Just doing some editing and revisions in preparation for new updates, please wait patiently until my classes are over! Also my computer crashed and I lost everything I had written, my outlines and my other stories I would have posted so that's another reason why I haven't updated in a while. (4/13/12)
Disclaimer: I do not own, nor do I claim to own Naruto or any of the characters in the Anime/Manga. This is a fan fiction purely written for pleasure.
1 : instinctual psychic energy that in psychoanalytic theory is derived from primitive biological urges (as for sexual pleasure or self-preservation) and that is expressed in conscious activity
2 : sexual drive
Song: Paradise Lost, Hollywood Undead
What the hell had the Uchiha done?
The devastation was total; not an inch of his laboratories were salvageable.
The South hideout had been stripped clean, laboratory equipment, test subjects and prisoners, gone just like that. Nature had begun claiming it back after the long period of absence; moss and plants had started putting down roots and the walls were starting to crumble under the pressure. Anybody who stumbled into the labyrinth would have just thought it was a structure long since abandoned.
The East hideout was totally decimated. It wasn't even possible to find the entrance for the average shinobi but once he had located it and entered he found that each room had been blasted with explosives. Again there were no bodies.
And the West- the one he was presently standing in- was a huge hole in the ground. No rocks, no walls, no ceilings. Just a huge crater took its place, looking as if the gods had gotten angry and took it out on the barren land. Nothing was left.
Orochimaru had taught the boy to cover his tracks well.
Almost too well.
In the end it wouldn't matter though, he wasn't Orochimaru's right hand man for nothing; he had his own tricks up his sleeve. Uchiha Sasuke may have thought he wiped every vestige of Orochimaru from the surface of this planet but he had not done a thorough job or he wouldn't be standing there in the rumble of his former existence mourning the loss of his valuable research and studies.
Arrogance would be the Uchiha's ultimate downfall.
It was almost laughable, the dehabilitating affect the Uchiha inflicted upon himself with sheer arrogance and pride. And he came to his master expecting training and a quick fix to all his faults.
If only he wasn't so arrogant to realize he had been instilling it all upon himself.
He will pay for this.
It was so much more than his blatant disregard to others' life's works; it was the principle of the thing.
Uchiha Sasuke must suffer for what he had done.
Orochimaru was dead but not gone.
All because of Uchiha Sasuke's arrogance.
Maybe it was his own arrogance that allowed him to think that he would be able to control his master's immortal prowess. It had been a last ditch effort to save the only semblance of a family he had left.
And now with each day that passed by, with each breath, each heartbeat, he could feel that slithering snake grow more powerful under his skin. Thoughts unbidden riddled his thoughts and plagued his mind with nothing but the vengeance only a true snake could possess. Kill him…take me to him…Kill him…
Trifle with a snake and the bite will kill you.
Or make you suffer a worse punishment.
I will cripple Sasuke, bind him, paralyze him with his own body, his own mind. Then maybe he will understand that weakness may come from within as well.
Arrogance was something the two had in common.
Well then Uchiha Sasuke, think of it as a lesson from an old sempai.
It had been a full two years since Sasuke had come back.
It wasn't like he had an option but after those stupid, stubborn Konoha shinobi put him in isolated confinement for the better part of a year when he was down for the count he had no way to escape.
Konoha Shinobi just loved to play God didn't they?
He pretended to not remember how he got there whenever they tried to question him but he was fully aware; he just learned to keep all information to himself because he would never know when it would prove useful.
He had met Naruto when he was still weak from injuries. It was his mistake; he wasn't being careful and monitoring the area surrounding him like he should have.
And suddenly Naruto was right in front of him spouting his 'best friend' nonsense.
Later after revising the event in his head while in isolation, he realized he had been on the outskirts of Konoha without even realizing it.
Sasuke would admit he lost that battle with Naruto.
He held out a long time though and did some serious damage to Naruto; enough to land him in the hospital for three weeks. But in the end it was not enough and when he finally succumbed to his wounds he was taken captive and punished as seen fit by the council.
