Author's Note: First of all thanks to everyone who reviewed the last chapter and added it to their alert's list. It gives me the motivation to continue writing. To all those who did not review, please do! I need to know what I am doing right and what I am doing wrong. No flames though, where I live is hot enough as it is. Anyways, I hope you enjoy this next chapter!

Warnings: Character Death, Manga Spoilers, and Gore...

Enjoy!

Chapter 1

The young boy wore an orange vest and blue pants as he trained. The Academy Student had long blonde hair and a round face. He was short of stature, but it was obvious to anyone watching him train that he had an amazing amount of potential. Already his chakra levels were near that of a weak genin and his skill with taijutsu was the best in the class next to Uchiha Sasuke.

Namikaze Naruto grunted as he threw another kick at the wooden post. He had to get stronger! That teme Uchiha was getting better and Naruto knew that he would never be able to achieve his goal of becoming the greatest Hokage if he could not even beat an Academy student. The Yandaime's heir threw another kick at the post as he thought about his damned father. "I am always in the shadow of him. People look at me and expect me to be just as good as he was. Tch, do they not realize how much pressure that puts on a child? Whatever, I will meet and exceed their expectations! For now though, I need to focus on being able to beat that stupid Uchiha!"

"You need to work on snapping your kicks better," a voice called out.

Naruto turned and saw an old man with spiky white hair leaning against a tree across the training grounds. Naruto immediately noticed that the man did not wear the hia-tae of Konoha; which meant this man could very well be an enemy. The man wore a cloak that prevented the young Namikaze from being able to see his hands. That would be a disadvantage should the man attack him.

"Who are you?" Naruto asked harshly.

"My, my, such anger! I expected something like this might happen, but I thought your natural cheerfulness would defeat such anger. Oh well, I guess it is just something we will have to work on," the old man spoke more to himself than Naruto.

"What do you mean? And you still have not told me your name!"

"Ah forgive me, my name is Taka; and I will be training you from here on out."

"Yeah right," Naruto snorted, "You can barely stand."

Taka smirked as spoke, "I can help you with your dream of becoming Hokage. Under my tutelage, you could become greater than your father."

"No," Naruto spoke quickly, "I will become stronger on my own, I don't need some blind old man training me! I will gain strength my own way! Dattebayo!"

Taka laughed a deep and hearty laugh. It had been so long since he had heard those words; he had almost forgotten how annoying they were. The ancient Uchiha spoke,

"Very well, Naruto, just know that if you ever need me, I will be here. One day, you will require advanced training, and you will require the skills of an old man. Whether that old man be me or someone else, you need to learn humbleness!"

So saying, Taka disappeared in a puff of smoke.

"Weirdo," Naruto spoke as he went back to training.

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Uchiha Sasuke walked down the street of the Uchiha Compound in a daze. The rain poured down, as if trying to cleanse the district from the horrors of the night before. The young Uchiha was still having trouble processing all that had happened. Not only was his entire clan dead, but he was the Jinchuuriki of the Kyuubi. Young Sasuke knew that without the protection of his clan, he would bear the full brunt of hatred from the villagers. He had always seen the glares, but had brushed them off, knowing that he had a family who loved him. That was gone now.

As Sasuke walked, he wondered what to do. Should he commit suicide, therefore saving himself from years of torment from the villagers and nightmares. Or should he devote himself to vengeance like Itachi wanted? It was all so confusing. Life had changed, and not for the better. Perhaps, suicide was the answer...

Sasuke entered his home and searched for the ritual knife that his father kept for blood rites among the Uchiha. It would be the perfect tool with which to kill himself. After around thirty minutes of searching, Sasuke found the knife. Seals glistened along the knife; promising that the knife would never dull. Sasuke sat in a kneeling position and spoke a few words,

"Mother, Father, I will be seeing you soon."

Sasuke pressed the knife against his heart and went to thrust the knife into his heart. Then everything went dark.

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Taka sighed as he sensed the young boy's shallow breathing. Taka had knocked the young boy unconscious before the child could follow through with the suicide. The ancient Uchiha shook his head. He should have expected this. Sasuke at six years of age was not as strong mentally as Naruto had been at that age. In this life, young Sasuke would face more challenges than Taka had in his. The ancient Uchiha could only hope that Sasuke would thrive under his tutelage and would learn to find meaning in life beyond revenge and hatred.

