

But the young Naruto wasn't aware of her inner self yet. And Sakura was too young to realize the growing weight of her influence.

She hadn't noticed the times Mirai Naruto sedated her episodes. She had never witnessed the similar effect he'd had on his wife. Of Naruto, Inner Sakura was fiercely protective. To Naruto, she offered an irrational obedience. She was loyal to him above others. Above Sakura.

The young Naruto threw her a cheeky grin that afternoon, not unlike the ones he would offer her over the next decade. "Ne, Sakura-chan, why are you staring at me like that?"

Blinking, Sakura lightly shook herself. "What? No I'm not," she said, looking away.

The two stood on their designated training ground awaiting the arrival of the others. Though Kakashi had never been to training on time in their three years under his tutelage, Naruto and Sakura still had the odd tendency to show up early themselves if only because it pleasured them to yell at him more than it frustrated them to wait for him.

Their time waiting together was usually spent exchanging sleepy looks. For some time they discussed ways of getting Sasuke back to Konoha, then, of late, it was back to tired looks. Usually Sakura's thoughts couldn't be further from Naruto's orange offensiveness, but she couldn't help that she was starting to notice things about him.

There were unnerving traces of Mirai Naruto in him. Traits that Sakura had paid little mind to for years were slowly overwhelming her focus – like how when Naruto was in need of a haircut, as he did presently, she could spot Mirai Naruto's attractive ruggedness in him. His eyes, though well-meaning, were showing the beginnings of mischief and mayhem. And sometimes his grin that wasn't docile, but tactful.

Sakura frowned to herself. As if Naruto wasn't bad enough, in ten years time he would be a complete nightmare.

It wasn't as though Mirai Naruto wasn't handsome, and powerful, and even...nice sometimes. But there was a cruelness about him that was so frighteningly unfamiliar. His eyes were knowing, calculating, and jaded.

As he watched Sakura ponder, Naruto's smile softened. Her unease had been almost tangible over the past few days, but he was used to Sakura's bad moods, and knew better than to pry. He wasn't intimidated by it. Never.

She seemed to awake from her thoughts and threw him a glance. "What are you looking at," she countered.

Naruto shrugged. "You."

There was a rustling of grass as someone new entered the clearing. The two looked up to see Hinata and Kasai approach. At seeing them, the five-year-old broke away from her guardian and hurried over to Naruto, clutching something in hand.

"Oji, I drew you a picture!"

Naruto blinked and received the paper in Kasai's hand. Together, him and Sakura peered down at an amorphous blob of orange. It was, without a doubt, a portrait of the blonde.

"You drew me a picture? No way!" he praised, as Kasai grinned in a way that made Sakura wonder if the two weren't close in the future. "No one's ever drawn me a picture..." Naruto trailed off, before suddenly becoming racked with sobs. He proceeded to bury his face in the drawing, covering it in tears and mucus.

Her smile twitching, Sakura habitually patted the bawling Naruto on the shoulder. Hinata joined them, seeming quietly amused. Sakura noticed that Kasai's previously smug expression had become a glare. The child grinned like Naruto, but her glare made her look so much like Sasuke did when he was about to kill someone. Sakura was astonished to find that it was directed towards her.

She gasped when Naruto suddenly grabbed her, pulling her into his arms. A pillar of flames had erupted in the grass where she had been standing. Naruto's face suspiciously dry, he frowned at Kasai. "Hey teme, your kid's trying to murder Sakura," he complained, finally releasing the girl in question.

Blinking, Sakura glanced up to see that Sasuke had arrived, and taken to staring at the fire. Beside him, Hinata had wrapped her arms loosely around Kasai's neck and shoulders with Kasai's back to her. But what difference did it make? She had executed no hand seals. She had only used her eyes. Sakura watched Kasai deactivate her sharingan.

After the initial burst, the fire had sank to a natural height, and Naruto took to stomping upon it whilst cursing, as though it shared responsibility for the assault on Sakura.

Hinata turned Kasai to face her. "You shouldn't attack your friends," she said, placing her hands on her hips.

"Not all of us are flame-retardant," said Sasuke. He had seen Kasai throw similar attacks at her father, who had been unaffected. Maybe she thought everyone was immune. The young Sasuke absently wiped her cheek with his thumb wondering who had given her ice cream so early in the day.

Sasuke and Hinata paused and glanced at each other, before quickly glancing away again. Both lowered their hands, resigning their absent gestures. Naruto and Sakura were too distracted to notice.

The fire had become small in size, but Naruto was still battling away, though only seeming to exacerbate it. Sasuke would have blamed his being a wind element if he wasn't witnessing his incompetence first-hand.