Damn each and every one of them.
After the hellish year in isolation he was allowed to live a semi-normal life in the village but was always monitored by ANBU.
And now, a year after that with impeccable behavior and not one complaint his probation period was over as of yesterday.
Sasuke couldn't help but feel more bound than before.
Konoha life was stifling for him. He was reminded of his family's tumultuous end, of people he had tried to kill, people he hated with a passion and a judicial system that was borderline self rewarding.
It was enough to make his nauseous.
Uchiha Sasuke would be the first to tell you he was not a good person.
How could he not know with everyone giving him dirty looks and talking about him behind his back?
He had killed, pillaged, and sacrificed many lives on a whim for his own self gain.
He had defected from the village where people loved him and wanted only what was best for him.
He returned the favor by plotting to kill each and every one of them.
Yes, Uchiha Sasuke would be the first to tell you he was not a good person. And he would be the last one to tell you that he was actually trying to be good.
He was by no means doing it in leaps and strides; he kept his sentence of one year probation without complaint or problem. He had not left the village within that time. He had not connived with enemy shinobi on how to off the busty Hokage who annoyed him to no end. He had even tried to be civilized with the people of the village even though they all refused to give him the same courtesy.
He hadn't done anything significant to show he was trying to assimilate back into village life.
Yet here he was first day off probation walking to the Hokage tower for a summoning.
The Hokage had told him that the only reason he was allowed back into the village was because of Naruto.
He hated to think he would ever be indebted to that blonde idiot.
But he knew the real reason for his death sentence being lifted. He was officially the last Uchiha remaining, the former pride of Konoha. He knew his life was preserved because the clan leaders had met and complained to the Hokage that they were dying off and it was important that the culture of Konoha be kept intact. The clans never stopped reminding him of his debt.
He hated to think he owed them either.
Then again it could have been those damned council members who thought they could play 'Life' with real Konoha Shinobi. Now that they had officially killed his clan what harm could one lone Uchiha do to them?
They were very lucky though they probably would never realize it. They were lucky Uchiha Sasuke was tired of fighting, tired of being on the run.
He was tired of hating.
Sasuke glared at the ANBU posted at the doors to the Hokage's office as he made his way towards them. Their eyes, although hidden, followed him along with the pasty white masks of different animal forms.
"Hokage-sama." Sasuke entered the room and bowed respectfully before taking his position in front of the oak desk where his higher up was seated, head in her hands. At his entrance however, Tsunade had perked up and a smirk made its way over her face.
"Ah, Sasuke how very nice it is to see you."
Sasuke decided her words were not important enough to comment on so he just stared silently straight ahead.
Slightly ruffled from his brush off, Tsunade stood and made her way around the desk only to shove a stack of high priority papers onto the floor and seat herself in its place.
Sasuke's cheek twitched.
"So…" Tsunade started slowly and Sasuke decided to interrupt.
"Hokage-sama what was your reason for summoning me?" Sasuke just wanted this meeting over with so he could go back to brooding or training in private and away from the judging eyes.
"Well Sasuke, you know that you're probation period is over as of today. What's better was your impeccable behavior." Tsunade smiled. "Because of this, the council has decided to formally allow you back into normal Konoha life."
So now they wanted to pretend that he was an upstanding citizen?
"The reason I called you here today was to congratulate you on your transition back into Konoha and to show you that you have my full trust." Sasuke's eyes alighted with interest but he made no motion to hint at it.
Tsunade stood and circled Sasuke slowly as she spoke, commending him on his self control; she knew he did not trust her and it took a true shinobi to allow an enemy to get behind them and not want to follow their every movement.
She stopped directly in front of him, trying to get him to look her in the eyes but he continued to stare straight ahead not even flinching at the closeness.
She sighed and lowered her head.
"Sasuke I know you hate us," More than you will ever know. "For doing this to you. But it is for the best. I would rather you hate me a thousand times than to see you fall for what you believed to be right. That is the epitome of what we teach our shinobi in Konoha; so why should you be an exception?"