"Urgh!" Sasuke moaned as he slept. The young boy was in the throes of a nightmare Taka observed. The time-traveler placed a cool rag on the young Uchiha's forehead and sighed. There would be a long road ahead of the two Uchiha.

As Taka observed Sasuke, he mused over his own strength. The Time Travel Jutsu had permanently taken away at least seventy-five percent of his chakra as well as making him blind. The only jutsus he could even perform anymore would be the most basic genjutsus and his space-time-dimensional jutsu. Contrary to popular belief, dimensional jutsu did not require a vast amount of chakra; rather, they required an extensive skill in chakra control.

Taka's thoughts soon turned to his younger self's strength. The young Uchiha was strong for his age, but he was nowhere near the strength required to fight any Akatsuki members. For that matter, Sasuke would not stand a chance against a strong genin. Taka shook his head, he would have to change that if Sasuke was to survive in this dangerous world.

Thinking about Akatsuki, Taka wondered whether or not he should tell Sasuke the truth behind Itachi. It was the one thing he had debated for several years before the time travel jutsu. "No, I must not tell him. I would be dishonoring Itachi by telling him. Hopefully, Sasuke will become the hero Itachi wanted him to be in this world," Taka decided.

"Who...are you?" Sasuke spoke groggily, "Am I...am I in heaven?"

"No," Taka spoke coldly, "Your suicide attempt failed. I stopped you."

Sasuke looked at the old man in pure rage. How dare this old man interfere! This old man had no clue what his life had been like! How dare this old man forbid him the right to kill himself! The young Uchiha spoke angrily,

"How dare you? How dare you make decisions for my life!"

"Tch, get over yourself kid. There are people who have it a loss worse than you do. Now I'm not saying you don't have it bad, because you do; but you have to have the strength to push through this!"

"What do you know? I don't know you! Why should I listen to anything you have to say! My whole clan is dead! I have a monster trapped inside my body! How could it get any worse?"

Taka sighed. This was going to be difficult. Perhaps it would be best to tell Sasuke something of the truth...

"Uchiha Sasuke, that is your name, correct?"

"Yes, but I don't see-"

"Quiet you foolish child! Listen to what I am about to tell you! You are not the only Uchiha left! There are still three more other than you! The first would be your detested brother, Uchiha Itachi; but can you guess who the other two are?"

"Tch, why don't you tell me?"

"Very well, the second one is Uchiha Madara, who helped your brother kill the clan. And the third one is me, Uchiha Taka. I was banished from the clan for my blindness decades ago, but I still remember the Uchiate Style and how to use the sharingan with it. I can teach you, young Sasuke. I can teach you things that will let you achieve your goals!"

"My only goal is to end the pain I am feeling right now!" Sasuke yelled.

"I can teach you how to do that without killing yourself. I can teach you how to love and be happy; I can also teach to be cold and ruthless so that you make protect the ones you have grown to love. Finally, I can teach you how to restore your clan and make the Uchiha greater than we were before! That should be your goal, restoring your clan!"

Sasuke was silent for a few minutes before speaking,

"The only way I can restore my clan is if I make certain that no one will ever harm them like Itachi did again. I must kill all those associated the massacre before I can even think about restoring the Uchiha. Will you help me do this, Taka-sama?"

The smile that appeared on Taka's face nearly frightened Sasuke.

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The next morning found Sasuke running around Konoha. So far, the young Uchiha had managed to make it around the village one time, but Taka had demanded that the young Uchiha do it thrice. Sasuke grimaced as he remembered Taka's words,

"You are a genius, Sasuke, but that means nothing to me. I am going to teach you something that will increase your potential ten fold. I am going to teach you to be a genius of hard work! I am going to work you to the bone until your stamina and chakra is at least at high genin level. Then and only then will we work on your jutsu. NOW GIVE ME THREE LAPS AROUND KONOHA! ON THE DOUBLE!"

Sasuke panted as he continued running. Already he could feel his body tiring. One lap around Konoha was equal to five miles, which meant he still had another ten miles to go. Sasuke looked to his right and saw the ancient Uchiha running beside him effortlessly. Whenever Sasuke would begin to slow down, Taka would be there to smack him on his backside with the flat side of the ancient Uchiha's chokuto. Sasuke had been in awe of the sword when he had first seen it, but now he dreaded the glint of the metal as it was pulled from its scabbard.

