Hello! Apparently the world is still here (I saw the 2012 movie, so I was uneasy I'll admit!). I'm sorry for the long update but not only I've been busier than ever, but I've suffered a bad case of writer's block.
Also, I've began reading another series and I can't focus on a Naruto fanfic while I'm thinking about Batman: Under the Red Hood. Dear Lord, what a great movie! Go watch it if you haven't already! Jason Todd is my favorite Robin, period! Jensen Ackles can dub.
Enough rambling, here's the chapter. Like always, I hope you like it.
The End of All Lies
すべての終わりが嘘 (Subete no owari ga uso)
Naruto had been right on one thing, Tsunade was furious. Long gone were his kitchen's table and half of the cupboards. Not even the fridge had survived her wrath, let alone Kakashi, Sai and Yamato's bruised bodies.
Fortunately, by the time Naruto returned to the kitchen with his son in his arms, the blonde Hokage was too exhausted to yell at him.
"Just tell me what the hell happened" Tsunade sighed, sitting in one of the remaining chairs.
Both Naruto and Sasuke told her everything they knew and Kakashi explained how he deduced that both Naruto and Tsunade had been lying about Sasuke's death and finally revealed how Shikamaru "hinted" about their location.
"Shikamaru told you?" the Hokage hissed.
The blond Genin lowered his head and stared at Sasuke, who had finally fallen asleep in his lap. "I should have known… He was worried about Sasuke and he talked to me after his birthday party, but I didn't listen. I guessed he thought I needed help."
"He talked to me about that too, but that didn't give him the right to disobey my orders and betray your secret" Tsunade said, frowning.
"I'm glad he did though" Naruto said, surprising everyone. "Sensei and the others helped me and Sasuke. It also made me think about the whole point of the secret, Baa-chan."
"What do you mean?"
Naruto stroked his son's black hair and pulled him closer to his chest. "I knew the consequences of keeping this secret and I know I can't hide it forever. Hell, it seems that more and more people keep finding it out and… I not sure this is worth it."
"What are you saying, Naruto? You want to tell everybody the truth? After all the trouble we had?" Tsunade asked, worry tangible in her words. "If people find out that not only Sasuke was alive this whole time but that you deliberately lied to everyone to protect him, you'll both be deemed as traitors along with the people who already know the secret. I honestly don't think it's a good idea to reveal the truth now."
"I'm not saying that I want everybody to know the truth! I was talking about my friends!" Naruto answered, baffling every single person in his ruined kitchen. "My team, my teachers, my comrades… they're the ones who know me and Sasuke the best. I thought that if I just asked them for time and privacy that they would respect my wishes, but I was wrong" he looked at Kakashi's serious face. "They know I wouldn't stay away from Konoha for so long, even if I have a child. In normal circumstances, I'd take my son to my village and raise him there, not hide him from everyone I care about like he was some dirty secret. I was wrong to underestimate my friends' way of thinking, I know that now. Just as I know that, eventually, they will find me and Sasuke unless they know why I can't return yet."
There was an awkward silence as Naruto's words started to sink in. Tsunade rubbed her forehead and stared at Sasuke's sleeping, little body. She had grown into loving the boy more than she had ever expected. Before she knew it, she felt as protective of him as Naruto and she knew that Shizune, Iruka and Team 10 felt the same way. When her brown eyes met Naruto's blue ones under the candid light, she already knew what he wanted her to do.
Sasuke woke up early in his bedroom. He didn't remember falling asleep, though he did remember how sleepy he felt when his Dad was talking to Tsunade. He probably had dozed off.
Swiftly, the raven boy got dressed, washed his face and ran down the stairs wondering how they were going to prepare their meals now that the kitchen was gone. However, before he had time to even finish his thoughts, Sasuke stopped by door frame and his mouth dropped with awe.
The kitchen had been rebuilt! The cupboards and the table were there again and even the wholes on the wall when his father had thrown that asshole out of the house were repaired. The only thing missing was the fridge.
"Pretty impressive, huh?" Naruto asked, walking towards the baffled boy.
"What happened?" Sasuke asked.
"Yamato-Taichō can create and control wood. He fixed the kitchen" the blond parent explained. "When we were on missions, he literally created a house for us to sleep in during the night. I wish you had seen him do it, but I didn't want to wake you up."
"Don't worry, Naruto. He'll have plenty of opportunities to see him work" a young man's voice said behind.
When Sasuke turned around, he instantly frowned and his lips thinned into a pale line.