Don't believe her she's tricking you, tricking you!
Tsunade seemed to recollect herself and the gruffness of her 'Hokage' voice returned. "Tomorrow you will come here at dawn and will accept your first mission outside the village walls. And depending on your success, you will be promoted to Jonin." Sasuke's control broke and he met eyes with Tsunade as if to ask 'are you insane?' She smiled.
"Well to village life Uchiha Sasuke, you are dismissed. Go be sulk somewhere else."
Tsunade would have been sure she had heard wrong if she wasn't straining her ears to hear the nondescript and low whisper as the brooding man bowed and turned to leave.
Sasuke was at Hokage tower at dawn the next morning, packed and ready for his first mission in a long time.
He was not dressed in the traditional Konoha canvas vest and Konoha headband, quite the opposite. He had decided he had every right to not show his commitment to any village -he may not be a missing Nin anymore but it was already enough that he returned what more could they expect?
No, Sasuke was dressed in a sleeveless black tunic-like shirt tied closed at his waist with the Uchiha symbol (the only alliance he would ever show) ever present on his back along with his Chokuto. He had his kunai pouch tied at his hip and wore bandages on his forearms.
Those weren't just for show; they hid the many summoning seals burned into his very skin.
Learning from Orochimaru was the most excruciating, painful, hellish existence he ever experienced and yet it was the only time he really improved. And he had.
He was an S-ranked missing Nin after all.
And apparently only ex-missing Nin knew how to be on time.
The ANBU on shift this early in the morning had let him into the Hokage's office and told him to sit tight and wait for her and the rest of his mission members.
So they didn't trust him fully.
He didn't care; at least he would be out of this cramped and depressing atmosphere. He would be able to be a little more comfortable, not worry about mocking looks and hateful glares. Though he acted as if he was unmovable he still had a heart; even if it was buried under years and years of hate and killing intentions. He was human too.
After fifteen minutes of waiting in boredom Tsunade shuffled into the room in her usual clothes though slightly ruffled. She had bags under her eyes and seemed not all there (if her sitting in her seat facing the windows was any indication).
Muttering to herself and pushing herself awkwardly around only to hold her stomach as if in pain, she took quite a bit of time in acknowledging Sasuke. "G'morning…" She mumbled. "I always forget to schedule my send offs around 'all-you-can-drink' nights…" Sasuke didn't make any motion to acknowledge her statement but couldn't help but wonder: This is the Hokage…?
Tsunade still hadn't looked up at him, her head in her hands. "What time is it?"
"Thirty minutes after sunrise Hokage-sama." An ANBU with the face of a bird answered quickly and precisely, kneeling.
"Way too early…"Tsunade replied and sat up."Are you the only one Sasuk-"
"Tsunade-sama!" A knock followed before the door was opened to reveal bubble gum pink hair.
So Sakura is on this mission.
Said girl walked in and Sasuke did not miss the way her eyes sought him out for a brief moment before she turned her full attention to bowing and apologizing for being late.
"Hai, hai Sakura-chan." Tsunade waved away her apologies. "You're not the last one to arrive anyways…stop apologizing so loudly…"
"Tsunade-sama…you should realize your own limits…" Sakura scolded lightly.
Just then the door opened once again. Tsunade instantly sat up. "Ah! Hinata-chan did the ANBU reach you in time?"
The petite indigo haired girl smiled gently to Tsunade as she entered the room and without noticing Sasuke like most other women, moved straight to the Hokage's side. "Hai Tsunade-sama, I brought the herb remedy as you asked. I'm sorry for being late, the herbs took longer to mix then I had planned…"
Tsunade held her hand out and took the vial Hinata produced from her pack. She opened it as if a hopeless addict trying to get her next fix and brought the vial to her nose and inhaled.
The difference in her pallor was almost instantaneous.