"Faster, Sasuke!" Taka yelled.

"Hai!" Sasuke yelled back angrily. He would show this old bastard that how strong he was.

"Use your chakra to enhance and soothe your muscles as you run! Use your sharingan to copy how I am doing it!"

Sasuke nodded. At the beginning of their run, Taka had demanded that Sasuke keep his sharingan on for as long as possible during their run. The ancient Uchiha had said that it would grow his chakra much faster. However, Taka had also forbidden Sasuke from ever showing his sharingan to anyone until he became a genin. The young Uchiha saw the wisdom in Taka's words. If anyone knew that he had the sharingan, it would make him that much more of a target to enemy villages.

Sasuke looked to his right with his activated sharingan and copied how Taka was using his chakra. It looked like the ancient Uchiha's muscles were completely suffused with chakra. Sasuke began pumping chakra into his muscles and noticed that his speed dramatically increased as well as stopping the burning that was starting to develop as he ran. Sasuke very nearly let out a laugh as he flew across the ground at a speed he had never imagined he would possess. This was power! Taka smiled as he ran beside the younger Uchiha. Even at his old age, there was something special about the power of chakra flowing throughout your body. The two continued to run and about thirty minutes later, they had finished the three laps Taka had set for them.

Sasuke panted as he dropped to the ground. That run had drained him of a good portion of his chakra and stamina. He looked over to Taka who had a maniacal grin on his face.

"Now, it is time for tree-climbing!"

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sasuke lay in bed that night, his muscles burning from the exhaustion of the day. Sasuke knew that he had never trained so hard in his life. Taka truly was merciless when it came to training. After their run, the ancient Uchiha had shown Sasuke the tree-walking exercise. Sasuke had managed to get about one fourth of the way up the tree by the time Taka called it quits five hours later. They had next moved on to taijutsu; Taka had taken the time to help him perfect the first tier of the Uchiate style and then they had moved onto the first kata of the second tier. After several hours of that they had moved onto weapon training where Sasuke copied Taka's throwing techniques with the sharingan. Finally, before Sasuke was allowed to go to bed and shower, he had to perform the Katon: Great Fireball Jutsu twenty-five times. Sasuke had only managed to complete the jutsu eighteen times before he collapsed from exhaustion. Taka had been kind enough to feed him some onigiri and tomatoes for dinner, and then carried Sasuke to the Uchiha hot springs where he could bathe.

Sasuke smirked as he let his muscles relax. With such a hard teacher, it would not be long before Sasuke had gained the strength necessary to kill Itachi. Itachi...the bastard! Sasuke's entire body tensed as he replayed the massacre in his head. He would kill that man for what he had done to the Uchiha Clan!

The young Uchiha felt tears enter his eyes as the realization that he would never see his family again sunk in. Never again would his aunt give him a snack on his way to the Academy. Never again would his uncle ruffle his hair. Never again would he see his mother joyfully making dinner for her family. Never again would his father be proud of him. Sasuke sobbed in anguish. This pain, would it ever go away?

From outside the young Uchiha's door, Taka listened in sympathy as Sasuke cried. The ancient Uchiha wanted to comfort the child, but knew that it would not teach Sasuke the hardest lesson of all. If Taka entered the room and comforted Sasuke, Sasuke would grow dependent on him. Taka knew that the only way Sasuke would ever be able to survive in the world would be if he learned to depend on himself. As an Uchiha and the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki, Sasuke would constantly have to watch out for betrayal. "So much pressure to place on one so young. What have I done?" Taka thought in anguish. Just because it was best for the world that Sasuke was the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki, did not mean that it was best for Sasuke. Taka sighed. It was too late to change his plans. All he could do was to be there to help.

"Screw it," Taka finally decided and entered the room.

Sasuke looked up as the only person he considered a true relative entered the room. The young Uchiha felt his tears begin in earnest as Taka wrapped his arms around Sasuke and whispered,

"It will be alright, young Sasuke. We will get through this...together."

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Several days later found Sasuke sitting in the Shinobi Academy as he waited for Erih-sensei to appear. Despite the fact that he wanted to continue training with Taka-sensei, Sasuke knew that there were still vital reasons to attend the Academy. As an Uchiha, it was important that he form alliances. The young Uchiha looked over his class and quickly ranked the strongest shinobi in the class.