"What are you still doing here?" the boy asked harshly.
Apparently, Sai didn't notice Sasuke's loathing or had simply decided to ignore it as he walked towards him with his shit-eating smile on his face.
"Well… I see someone is grumpy this morning" Sai said as if he was dealing with a toddler. "Didn't your father teach you to be polite to your elders, Sasuke-chan?"
"Who are you calling Sasuke-chan, you douche?" the boy hissed, his cheeks red with fury.
Naruto sighed. "Sai… knock it off."
"Why? I spent all night thinking about knew nicknames for the little guy" the ANBU continued, seemingly oblivious. However, Naruto wasn't sure if Sai knew exactly what he was doing and just wanted to finally piss off Sasuke. "What about Chibi Sasuke-chan? Or Chibi Sasu-chan?"
The vein pulsing on Sasuke forehead was getting bigger with each nickname and his hands turned into shaking fists. It would look cute and funny if Naruto didn't know how powerful his son still was.
"I know! Su-chan! It's perfect for you" Sai went on, reaching to stroke Sasuke's hair.
The raven's hand grabbed the older man's wrist before he could touch him and glared at Sai's smiling face with enough anger to burn a hole through his skull.
"Choose between Su-chan and your throat. You can't have both" Sasuke threatened, looking surprisingly terrifying for a seven year old.
Even though his wrist was aching like hell, Sai kept smiling. "Big words for a little brat. I wish I could fight you, but I don't hit children."
"It's alright. I don't mind hitting adults" Sasuke hissed before he kicked Sai in the stomach.
The ANBU was able to block the next two blows when Naruto finally intervened and stood in their middle. "That's enough! No more fighting in this house."
"He started it!" Sasuke pouted.
"I don't care! I'm ending it" Naruto said. "You shouldn't lose your temper so easily, Sasuke. And Sai… stop taunting my son or I'll make sure your smile has a few holes in it, got it?"
With a chuckle, Sai crossed his arms over his chest. "Very well, Naruto. I was just kidding."
"You're not that funny, Sai."
Despite Sasuke's glaring, the three ate their breakfast together. Every time Naruto turned his back, both Sai and Sasuke took advantage to mumble insults at each other and the blond could only roll his eyes and pretend he didn't know.
By the time Sasuke finished eating, he felt like kicking someone. His mood only got worse when Yamato and Kakashi entered the kitchen like the lived there and took food from the cupboard.
"What are they still doing here?" the boy cried out.
"Manners" Naruto said, slapping Sasuke in the back of the head. "Kakashi-sensei and the others are helping me fix the kitchen and they're paying for the new fridge."
Sasuke lowered his eyes. He didn't even try to hide that he wanted them out of his house so he and his Dad could go back to their normal lives. He felt guilty every time he looked at them, especially Kakashi. He knew his old sensei was angry at him for all the horrible things he had done in his past life, so he kind of wished he would leave.
"I'm going to take a walk, Tou-chan" the raven boy said, purposely looking at Naruto and ignoring the other shinobi. "I'll be back for lunch."
Naruto noticed the sad and uncomfortable expression in his son's eyes and nodded. "Be careful."
Without looking back, Sasuke ran to the front door, put on his sandals and ran into the streets. The sun was barely out and the island was still cold and silent, which was just what Sasuke wanted.
"I'm not running away. I'm not running" the boy thought. "Those ninja… they don't like me, so I'm not coming home until they're gone."
When he was at a safe distance from his house, the raven slowed down and walked by the beautiful mansions of the samurai's families. He supposed his classmates were as happy as he was for finally getting their parents back and growing down to normal and he wondered when they would be able to take the kenjutsu exam again.
Honestly, he couldn't wait to graduate so he could officially use Kizuna as a real swordsman. Though his memories of the previous two weeks were still foggy in his mind, he remembered brandishing his chokutō like it was another extension of his body, just like Masamune-sama had told them.
Plus, he couldn't wait to beat Riku's sorry ass again. Sasuke was the Islands hero now. No one was gonna call him "second best" ever again!
As if by fate, Sasuke heard his rival's voice. At first, the raven Uzumaki thought he was hearing things, until he heard Riku yell again. Slowly, he walked towards the voice and stopped near a iron gate of the biggest mansion he had ever seen. As he looked closer, he saw the Sanada Family Crest on the gate and looked up towards the beautiful garden.
Riku (no surprise) was a kid again. The Sanada heir was training in his garden with a sword and Sasuke's eyes widened when he saw the bright reflection of the sun in the metal. Riku was training with a real sword!
