Twin2: And now this thing has a plot. Geez.
Twin1: Aw, come on, it's not much of one…
Twin2: I saw the effort that went into this. What have I told you about plots for crack stories?
Twin2: I am NOT helping if this goes the way of Art of Innocence.
Odd Behaviour: Two
Naruto opened his eyes groggily and stared at the white ceiling in confusion. Where was he? The bed beneath him was bumpy and uncomfortable, but still way better than his Stone Lump he'd spent the last three years sleeping on.
He was home.
He groaned and rolled out of bed, hearing several loud noises coming from the kitchen.
He stumbled out into said room, mostly blind by the fact that he was still eighty-five percent asleep and fifteen percent dozing. He made it to the table and slumped into a chair, trying to open his eyes.
He heard a vaguely familiar chuckle.
"Is someone not a morning person?" chortled this familiar voice.
"Shud up, Rav'n," Naruto muttered, his words slurring and head drooping. The other person chuckled again, and Naruto smelt something wonderful.
"Coffee?" he said hopefully, rising his head.
"That's right," the other person said almost seductively. "And it's all mine."
Naruto reached for a kunai, found one somewhere in his sleeping gear in a matter of seconds – so that's where that bruise came from – and snarled, "Give me coffee or I'll hurt you."
"Okay, okay." Another snide chuckle, and a hot cup was shoved into Naruto's hand.
The blonde raised it to his lips mechanically and tasted coffee – yes coffee thank you Kami coffee coffee rich black coffee yum caffeine coffee hey wait a second why doesn't this have sweetener stupid teme probably his fault ah well it's coffee – and smiled as the caffeine did its job.
He opened his eyes and looked around his sparkling kitchen. It was his, right? Yes, it was his. The clones had cleaned it for him. He remembered now.
"So, does it live?" the coffee-maker asked sarcastically. Naruto rubbed his eyes and grinned at Sasuke.
"Nothing like a little dobe first thing in the morning to make you appreciate living on your own in a haunted Uchiha complex, huh, teme?" he said brightly, suddenly as energized as ever.
Sasuke grunted and moved back to lean against the counter, holding his own mug near his mouth as he watched Naruto with dark eyes.
"So what now, Naruto?" he asked. Naruto frowned.
"Whaddaya mean?" he asked. Sasuke scoffed.
"What do we do now?" he repeated. "What exactly do you want to do here?"
Naruto wrinkled his nose. "Do we really have to decide this right now?" he asked. "We have time – can't we just enjoy being kids for a bit?"
"But we're not kids," Sasuke said agitatedly, pushing away from the bench and dumping his mug and its contents in the sink. "I'm sick of living lies, Uzumaki Naruto."
The words struck something deep inside the blonde at the table. He stared at the back of his long-time best friend. He had moved heaven and earth to keep that friendship once, and yet he hadn't. That would never happen, but it had happened. And he was right, it was the wrong course of action to just sit and pretend they were normal when they weren't.
"You're right," he said softly, "You're right, Raven. You are twenty-three, same as me, despite being born twelve years ago. It's time to grow up. And I know you're impatient. But what exactly do you suggest we do in immediate terms?"
Sasuke shifted but didn't reply, so Naruto dropped the subject, turning back to his coffee and draining the liquid from his mug. He stood and dug out some instant ramen for breakfast.
"Ramen, ramen, ramen," he sang softly, happily, to himself, noticing Sasuke's eye twitching with great amusement.
"Ramen, ramen, ramen," he continued, boiling water instantly by pumping his chakra into the poor defenceless liquid. Sasuke shifted restlessly.
"Ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen," Naruto continued his chant, pouring the water into his instant ramen cup. "Three minutes. That's, what, one hundred and eighty seconds? Damn. Ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen-"
"SHUT THE FUCK UP!" Sasuke exploded, clapping his hands over his ears.
"Oh, sorry. Was it annoying you?" Naruto said, the very image of innocence. Sasuke ground his teeth and mentally calculated his chances of killing Naruto and framing someone else.
There was a pause of about ten seconds, and then –
"Ramen, ramen, ramen-"
"Gah!" Sasuke shouted and tackled Naruto around the middle, knocking them both to the floor. After a brief struggle, the Uchiha's superior height and weight won out and he managed to pin his friend, straddling the blonde and trapping his wrists above his head.
He leaned down so that his mouth was an inch from the squirming Naruto's ear and growled, "Stop singing. Or. I. Will. Gut. You. And. Make. It. Look. Like. Suicide."
"Well, well, well. Isn't this cosy?" said a new voice. Both Naruto and Sasuke looked around to see Kakashi standing in the doorway of the kitchen, looking down at them.
There was a pause in which they all stared at each other, before Naruto started to squirm frantically and shout, "Kakashi-sensei! This isn't what it looks like, I swear!" he shouted. "We weren't doing anything, or anything! Sasuke was just threatening to kill me!"
Sasuke realised exactly what this must look like and let Naruto go like he'd been burnt, backpedalling away from his friend and ending up sitting with his back to the bench, unable to retreat further.
"That idea is going to give me nightmares," he complained. "As if you and I would… ew."