The strongest in the class would be Namikaze Naruto. The young shinobi truly was the heir of the Fourth Hokage. His taijutsu skills were above everyone in the class other than Sasuke, while his ninjutsu skills were above even Sasuke's. The young Namikaze had a repertoire of wind jutsu that Sasuke found himself slightly envious of. When it came to genjutsu, Naruto was better than the majority of the students, but it was obviously not his strong point. As for his stamina and chakra levels, they were on the level of a weak genin.

The second strongest would be Sasuke himself. His skill with taijutsu and genjutsu made many of the students dislike sparring with him. Sasuke would always use genjutsu to make it appear as though his attacks were coming from another direction or at a different angle. As for ninjutsu, he had only mastered the Katon: Great Fireball jutsu and the three basic Academy Jutsu, but that would change once Taka deemed him ready to start learning more advanced jutsu. Finally, his stamina and chakra levels were slightly above Naruto's.

The third strongest in the class would be Aburame Shino. Sasuke did not know much about the Aburame heir other than the fact that his jutsus involved lots of bugs and his taijutsu was quite skilled as opposed to the rest of the class.

The strongest kunoichi in the class would be Hyuuga Hinata. The Hyuuga Heiress was highly skilled in taijutsu, perhaps even more so than Naruto. However, she was incredibly weak when it came to ninjutsu, and mediocre when it came to genjutsu. Her chakra levels were on the level of a strong Academy Student.

Sasuke's thoughts were interrupted as he observed a new chuunin enter the classroom. The young Uchiha briefly wondered what had happened to Erih-sensei, but did not let it bother him much. The new chuunin spoke,

"Greetings, I regret to inform you that Erih-sensei died when he attempted to stop the missing-nin Uchiha Itachi from fleeing Konoha a few days ago. I will be training you from now on. My name is Umino Iruka and I will be attempting to make each one of you great shinobi!"

Sasuke observed the chuunin as he moved about the class, telling the Academy Students a little about himself. Sasuke smirked, only an idiot tells others personal information. The chuunin was setting himself up for failure should any of the shinobi in this room use his personal information against him. "This guy will probably never make Jounin," Sasuke thought in amusement.

"Alright! Now, I am going to spar with each one of you to see where your skills are! Follow me out to the training ground!"

Sasuke got up and followed most of the students outside. He wondered who would end up fighting against Iruka first. The young Uchiha entered the training ground and waited for his name to be called.

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Iruka looked out amongst the students. He took note of the indifference both Naruto and Sasuke were showing him. Neither one of them had the eager expression that was on the faces of the rest of the students. The young chuunin sighed; the Sandaime Hokage had requested that he keep an eye on the two of them and attempt to get to know them. The Sandaime had been vehement about making certain Sasuke was loyal to Konoha. Iruka understood the Sandaime's point of view, but strongly disagreed with it. Sasuke was not yet even eight years old and the Sandaime was already worried about his loyalty?

Iruka's thoughts turned from the orders of the Hokage to the academy students before him. Each of them had an enormous amount of potential, and it was up to him to see that they all became fine shinobi of Konoha. These children were his responsibility.

"Alright!" Iruka yelled to gain the attention of the academy students, "First up will be Aburame Shino!"

Iruka watched in interest as a young boy wearing a trench coat and sunglasses walked out onto the training ground. Already Iruka could see several holes in the boy's stance that he would have to iron out later. The young chuunin stood still as he waited for Shino to attack.

Shino made the first move by throwing several shuriken and kunai at Iruka. The young chuunin easily dodged the attack and ran towards the Aburame at half speed. The Aburame immediately shot his hand out and hundreds of bugs flew from out of his arm. The bugs flew towards Iruka who quickly used the shunshin jutsu to appear behind Shino. The chuunin brought out his kunai and gently rested it against Shino's neck.

"Good fight, Shino. You made some errors, but we will work those out in time. Now if you will take your seat I will call out the next Academy student."

Shino nodded his head and walked towards the group of academy students. The young Aburame noticed that Uchiha Sasuke was watching him with interest. Obviously, the Uchiha Heir had deemed him as an appropriate challenge for future matches. Shino nearly sighed; he felt bad for the young Uchiha. The young Aburame had overheard his parents talking the night before about the tragedy of the Uchiha Clan. It was depressing that such a powerful clan could be wiped out so quickly.

"Alright," Iruka yelled, "Next up is..."