With a grin filled with confidence, Riku bended his knees and the cut off the five targets in less than fifteen seconds. Sasuke couldn't help but gaze at his mastery of the sword, while his inside turned with jealousy.
"Do you want a chair?" Riku said out loud, slowly turning to face Sasuke with a satisfied smile on his lips. "Good morning! Did you come to see how it's done?"
Cursing his pale skin, Sasuke blushed. "Don't get cocky! In case you forgot, I kicked your butt the last time we fought!"
"Hmpf" the silver haired boy huffed. "That didn't count. Just because you defeated me when we were both under some stupid spell, that doesn't mean you're stronger. You got lucky, that's all!"
"What?" the raven hissed. "I won! Fair and square! You're just being a sore loser!"
"Really? Then what was the deal with those multi-colored eyes of yours?"
Sasuke's face went from angry to shaken in a matter of seconds. "What…?"
"Don't even lie. I saw your eyes change color and you got faster when it happened" Riku asked, moving towards his classmate. "What was that? Did Nobunaga give you superpowers?"
"It's none of your business!" Sasuke yelled.
"All that yelling will wake up the neighbors, you know?"
Both children blinked at the sound of a man's voice and their eyes widened when they saw Kakashi standing on top of the wall that surrounded the Sanada Mansion.
"Kakashi-san… right?" Riku asked, searching for the ninja's name in his blurred memory.
"That's correct. It's nice to see you again, Riku" Kakashi answered, his eye focusing on Riku and then Sasuke's face, who immediately looked away.
"I'm out of here!" the raven said, running to the forest next to the Sanada Mansion while Riku and Kakashi watched.
"Were you following him?" Riku finally asked.
"Yes" the shinobi answered, facing the boy's serious face. Riku was smart and strong, no doubt he would make a great leader. Personally, Kakashi would like to have him in Konoha.
"You heard us talk then" the Sanada went on.
"I did. I understand that you feel curious about Sasuke's eyes, but I would like to ask you, as a ninja from Konohagakure, not to mention it to anyone" Kakashi said, watching Riku's face carefully.
Riku shrugged. "I wasn't going to. By the way, how is Naruto-Nii-san?"
"Completely healed. I know Naruto would like to thank you personally for all your help. You should come by his house."
"Maybe I will… later. When Sasuke isn't there being a pain in the neck."
Kakashi's lips curved under his mask and he looked at the forest were his former student had run to. He could hardly believe this kid was the same Sasuke he had trained or the criminal he had chased for so long. Honestly, he didn't know how to feel about the boy or how to act around him anymore.
Riku followed his stare and sighed. "He told me about his past too. I know he used to be an adult. Don't worry. I'm not going to tell anyone that either."
Without another word, the Sanada went back into his house.
Sasuke knew that running was pretty useless, but he kept doing it anyway. He ran down the forest until he found the river and he only stopped near a three that he recognized. Panting, the child drank from the stream and sat against the stem, listening to his pounding heart.
Kakashi was following him, the question was why. Sasuke knew that the white-haired ninja didn't like him and that he was mad. He guessed he had the right to be after what Sasuke had done, but that didn't make it any easier.
It wasn't like he could just ask Kakashi to forget his older self and pretend that Sasuke was brand new. Not even his father was able to do that. Naruto said that he had never hated Sasuke; even if he was the person he hurt the most. Daddy loved him and forgave him, but that made the raven feel even guiltier.
Lately, Sasuke could only feel fear, shame and guilt and he knew there was nothing he could do to change it. If there was a way he could go into the past to stop his elder self, he would do it. If there was a Kinjutsu that could erase everyone's minds about his other life and remember him only as Uzumaki Sasuke, he would learn it.
But there wasn't a way to change the past or make everybody forget it. Sasuke was stuck with it. He couldn't lie to himself anymore because it wasn't a mistake or a misunderstanding. Sasuke had never been a good ninja. He had been one of the bad guys. A traitor…
"What if… I become bad again? What if I can't change?" the boy though, pulling his knees to his chest and staring at the shining water of the river.
This time, Sasuke heard the footsteps of an adult behind him but he didn't move, not even when Kakashi stood beside him. He couldn't look at him. He didn't want to see the anger and disappointment that he had seen yesterday before Tou-chan took him away.
After ten minutes of silence, Kakashi sighed and put his hands leisurely on his pockets.