"Ew," agreed Naruto, backing up until he hit the wall opposite Sasuke, as far away as he could manage. "Iruka thought the same thing yesterday, teme, but I guess he doesn't know our sick sense of humour. Kakashi, I thought would understand that we fight all the time."
Kakashi didn't miss the absence of 'sensei' on both his and Iruka's name. He frowned. He'd come to confront his students. Or, these two who were pretending to be his students, because there was no way this was Naruto and Sasuke. He was determined to get to the bottom of this mess, and if the imposters had hurt his genin, he'd gut them personally.
"Who are you?" he asked bluntly, suddenly too impatient to bother trying to subtly work it out and then arrest them. Besides, blunt usually worked.
The boys blinked up at him in surprise. Then, as one they stood and moved to stand together, forming a united front against the man in the kitchen.
Kakashi reached for a kunai, unwilling to underestimate these two. The grace with which they'd moved and the synchronisation of their movements made him think that these two were probably élite, and the mental alarms that were already blaring went up a notch.
The one who looked like Sasuke chuckled, smirking. "Well, well," he commented quietly. "Kakashi, aren't you clever?"
'Naruto' turned to 'Sasuke'.
"What do you think, teme? It sure would help if we had someone on our side. 'Specially someone like Kakashi."
'Sasuke' shook his head furiously. "No! What the hell are you thinking? We can't tell him!"
"But, Sasuke," Naruto cajoled, "He already suspects us. He knows something's up, and we've only been back two days. I think we need to talk to him. He deserves the truth, if nothing else."
Sasuke scowled and shook his head. "No," he insisted. Kakashi looked from one to the other of them as Naruto's face darkened.
"I'm kind of sick of secrets, bastard," he snapped. His friend's dark eyes flashed with anger.
"Welcome to the life of a fucking ninja, dobe!" he snarled. "It's nothing but lies!"
"Sasuke," Naruto's tone had dropped into a low, sad semi-whisper. "I don't want to lose him again without him even knowing…"
Kakashi was beginning to get a bad feeling about this whole situation. What – who – were they talking about? The conversation made no sense.
"I want answers," the jounin spoke up. He was unprepared for the annoyed – not angry or dangerous, just annoyed – looks he got.
"Quiet a moment, Kakashi. Mum and Dad are talking," Naruto said, his eyes on Sasuke. There was a long silence, before Sasuke growled and folded.
"Fine," he grumbled. "Tell him."
"Tell me what?" Kakashi spoke up. He didn't like the way this was playing out. There was something big going on, but these two had yet to admit to being anyone but who they appeared to be. The way they squabbled, calling each other 'dobe' and 'teme' in their agitation and using their given names to underline their seriousness… it all pointed to the idea that they were being honest.
But they couldn't be. This wasn't Nauto and Sasuke. That much he was sure of.
"Who are you?" he said. Naruto sighed.
"Sit down, Kakashi-sensei. This could take a while," he said. Kakashi frowned, but consented to sink onto one of the chairs around the table. The boys sat next to each other, opposite him.
"What's going on?" Kakashi growled. "I want to know who you are and what you've done with my genin."
Naruto chuckled tiredly. "Kakashi-sensei, we are your genin. Naruto and Sasuke."
"No, you're not," Kakashi said flatly. "Stop playing games."
"We are," Naruto insisted. "Or, we were."
"Were?" repeated Kakashi. Both boys nodded.
"Eleven years ago," Sasuke commented.
"Sensei, we… listen. Me and Sasuke… we were… we…" Naruto was struggling with words, so Sasuke just spat it out.
"We're from the future," he said flatly.
There was a very long pause. Then Kakashi sighed.
"Okay, maybe it was dumb of me to think you'd just come clean, but I had hoped for some kind of a believable story," he sighed. "I suppose I'll just have to take you into interrogation."
"You can try," Sasuke said darkly.
"Teme!" Naruto growled. "We're twelve, remember? We're back to that lovely time of our lives when Kaka-sensei can kick our butts while reading his porn!"
Sasuke blinked, then shook his head. "Shit, I'd forgotten that," he growled. "You'll be fine, but he can flatten me without even trying… fuck!"
Kakashi was greatly disturbed by both the idea that this person was so casually confident that his partner could win a fight with Kakashi and the image of Sasuke admitting openly that hopeless case Naruto was better than the genius Uchiha.
"Kakashi-sensei," Naruto said, and Kakashi didn't miss the tone or the way he suddenly took charge of the situation. "We are telling the truth. We… I am Uzumaki Naruto. That's Uchiha Sasuke. We come from a time… we are twenty-three years old. We're both members of ANBU. His codename is Raven; mine is Fox. We have been part of ANBU for three years, the both of us, and are more at home in our rooms in HQ than in my apartment now. I had room four-one-eight. Sasuke's room was four-one-three. The rooms are on the fourth level underground, the first corridor as they are labelled from left to right, third and eighth room respectively."
Kakashi frowned. Yes, that was a fairly good description of those particular places. The only ones who knew the layout of the ANBU HQ were ANBU members themselves and the Hokage. That was troubling.