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sasuke watched the fights with interest. These were potential teammates as well as potential enemies. It would be in his best interests if he were to know their strengths and weaknesses. Sasuke's thoughts briefly flickered over Shino's fight. The young Aburame had a lot of potential and Sasuke could see the benefits of having Shino on his side.

The young Uchiha's thoughts quickly turned to the battle before him. Hyuuga Hinata was fighting Iruka. The young Hyuuga Heiress was putting up a good fight, but Sasuke saw several striking weaknesses in the girl. While the girl was quite skilled in taijutsu technique, she was lacking in speed and stamina. When it came to genjutsu, she was quite skilled at dispelling it for an academy student, but it was obvious to Sasuke that if she had any skill with creating genjutsu she would have done so by now. Drawing on his knowledge of the Hyuuga Clan, it was also highly likely that her ninjutsu skills were nonexistent. Hinata lasted another five minutes before Iruka called an end to the fight. Despite the skill of all the academy students, Sasuke knew that it was highly unlikely that any of them would be able to take out a chuunin on their own.

The Chuunin fought several more students before finally calling out,

"Namikaze Naruto!"

Naruto stepped out onto the training ground with an air of superiority that Sasuke found distasteful. The young Uchiha had pride, but he was not so foolish as to draw attention to himself like the young Namikaze was doing. Taka had ingrained this less lesson into Sasuke's skull: never draw attention to yourself unless you absolutely have to. Making yourself a target is never wise.

Naruto started the fight by quickly forming the horse, dog, and boar hand signs. The young shinobi then clapped his hands together causing a blade of wind to rush towards Iruka. The chuunin's eyes widened at the watered down version of the A-rank jutsu and jumped to the side even as Naruto continued to form the same technique over and over again. This constant barrage of jutsu caused a mild hurricane of wind blades to form around Iruka. The chuunin grimaced as he felt cuts break open along his body. He had underestimated the Namikaze Heir.

Iruka quickly used the substitution jutsu as he saw a large wind blade rushing towards him. The young chuunin used the substitution to place him closer to Naruto. Iruka rushed towards the academy student in an effort to close the distance and test out Naruto's taijutsu skills. Naruto surprised Iruka by rushing forward to meet the chuunin with a kunai in his right hand.

The young chuunin quickly brought out a kunai and blocked the attack from Naruto. The chuunin was once again surprised by the strength with which Naruto attacked. Iruka realized that he would have to go all out if he wished to defeat the Namikaze Heir. Naruto dodged to the right as a powerful punch passed through where he had been standing; he was surprised, however, when Iruka used the body flicker jutsu to appear right beside him with a kunai pressed against his throat.

"Excellent fight, Naruto!" the chuunin praised, "If not for the Hokage's new decree that all academy students must be twelve years of age before moving up to genin, I would have immediately suggested you for promotion. Good job!"

Several of the females among the Academy Students yelled out encouragement to Naruto. The Namikaze Heir glared at the females as they continued yelling. He had lost. There was nothing to be happy about after that.

Iruka noticed the lack of a smile from Naruto after all the praise and felt himself grow concerned. The boy should have at least shown some reaction to the praise. He would have to speak with the Hokage about that. Iruka turned his attention to the next person on the list, Uchiha Sasuke.

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sasuke, not for the first time since the sparring had begun, wished that he had been allowed to use his sharingan. The fight between Naruto and Iruka had been amazing and Sasuke seriously wished that he could have copied the wind jutsu used by Naruto. Sasuke mused over Naruto's strength and personality. While the Namikaze heir was powerful, Sasuke found his personality to be very irritating. The boy had the attention of all the other Academy Students, yet he treated them like dirt. Sasuke was thankful that the Academy Students mostly ignored him, but he also knew that if they loved him liked they loved Naruto that he would not treat them like dirt.

Sasuke's thoughts were interrupted as he heard Iruka call out,

"Okay! Next fight is Uchiha Sasuke!"

Sasuke walked out onto the training ground, his body tensing as he looked for any openings in Iruka's stance. While he knew the chuunin had openings, he also knew it was highly unlikely that he would notice any of them without activating the sharingan. The young Uchiha slipped into the basic stance of the Uchiate style and waited. Sasuke observed Iruka who had a confused expression on his face. The chuunin had obviously expected him to attack straight off the bat. "Tch, foolish sensei, I am merely waiting for you to let your guard down," Sasuke thought.