Kasai was frowning to herself at being scolded by the lenient versions of kaasan and tousan. She was starting to realize that having two pairs of parents wasn't that great of a deal after all.

The fire was finally out. Naruto hobbled over, covered in burns. "Anyway, it was a great picture Kasai. Sorry it got burned... But thank you so much!"

The child beamed.

Sakura's eyebrow twitched. It was typical of Naruto to have implausible mood swings, to go from scolding to praising an ill-behaved child, sometimes, from battling, to hugging mortal enemies, and so on.

She twitched again at realizing that first the future visitors had told her she was going to die. Now one actually was trying to kill her, and for something so ludicrous as Naruto's approval.

Just before she could start pulling out her hair, Kakashi appeared, looking vaguely entertained, like maybe he had been there for longer than they realized. Sakura would have told him he was late, but didn't have the strength anymore. She ignored as Kiba and Shino arrived, looking confused, and muttering questions to Hinata about the charred Naruto.

Sakura was matched against Naruto that day. The two spent the afternoon exchanging swipes, but never bothering to make them connect. It was like a dance between them. They were so used to sparring together, they knew how to fake it. Why would they ever want to fight for real? Why would she ever want to hurt Naruto?

We'll save our strength for next time we fight with that "freakshow," she thought, smiling to herself as she remembered the way Naruto had referred to his own counterpart.

Mirai Naruto and his...cruel claims. What did it matter if she died? For Konoha-

Always.

He seemed to care about it more than she did. Despite that she was terrified. Traumatized. "You know you're crazy," she called out to the young Naruto.

He faltered, and one of her cuffs actually hit. He flew back but regained his footing. "What do you mean?" he called back, frowning petulantly.

"Your future. Mirai Naruto. You're completely insane!"

He shrugged dismissively. "So are you."

In a part of the surrounding forest, Sasuke and Hinata were immersed in their own spar...or what was supposed to be a spar. Hinata took the offensive with an onslaught of distracted strikes, each of which Sasuke expertly blocked, never straying from the defensive himself.

Hinata was ridden with nerves. They hadn't spoken since that morning and their awkwardness was overtaking their efforts to train.

She stepped back, panting, both maintaining their fighting stances, before she lunged at him again, but instead of attacking, she caught his shoulders. She leaned on her toes, and kissed him, once, before pulling back, embarrassed that he had not responded.

"Hinata." He grabbed her wrist.

They kissed again, this time with mutuality. Sasuke caught her waist with one of his arms, but she impulsively stiffened at this additional contact.

"It's all right," he muttered against her lips, urging her to relax, and she tried.

That's when Naruto strolled by in search of a kunai he had thrown in that direction. He froze at seeing them. Sasuke and Hinata quickly separated, all three blushing and staring at one another.

But Naruto's blush built and built, until he looked like his head might burst from blood rush. He opened his mouth, then closed it, then opened it again. "You – you two were-!"

Sasuke suddenly caught Naruto in a headlock. He covered his mouth and began to drag him away.

Hinata blinked. "Where are you-?"

"He's going to explode," said Sasuke.

"W-what-?"

"Ja."

Hinata blankly watched as Naruto was dragged deeper into the forest, grunting and struggling all the while. When they were gone, Hinata lightly shook herself, and walked off in the direction of the training grounds. She futilely tried to smother her mortification. Sasuke hadn't had to have been so rough with Naruto...and to dismiss her so abruptly...but mostly he had been quite rude to Naruto – even if Naruto had seen them, and there was a slight risk of his head exploding into a billion bloody bits.

Smoldering in indignation, she continued to walk, while musing again over the curt "ja" Sasuke had thrown her in parting. As she exited the woods, she saw that the others were waiting. Kakashi raised a brow and inquired about the whereabouts of Naruto and Sasuke.

"Ano – th-they went off together." She blushed at the odd looks she was receiving, and tried to convince herself to continue. Naruto had seen them, after all. The others would find out sooner or later. "S-Sasuke-kun and I...w-we, um..." Hinata didn't notice as she resumed her newest habit of twisting her hair about her pointer finger.

Kasai tilted her head in concern. "Kaasan?"

A silence fell over the group as the others realized what the child had said. Hinata's teammates had been mentally prepared for such a scenario, but were still stunned by the confirmation of it. The silence continued, becoming almost eerie. No one said a word, no one even breathed.

Except for Kakashi, who smiled.

"It's t-true," said Hinata. "W-we belong together." Red as she was, she might as well have declared Sasuke her love-slave. Thinly breathing, she forced herself to go on. "In fact, we're – married."


"It's a paper marriage," the young Sasuke explained what he had failed to during his visit to Naruto's apartment. "Our future selves don't want us to fuck everything up," he said with as much eloquence as he could muster.