"We would have to talk sooner or later, Sasuke" the Copy Ninja said, staring at the boy's head.
Sasuke hugged himself tighter and refused to look at the man. "There's nothing to talk."
"I don't think so. For seven years, I thought you were dead and now I find out this whole… situation. I wasn't expecting it."
"That's not my fault" the boy regretted those words the minute they left his mouth. He had no right to talk about fault.
"You're right. I understand that you didn't know about your past. Naruto was trying to protect you" Kakashi said evenly. "Still, it was a shock."
Sasuke felt like running away again. He didn't this man to tell him why he hated him. He didn't want to hear him. He wanted his Dad. Nonetheless, he stayed still because he knew he couldn't run forever. It wasn't right.
"I know you were my sensei and that I really hurt you when I left" the child mumbled, feeling a lump growing in his throat. "I'm not going to ask you to forgive me, but I really am sorry. Please don't get Tou-chan into trouble because of me."
Kakashi lifted his eyebrows. For a long time, he imagined how he would react if Sasuke came back to the village and asked for forgiveness. A part of him desperately wanted to welcome him back, while the other part felt like yelling and hit him for all the pain he had caused.
But this kid didn't remember his crimes. This Sasuke was the child he should have been if his clan hadn't been wiped out. He wasn't broken or twisted by hatred yet and, despite everything, Kakashi wouldn't allow him to know that sort of pain again. He wished he had never known it in the first place.
"Trust me, I would never hurt Naruto" Kakashi finally answered. "You really love him, don't you?"
The boy nodded and dared looking at the man's face, his eyes burning.
"I wish… I wish he was really my dad. I don't want to have a past life. I don't wanna be a bad guy" Sasuke's voice quivered. "I wish I could just be me."
Embarrassed, the raven boy buried his face in his knees and tried to choke his sobs and hide his tears from Kakashi. The latter, on the other hand, kept staring at the shaking child and waited until he calmed down.
"We all have done something in our past that we wish we could undo, but we can't and we need to learn how to live with the consequences" the Copy Ninja said. "It's difficult and painful… but it's not impossible."
Sasuke lifted his head and rubbed his teary eyes before staring at Kakashi. "Do you mean it?"
"Yes" Kakashi wasn't as forgiving as Naruto. He knew it would take time for him to stop expecting this Sasuke to betray them, especially since he still didn't know the whole truth. "Sometimes you can only say you're sorry, even if doesn't change anything."
Sasuke seemed to ponder on those words for a while before standing up and staring at Kakashi in the eyes with as much humbleness as a seven year old cold muster.
"I'm so sorry, Sensei."
Kakashi's black eye widened in shock and his hands fell limp against his body.
"Can I still call you that?" Sasuke asked.
The Copy Ninja was glad to have a mask on in his face as his lips curved into a small smile. "Yes. I guess you can, Sasuke. Now let's go back to your house before Naruto gets worried. You have a very protective father."
"Yeah" Sasuke muttered.
While they walked quietly towards the Mansion, Kakashi couldn't help but feel that he was finally welcoming Sasuke home. More extraordinary, it had been Sasuke, whose pride had been as important as his life that had extended the olive branch.
Maybe, just maybe, there was still hope.
Tsunade had called the Konoha 11 and their respective sensei to her office in secrecy. The room had been protected with every seal she knew so they wouldn't be heard or disturbed. Once she got everyone's attention, she made herself clear that what she was about to tell them could never leave that office. It was a secret that could destroy the lives of people they cared about and bring war upon both Konoha and Suna.
The Hokage switched glances with Team 10, who instantly realized what she was about to tell the rest of their comrades. Choji and Shikamaru kept their heads up and waited for the revelations to begin, while Ino looked sadly at Sakura.
"Shishou… I don't understand" Sakura asked. She knew Tsunade only had that look on her face when she was about to tell them something bad or hurtful, or both. "What is this all about?"
Tsunade stared at her pupil, knowing damn well what her words would do, but the time had finally come. It was time to end all the lies and secrets, beginning with the biggest of them all.
"Sasuke is alive."
I know… cliffy…
One of the reasons I did this was because having Naruto explain his secret every time a friend found out was too repetitive in my opinion. It worked fine for a few characters, but unless they all found Sasuke and/or Naruto at the same time, I believe it's getting a bit cyclic and boring (I want this story to be anything BUT boring).
I can only hope you guys understand and, maybe, like it nevertheless. Also, Sasuke called Kakashi "Sensei". What do you feel about it?
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!