"Hey! Hurry up Sasuke-baka!" an annoying girl with pink hair yelled.

Sasuke ignored the jibe and smirked as he saw Iruka's eyes flicker over to Sakura. There! Sasuke quickly pulled out several kunai and shuriken and threw them with as much strength as he could. Iruka, distracted by Sakura, did not see the projectiles until the last minute and was cut several times as he attempted to dodge. The young chuunin grimaced; his fights with the rest of the Academy Students had weakened him. With his chakra and stamina decreased as they were, Sasuke actually had a small chance of winning this battle.

Iruka's thoughts were cut short as Sasuke quickly closed the distance between them and threw a flurry of punches and kicks at the chuunin. Iruka blocked the majority of them and retaliated by throwing a kick at Sasuke's midsection, only for his foot to pass through the Uchiha's bunshin jutsu. Iruka immediately used the substitution jutsu as shuriken and kunai landed where he had been standing. Iruka shook his head. A genin would have been severely injured by that attack. Sasuke truly was something else.

Iruka's thoughts were once again interrupted as he was attacked by Sasuke. So far out of all the Academy Students, Sasuke had the best taijutsu. Iruka did wonder, however, if the young Uchiha knew any advanced ninjutsu. Deciding to test this out, Iruka threw a powerful kick at Sasuke; causing the Uchiha to painfully fly into the air. "If he knows any advanced jutsu, this would be the perfect time for him to use it," Iruka smiled thoughtfully.

The young chuunin was not disappointed. As Sasuke flew through the air he quickly gained his bearings and began forming hand signs for the Great Fireball Jutsu. Iruka's eyes widened in surprise as a giant fireball came rushing towards him. "To be able to form such a huge fireball, Sasuke's chakra must be immense," Iruka thought.

The young chuunin quickly used the substitution jutsu to appear behind Sasuke. Iruka quickly brought out a kunai and attempted to rest it against the Uchiha's throat. He was surprised, however, when the kunai passed through a bunshin. The young chuunin grimaced as he felt the point of a kunai at his back. He could win this fight, but it would require that he use jutsu that would kill Sasuke. For now, it was best to give up.

"Excellent fight, Sasuke!" Iruka called out, "I will tell you what I told Naruto, if not for the Hokage's new decree you would definitely be promoted to genin for this!"

Sasuke's eyes widened. Never had he received praise from a teacher. Perhaps this Umino Iruka was different?

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

That evening, as Sasuke was walking home, he was surprised to find Iruka-sensei walking beside him. The young chuunin spoke kindly,

"Hey Sasuke, care to grab some food together? My treat?"

Sasuke's eyes narrowed suspiciously. What motive did Iruka have to want to spend time with the jailor of the Kyuubi Bijou? Sasuke's mind quickly came up with horrible scenarios where Iruka dragged him off to a dark alley and killed him. Iruka noticed the dark look on Sasuke's face and sighed,

"Don't worry Sasuke, I could care less about your inhabitant. I am just concerned about you since you are one of my students"

Sasuke cocked his head to one side for a second, recognizing the truth of Iruka's words. The young Uchiha, after several seconds of silence, finally spoke,

"Okay, but no ramen, I hate that stuff."

Iruka smiled.

Taka watched in amusement as Sasuke and Iruka ate at a small restaurant, the two of them talking about ninja techniques and skills. Iruka always had been such a kind man. It was so sad that Taka had been the one to kill the man in his time-line. Taka shook his head to get rid of such miserable thoughts. That life was over now. Sasuke had a bright future before him as a powerful shinobi. Taka would make sure of it!

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Three years later later found Sasuke fighting against Taka. Despite the ancient Uchiha's blindness, the man was still superbly skilled in taijutsu and Sasuke had yet to land a hit against him. Taka smiled as he recognized the growing strength Sasuke had developed. Sasuke's stamina and chakra were near that of a very weak jounin, while his taijutsu skills were already near that of a mediocre chuunin. In terms of genjutsu, the two had recently begun working on Sasuke forming genjutsu with just his eyes. Sasuke had a talent for genjutsu that would have astonished anyone. Generally, Jinchuuriki never developed the skill to be very talented with genjutsu. It seemed that Sasuke was the exception. The young Uchiha's chakra control was superb, something Taka considered to be a very welcome anomaly. When it came to ninjutsu, Sasuke had learned several fire jutsu as well as one wind jutsu. With Sasuke's immense chakra capacity, Taka had held no reservations about teaching the young Uchiha several B-rank and A-rank ninjutsu. The young Uchiha had long ago mastered the water-walking exercise and Taka judged Sasuke's strength to be that of a mediocre chuunin. In the next two years before Sasuke was promoted to genin, Taka hope to raise Sasuke's strength to that of a very weak jounin. And the first step in that goal, was teaching Sasuke the summoning jutsu.