The two sat across from each other in Sasuke's tidy living room. The Uchiha remained aloof while trying to read the blonde's stunned expression.

Naruto was staring off. His eyes returned to Sasuke's dark ones. "It didn't look like a paper marriage," he mumbled.

He saw a flicker of embarrassment cross Sasuke's face, then disappear just as quickly. The corner of Naruto's mouth curled slightly.

Sasuke bit the inside of his cheek. It was one thing to explain his increasing sexuality to Hinata, but another thing entirely to explain it to Naruto. He didn't understand it himself. It was like Hinata had flicked a switch in his mind and awoken a secret part of him that had lain dormant for the past fifteen years. "We get along," he said, attempting to sum up their relationship with four hasty syllables.

As with anything Naruto approached, the severity of their conversation dissolved to putrid mush and vomit. "So when are you guys going to do it?" he wanted to know.

Sasuke suddenly regretted bringing Naruto back to his place. If he tried to physically remove him, everything would be destroyed. The one time Sasuke had left him there alone, it had been reduced to the state of the blonde's junkyard-apartment upon his return five minutes later.

"Really teme, I can help set the mood. Some music, some flowers, some ramen-"

Sasuke found himself alarmed by these suggestions. "Your services will not be necessary-"

"C'mon Sasuke, when's it gonna happen?"

By Naruto's jovial expression, Sasuke could tell he was being baited. His mind working, he decided to turn the tables. "Ne, dobe," he mocked."What about you?"

Naruto blushed. "What?"

"You still don't have a girlfriend. I don't get it."

Naruto leapt to his feet and pointed an accusing finger. "You just got one! Don't get cocky!"

"I see the way girls look at you."

"What girls?" Naruto was astonished.

"...must be gay or something."

"You should talk!

Sasuke's eyes widened as Naruto bristled. Just before the blonde could tackle him in an overly sexual way, Sasuke stood as well. "Wait," he said, racking his mind. "Let me make you some ramen."

In an instant, Naruto's hostility melted and his face lit up. Sasuke's cheek twitched, and he wondered if this was what parenting would be like.

Stalking to the kitchen, he grabbed the kettle and dumped the not-hot-enough water into two cup ramens. He kept a bunch of them on hand for just such occasions. Hastily sticking some chopsticks into the cups, he returned to the living room, passing one to Naruto. The two sat down and ate in silence, Sasuke eying him all the while.

"Thanks teme," said Naruto, slurping obnoxiously.

"Un," said Sasuke, weary.

"What girls?" Naruto wanted to know.

"Sakura," he said simply. There was another pause, and Sasuke glanced up from his long bangs to see that Naruto was blushing. The blonde scratched his cheek and blathered no further, finally beginning to realize the intimacy of such matters.

"R-right."


Amongst their counterparts, distrust sank then arose, stubborn like flames.

They stood at Mirai Sakura's unmarked grave site, Mirai Sasuke to accept her death and Mirai Naruto to scheme her revival, little did the other know. Sasuke grasped Naruto's shoulder, and he stiffened.

"Hanabi killed Kakashi you know. He was the closest to you, even after everything you did."

Mirai Sasuke said nothing. He wanted to save Sakura as well, but Tsunade's seal was like a death warrant for her. She was just too unstable.

"You never cared about her. How could you just let her go?" said Naruto hoarsely.

Mirai Sasuke clenched his jaw.

"What if it was Hinata? Or Kasai?"

Sasuke's mind wandered. He would go through hell and back for either of them. He would give his life, and everything else. He had no doubt that he would kill Hanabi on a whim that it would revive them. He was unnerved by this realization.

"Bastard," said Naruto, seeing the revelations in his eyes. He shoved past Sasuke and walked off. He looked exhausted, like he hadn't slept in a while.

Sasuke stared at the retreating uzu on Naruto's back until he disappeared into the forest. In his absence, he knelt down, musing over the patch of soil.

He was so certain that Hanabi's losing her soul had been the antecedent to her cruelty. But what if he was wrong? What if she had been evil all along?

"Sakura..." he heard himself mutter aloud. Obscure as it was, could this be a gamble on her life? What if he was at fault for her death?

He remained there, staring at the earth, turning it all over and over in his mind. If Mirai Hinata had seen him, she might have thought his blank gaze wasn't dissimilar to the one he had worn when Neji had died.


At the Hyuuga house, Uchiha Kasai was tucked safely in her bed surrounded by relatives in the surrounding corridors and chambers.

Regardless, she tossed and turned. All her dreams were bad ones.

She lashed out with her chakra, producing a single, orange flame. It stood solitarily at the top of her bedpost, before spreading, and descending, circling her like her anxieties. It was her worst dream yet.