It was also true that ANBU members stayed in HQ. That was where they lived, ate, slept and hung out for their whole lives, only leaving to go on missions or to visit town on their days off. When it was permitted.
"You do know I'm not going to believe you, right?" he said. "I'm going to need a lot more proof than a few good guesses. Besides, you sure don't look twenty-three to me."
Naruto and Sasuke looked at each other and shrugged. In unison, they brought their hands up into a handsign and said, "Henge."
A cloud of smoke enveloped the both of them, but when it cleared, instead of two pre-teens sitting before him, there were two men in their early twenties.
The one on the left reached up and brushed blonde hair out of his eyes. "This is what we look like as adults. Now, what else can I say to convince you? Hm… Well, I guess I can start with my father? My father was Namikaze Minato, your teacher. My mother was Uzumaki Kushina. They both died the day the Kyuubi attacked. Kyuubi attacked because he wanted to slaughter some Uchihas."
"The Yondaime was your teacher," Sasuke added. "He looked after you after your father committed suicide, unable to handle being hated for rescuing his team mates at the cost of the mission. You used to adhere to the rules so stubbornly that you were one hell of a fucking bastard as a kid. You only realised how wrong you were when your best friend – well, only friend – Uchiha Obito died. He was crushed to death. He gave you that sharingan as a congratulations before he died. He smiled at you and tried to comfort you, even trapped under the bolder like he was."
"His birthday is on the tenth of February. He died on the seventh of October, nearly fourteen years after he was born," Naruto commented. "The last thing he said to you was to plead for you to protect Rin, and you hate the fact that several years later, you couldn't keep that promise and she went missing. He also said that famous-in-our-squad sentence you always quoted to us: 'Those who don't follow the rules are trash, but those who desert their comrades are even worse than trash'. You've never gotten over him. Hm. What else? Jiraiya, one of the three legendary Sannin was… is… my godfather, my father's teacher. He is the author of those perverted books you always read. He taught me for a couple of years, you know, when I was a teenager, and I know you always loved it when I stole, begged or borrowed the latest edition off him to give to you, usually before it was even published."
"Yeah, because you were so fond of feeding perverted flames," Sasuke added darkly. Naruto waved him away.
"Shut up, teme! Sensei wanted them, I could get them, why shouldn't I?" he said. Sasuke shook his head, but didn't respond.
Kakashi's head was spinning. Most of this information it was possible they might have been able to find out or guess, but to know all of it was either some mind-bogglingly good reconnaissance or a series of some fucking good guesses.
And he had never told anyone that Obito had told him that quote about rules. He had mentioned his promise to protect Rin only to Sensei, and he'd barely even thought about that last, painful smile, let alone shared it with anyone.
"What else, what else… oh, I know! Rasengan," Naruto said happily, holding out his left hand as a blue ball of chakra filled it. Kakashi stared at the achingly familiar technique. No one except Jiraiya could do that, and certainly not with such ease in his off-hand.
Not to be outdone, Sasuke quickly gathered his chakra and said, "Chidori."
A familiar twittering filled the room, and Naruto allowed his rasengan to dissipate as Sasuke's hand began to glow. Kakashi's eye widened at the technique – now, that he knew no one else in the world could do. Except him.
"How… how can you do that?" he said hoarsely. Sasuke looked at him with amusement as he let the chakra in his hand die away.
"You taught me, Sensei. About a month from now."
"Why? Why would I teach a thirteen-year-old that?" Kakashi sounded almost desperate. Naruto grinned and tugged on Sasuke's shirt.
"Show him your hickey."
Sasuke, to Kakashi's very great surprise, actually flushed. "Shut up, dobe!" he growled, "It wasn't a hickey!"
"I don't know, Sasuke," Naruto said in a teasing tone, "It sure looked like a hickey to me. A man bit you, and it left a mark. That's the definition of a hickey."
"Of course, hickeys don't usually last eleven years, but you've always been one of a kind." Naruto seemed to be enjoying himself. Sasuke dropped a fist onto the table and leaned close to the blonde.
"I'll kill you," he said in a low, serious voice, "And make it look like an accident."
"You are welcome to try, Sasu-teme," Naruto said smugly.
"Don't call me that!" Sasuke snapped. Naruto tugged on his shirt again.
"Show your teacher your hickey!" he ordered. Sasuke growled, but slipped his shirt down off his shoulder anyway, revealing…
Kakashi felt as though his heart stopped. He recognised that curse mark, even under what looked like two seals that had been applied to contain it.
The Cursed Seal of Heaven.
A seal had been placed over the top of it, appearing as a simple cross over the three comma marks on Sasuke's flesh, but there was a ring around them that he recognised as a seal he had created.
Suddenly, it was enough.
"What the hell happened?" he demanded. "Why are you here?"
Naruto grinned. "He believes us!" he said triumphantly. Sasuke nodded.
"Took long enough. Okay, Capt'n. You tell him the story."
"Captain?" repeated Kakashi. Naruto's grin widened, but he didn't elaborate.
"Okay. Why did we come back? Well, you see, it's like this…"