Naruto is a manga of Masashi Kishimoto. This story is written by a fan for other fans.
The fic will try to follow the plot of the manga, so don't expect Sasuke returning to Konoha (that's Kishimoto's job and I'm sure he'll do a great job).
What if things had been different? Sasuke asked himself in his deep sleep, after being swamped by Madara. The visions he was having weren't unpleasant. He was twelve years old and was leaving home for his first team meeting, where he would meet his new sensei, Kakashi. His mother had prepared a delicious lunch for him, which the boy put in his backpack. He dismissed the woman with a kiss on the check and a big smile.
Before leaving, he found his father and his older brother chatting amiably. Fugaku stared at Sasuke for a moment and told him about the importance of honoring the name of the clan. Itachi asked Sasuke to approach him.
"What?" Sasuke asked Itachi when he came near. The older brother touched his forehead the way he always did, and whispered:
"Don't worry too much. Have fun and make friends."
Sasuke felt embarrassed when Itachi did that. Damn it, I'm not a kid anymore! However, he had no time to complain. Sasuke needed to run to the meeting. He arrived just in time in the classroom and felt something hit him in the head... it was a blackboard eraser. A familiar laugh was heard by Sasuke.
"NA-RU-TO!" He yelled in fury.
"Sorry, Sasuke," Naruto apologized, trying to contain his laughter, "that was for the sensei. Although it was your fault too,didn't you look at the watch this morning?
"I left my home too late... I don't owe you an explanation, idiot!"
"Who are you calling idiot?" Naruto asked angrily.
"Of course it's you, who else would it be?"
"Stop it, you two." A female voice spoke softly. Sasuke turned his head and saw Haruno Sakura sitting on a chair. He felt his face heat up.
"Sakura, you were here the whole time?" Sasuke asked trying to sound casual.
The girl stood up and walked over to the Uchiha. When she was close enough, she took the eraser from his head.
"Naruto didn't hurt you, right, Sasuke-kun?"
"No, never mind that... listen, Sakura..."
"What?" Sakura asked gently.
"You don't need to call me 'Sasuke-kun', you know? You can call me by my first name only."
"Do you have any problem with 'Sasuke-kun?' If that irritates-"
"NO!" Sasuke suddenly shouted, which startled the others. After a minute, he pretended nothing had happened and spoke calmly again, "well, you don't call Naruto by 'kun,' so I thought... you know, right?"
Sakura looked at him without knowing what to say, until she finally found the words that had escaped."The thing is that Naruto has always been closest to me."
Sasuke's face went pale and he stammered, "c-closest?" as if he had been stabbed in the chest, something which Sakura noticed.
"Yes, but as a brother, you understand? I kind of always had to take care of him."
"Oh, yes!" Sasuke suddenly changed his mood, "like a goofy little brother, I see."
"Sure." Naruto said with sarcasm, "you know better than anyone else what a goofy little brother is, right?"
"What do you mean?" Sasuke asked, clenching his teeth.
"You know what I mean... after all, you're always in the shadow of Itachi, aren't you?"
"You better take that back, little worm!"
When Kakashi finally reached the room, he saw the two boys fighting on the ground and Sakura standing near them, telling them to stop. They stopped only when Kakashi cleared his throat loudly.
He gave them a blank stare and asked:
"Are you Uzumaki Naruto, Haruno Sakura and Uchiha Sasuke?"
The three nodded. Kakashi sighed and said:
"I am Hatake Kakashi, your sensei. The first impression I have about you is... how to say this? I guess I should be straightforward. You guys are idiots."
None of them liked to hear that. Soon after, they went outside, because Kakashi wanted his students to present themselves properly. Sakura was the first.
"I am Haruno Sakura. The things I like..." she blushed when she said that, "well, there's something or rather someone..."
She could not finish speaking. Sasuke could swear she looked at him for a moment. The young Uchiha did not pay attention to what Naruto was talking about in his presentation, but he knew it had to do with Hokage and ramen. Soon, it was Sasuke's turn.
"I'm Uchiha Sasuke, member of the Uchiha clan. I will be a very strong shinobi, stronger even than my older brother."
"Cool," Kakashi said, "what are the things that you like?"
Kakashi, Sakura and Naruto waited for an answer from Sasuke for ten minutes until he stammered,"not important."
He then looked at Sakura, who was smiling. Everything was so wonderful. But suddenly everything went black.
"Sakura, Naruto, Kakashi-sensei?" Sasuke called the others, unanswered.
"Don't hold on to childish fantasies, Sasuke." A voice said.
"Who are you? Where did they go?"
"You have to forget them. They are nothing to you."
"They are my companions! I won't forget them!"
Sasuke was invaded by many memories. He saw his clan being massacred... he found himself alone... he saw Sakura crying while begging him to not go away... and Naruto was almost dead under the rain.
"It hurts! STOP!"
Sasuke saw Itachi dying. He told his little brother his final words as he touched his forehead. "Sorry, Sasuke. This is the last time."
Madara's words echoed in his mind, "Itachi killed his clan under Konoha's orders."
The tears fell from Sasuke's eyes. The voice continued to speak.
"Don't you dare think about bonds. You don't need them, Sasuke. They will distract you from your way... they'll weaken you. You can't abandon your revenge! Do whatever it takes to destroy all the bonds you have."
The darkness thickened. Sasuke began to tremble. It was cold. So very cold...
"You only need your hate, Sasuke. Your only aim in life is tied to it."
"Who are you?" Sasuke asked.
"I'm your strength, Sasuke. I am your darkness."
"My strength... the only thing I need..."
Sasuke opened his eyes suddenly. He had been asleep for too long. Karin was near him, holding her own arm with a pained expression. She had made Sasuke bite it in order to heal his injuries.
"I'm glad that you woke up, Sasuke," she whispered, "we gotta get out of here. The others need our help."
"Forget about them," Sasuke said coldly, "those two don't matter anymore."
That sentence horrified Karin. Sasuke looked into her eyes in a way that filled her with dread and added:
"You're the one who still has usefulness. I hope you don't let me down."
The two began to be sucked into a whirlpool. Madara was calling Sasuke to confront Danzou.