"Halt!" Taka yelled out just as Sasuke was about to throw another flurry of attacks at the ancient Uchiha.

"Hai, Taka-sensei," Sasuke replied respectfully.

"I am going to be teaching you some very powerful jutsu over the next two years. We are going to focus on teaching you three things; first will be the summoning jutsu. You will have the choice of either snakes or hawks. Eventually I will teach you to summon both, but for now we need to focus on one. Second, I will be teaching you to master one of your chakra affinities, fire. As we both know, you have both the fire and lightning affinities. We will move onto lightning once you have mastered fire. And lastly, I will be teaching you some of the most difficult ninjutsu to learn, Space-Time Jutsu."

Sasuke's eyes widened in anticipation as he heard all the things he would be learning over the next two years. This was going to be fun!

"Now, which creature do you want to learn to summon first? Snakes or Hawks?"

"Hawks," Sasuke decided after a minute or two of thinking.

"Well let us begin!" Taka cackled.

INTERLUDE

The next two years passed by quickly. Sasuke learned many powerful jutsus from Taka as well as progressing very nicely in taijutsu. In terms of the sharingan, the young Uchiha held three tomoe in each eye. The young Uchiha had also developed a strong friendship with Umino Iruka. Iruka and Sasuke could often be seen eating out together and discussing ninjutsu tactics. The young chuunin would often report to the Hokage that Sasuke seemed to be a loyal, yet quiet, shinobi of Konoha.

Naruto's power had also grown exponentially over the past two years. The young Namikaze had trained often with the Sandaime Hokage as well as the Toad Sage Jiriaya when the super-pervert visited. His taijutsu was excellent and his ninjutsu was on jounin level. His genjutsu skills were weak compared to Sasuke, but they were better than any genin.

During these two years, rumors arose of a powerful group named Akatsuki. It was rumored that missing-nins such as Hoshigaki Kisame, Kakuzu, and Uchiha Itachi were members of this powerful group. The Sandaime Hokage sent out spies to find out more about the Akatsuki; none of them ever came back alive.

Finally, it was time for the choosing of teams by the Sandaime Hokage...

INTERLUDE END

"Well, what about Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura?" the Sandaime asked.

"That would severely unbalance the teams, Hokage-sama," Iruka spoke, "Naruto and Sasuke should not be on the same team. Not only are they the most powerful Academy Students I have ever seen which would unbalance the teams, but they hate each other. They would never develop the team work necessary. On that note, Sakura would probably get herself killed on a team with those two. I do not suggest that at all."

"Alright then, I am trying to decide who to put with Hatake Kakashi, Naruto or Sasuke. Konoha would most benefit from Kakashi teaching Sasuke to use his sharingan, yet I know Kakashi might very well resent not being allowed to teach his sensei's son..."

"Hmm, if I might make a suggestion, Hokage-sama?" Iruka said thoughtfully.

"Go ahead, Iruka."

"Why don't we just ask Kakashi who he wants to teach?"

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Kakashi sighed as he walked into the Hokage's office. The Copy Cat Ninja recognized that his time of death by genin had come. The Hokage was probably going to stick him with a team of brats that he could not fail because of either political or national security reasons. "Fuck!" Kakashi thought, "I hate my life right now."

"Greetings, Kakashi-san!" Sarutobi spoke with a smile.

"Greetings, Hokage-sama. May I ask why you have summoned me?"

"Iruka and I have a dilemma. This year, there are two very powerful shinobi graduating from the Academy and we cannot decide who to place on your team. We are thinking either giving you a combat oriented team, or an assassination team. It all depends on which of these powerful genin you choose."

Kakashi's one eye widened at the mention of an assassination team. Not since the Third Shinobi World War had a group of genin been designated that call. It was unthinkable! Teaching children to kill in cold blood? Kakashi was about to protest, but he saw the look in the Sandaime Hokage's eye. Sarutobi had already made his decision.