The renewed Hokage moved to return the vial to its owner but retracted her hand back. "Sorry Hina-chan but I might need this again." Hinata and Sakura both giggled. Sasuke just shifted his weight.
"Oi! Baa-chan!" A voice drifted to them and the Hokage rolled her shoulders, showing her renewed strength.
"Just let that idiot come in here and I'll show him old…"
"Baa-chan! I'm her-oomph!" Naruto ran into Sakura's raised fist.
".To…!" Naruto cringed on the ground. "Don't call Tsunade-sama old! And why are you so late?"
"I'm sorry Sakura-chan! But I couldn't help it I just wanted a little snack before I came…"
"Naruto enough, we've already wasted precious time." Tsunade quipped and silenced the group. The four shinobi stood in a line before their Hokage, hands behind their back. Naruto mumbled a quick apology.
"Okay, as you know, you've been called here today for an important mission." Tsunade pulled out a scroll and stood. "This scroll," She tossed it in the air and caught it. "Is very important and must be taken to Kumo. No questions asked. I will be appointing Hinata as in charge of it." She handed the scroll to said person. Sasuke couldn't help but wonder why.
"You will have a time limit of two weeks. Do whatever is needed to get this mission done, it is of the utmost priority and is a level A-ranked mission." Sasuke eyes widened at the high ranking. On my first mission?
"This isn't my usual pressuring for a job well done; a war may start if this is not finished on time. This is why I have chosen my top shinobi for this mission; the Legendary New Sannin." She gave Sasuke a look.
Sasuke noticed instantly that she did not include Hinata. "As soon as you are dismissed you will start on your mission. Please do not make a mistake." Everyone nodded. "Well then, you may be on your way. Dismissed."
As soon as Sasuke walked through the gates of Konoha it was like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders and he could finally breathe. He took a deep breath as if to prove this fact.
Sasuke heard a soft laugh from behind him and he turned sharply towards it. Hinata was covering her mouth, a blush staining her cheeks. "Sometimes I feel like that too." She smiled at him. He looked away.
He decided he liked her straight forward, simple conversation. She didn't expect him to answer and she didn't muddle the one sided conversation with pointless chatter. She got straight to the point short and sweet.
It seemed those words personified her to a T as well.
He remembered her from the Academy days, the shy, awkward Hyuuga heiress who always seemed to stutter. She seemed to have grown out of that shy stage though the blush and soft voice were still there. The only major differences in her looks were her hair was longer, her baby fat had receded, and her breasts. Definitely the breasts.
She still wore a jacket -though better tailored and lavender- and pants; considerably conservative compared to the revealing clothes worn by Sakura and Ino and most of the female shinobi population. She wasn't exceptionally pretty but Sasuke could tell it was because she didn't try to be beautiful and not for any other reason.
He had seen her a few times around the village and she was always pleasant to him, greeting him with a 'good morning Sasuke-kun' or a polite 'how are you Sasuke-kun?' It was definitely a breath of fresh air compared to the villagers' cruel words (though he knew he deserved it) or the raving fan girls. He was indifferent to her, she didn't spark his interest, didn't annoy him or try to get his attention, so he simply didn't bother.
He decided he didn't mind her all that much.
On the other hand…
Sakura had fallen back as she noticed Hinata was trailing along with Sasuke and inquired with a smile,
"Hinata-chan, why don't you go up ahead with Naruto-kun and keep a look out?" Hinata smiled and replied that she would be happy to before speeding up to do just that.
Sakura fell into step with him and glanced his way every once in a while with a slight blush dusting her cheeks. Sasuke stared straight ahead not acknowledging her.
Sakura had really grown. She was a powerful kunoichi and medic as he had seen two years ago when she saved him after his run in with Naruto. She was to put it simply, gorgeous. Even a man such as Sasuke could not deny that fact. She flaunted her curves with her pink skirt and form fitting shirt and she kept her whole body in perfect condition; even though they had been running for the better part of a day she looked as if she had just gone to the spa.
Sasuke knew that Sakura had not gotten over him even after all these years. When he had been released from confinement Tsunade told him that Naruto had been trying to get him back because he promised Sakura he would.
Why that stupid Dobe would go out of the way to help his own crush get back to hers Sasuke would never understand.
Sasuke had to admit that Naruto, though still goofy, had grown to be an admirable man.
And sometimes that hurt him because he felt that he no longer had the right to call such a man his best friend.
And yet this man still considered him a saint in his eyes while the rest of the villagers saw him for what he was: a menace. Sometimes he wished he could just get it through Naruto's head that he wasn't as good of a person as he thought, that he was no longer the twelve year old boy who competed with him.
He was a nineteen year old that had committed so many hideous crimes he would go to the lower depths of hell for the rest of eternity. He had accepted that.
So why couldn't the stupid blonde?
But Sasuke knew that he secretly lived on fact that Naruto refused to see his faults. When even he had lost all hope in himself it was nice to know that there was still some hope invested in him even if it was futile.
Sasuke watched the backs of Hinata and Naruto as they laughed together about something most likely stupid. Naruto was motioning exuberantly and Hinata giggled into her hand, a bright smile on her face.
Hinata meant "towards the sun" and Naruto embodied its light with his bright blonde hair, sky blue eyes and loud orange clothes. It seemed these two were perfect for one another. Neither showed any dislike for him, both smiling and acting as if Uchiha Sasuke was not the traitor that he was and only a comrade who had worked for something he believed in.
Sasuke couldn't help but pity them. And envy them.
As Sasuke thought to himself listlessly he noticed a sudden movement from Hinata and honed in on her.
She had suddenly jerked her head to the right, eyes wide in surprise before determination encompassed them. With a silent movement of her lips (by habit he assumed) the veins in her temples became engorged and she whipped her head straight ahead to get a full view of their surroundings.
If this wasn't enough to worry him -for the Dobe and Sakura didn't notice this slight change in action from the white-eyed girl- said girl's nostrils flared and he knew something was wrong. Suddenly she looked over her shoulder and caught his eye.
Her hands began moving at a rapid pace behind her back and the only reason he was able to catch it was because his sharingan had activated as soon as he detected the subtle changes in Hinata.
Enemy nin approaching. More signs. Thirty-nine degrees right; five. Sixty degrees left; three. Directly behind; seven.
Oh shit. Sasuke thought as Hinata signed to remain oblivious.
"Sakura." His hushed voice and sharp tone instantly tipped her off.
"Trouble?" Sasuke nodded discreetly. "How many?"
"So far fifteen." Sasuke caught Naruto's wide eyes. They were full of some unknown emotion as he gave him a nod as well.
Though Sasuke didn't want to admit it he was starting to get excited. It would be his first battle in over two years. He had been bred to fight, grown to fight, lived to fight. So after so long…how could he not indulge in the feel of adrenaline coursing through his veins and the euphoria of exertion?
Hinata's hand moved once again. Interception; one minute.
Sasuke couldn't help the twitching in his hands and the tenseness in his muscles as the time limit grew closer; the anticipation was almost too much for him to handle.
He fingered the hilt of his Chokuto.
His body was positively strumming and the want to feel his blade pierce flesh was a palpable thing. Regardless of the meaning behind such feelings, it was the simple concept behind the action that brought it foremost to his mind.
At those moments long ago when he lived a life of revenge and hatred he was never tied down, never forced into what he believed was slavery by higher ups. He had been free.
And though that freedom came with its repercussions, he was like a man who had had a taste of ambrosia. It was intoxicating and lethal.
He heard a rustle of leaves to his right before a blade clashed against his own.
It was at this point that Sasuke smiled for the first time in what seemed like forever.
And it was not a smile of happiness.
Okay Revisions for this chapter complete. Mostly grammar mistakes, weird wordings and deleting a buttload of commas that weren't supposed to be there lmao. I don't revise when I post the chapters because I know what I mean to write and don't catch them. Now is the best time to do this though when I haven't read this in over a year.