"Who are the two genin I have to choose from?" Kakashi asked in a choked voice.

"Namikaze Naruto or Uchiha Sasuke, the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki."

Kakashi's one eye narrowed in anger. How dare the Sandaime do this to him? Choosing between either Minato-sensei's legacy or Obito's legacy. "Dammit, how could you do this to me Hokage-sama? This is an impossible choice. I know, I will just choose the assassination team and whichever one the Sandaime had designated to that will be the one I choose! That way I will be able to help whoever has this designation to the best of my ability" Kakashi thought in a whirlwind.

"Which genin is the assassination team going to be assigned to?"

"We were thinking...

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Sasuke nearly sighed in irritation as he waited for Iruka-sensei to show up and announce the teams. Sasuke looked out amongst the other genin and sighed. None of them besides Naruto had any strength currently. Sure, they all had potential, but none of them had even started to achieve that potential. Sasuke smiled when he saw Iruka enter the room. The young chuunin was a good friend and Sasuke sincerely hoped that the chuunin would continue to grow stronger.

Iruka smiled as he looked out amongst the students. He could only hope that they would all grow strong as shinobi. The young chuunin began by saying,

"All of you are now shinobi, however, that does not mean that things will get easier. This only means that things are going to be harder from here on out. I trust and believe in each of you that you will continue to grow stronger and that you will bring honor to Konoha. Now it is time for me to give out the teams..."

Sasuke listened in rapt attention as Iruka gave out the teams. He gave special attention when Iruka called out,

"Team Seven will be Namikaze Naruto, Haruno Sakura, and Inuzuka Kiba."

The young Uchiha sighed as he heard that he would not be on a team with the three most annoying students in the class. He turned his attention back to Iruka as Iruka called out Team Eight,

"Team Eight will be Yamanaka Ino, Akimichi Chouji, and Aburame Shino."

Sasuke nearly laughed when he saw the look on Ino's face. The young kunoichi had immediately started yelling, saying that she would never be on a team with a fat ass and a bug boy. Iruka had to shoot her a glare at these words, which calmed her down. The young chuunin finally called out,

"Team Nine will be Hyuuga Hinata, Nara Shikamaru, and Uchiha Sasuke."

Sasuke's eyes brightened at these words. He was on a team with no annoying people! The young Uchiha looked over at his two teammates and nodded. He smirked as Hinata blushed and Shikamaru nodded back. This would be interesting. The Hyuuga was kind of cute and it might be interesting if the bloodline of the sharingan and byakugan mixed. Sasuke shook his head; no, while Hinata was the most tolerable female in the group, he knew that it was best that he keep his bloodline separate from the Hyuuga.

Over the next hour, Sasuke watched in interest as the Jounin came in and took their teams. He paid special attention as Team Eight was taken by Sarutobi Asuma, the Sandaime's son. He felt himself grow envious, that team had obviously gotten a powerful jounin sensei. Sasuke shook his head, even if his jounin was a wimp, he would still have Taka's training to get him through.

Sasuke's thoughts were interrupted when he saw a stunningly gorgeous kunoichi jounin entered the room. The young Uchiha's heart nearly stopped when he saw her. She appeared to be in her early twenties and had long black hair. What got Sasuke's attention, however, was her stunning red eyes. He very nearly thought she had the sharingan before realizing that there were not any tomoe in her eyes. Sasuke took in the sight of her and very nearly died. She was beyond beautiful. "Please be my sensei!" Sasuke thought anxiously, "This is the woman I want to restore my clan with!"

Sasuke felt his cheeks flush as the kunoichi looked directly at him. The young woman never took her eyes off of him as she said,

"Team Seven with Namikaze Naruto, Haruno Sakura, and Inuzuka Kiba, come with me! I am Yuuhi Kurenai and I will be your Jounin Teacher."

Sasuke felt his heart drop as he realized she was not his sensei. "Tch, whatever. It is perhaps for the best. As a sensei she would never see me as more than a student. One day though, when I am older, she will be mine!"

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Kurenai felt herself smile when she saw the disappointed look on Sasuke's face. It was cute that the boy had immediately started crushing on her. The young kunoichi could not deny that Sasuke would be a looker when he grew up, she knew that she herself had held a crush on Uchiha Itachi for many years. However the boy was at least nine years younger than herself, and at the moment it would never work. Still, it was cute.

Kurenai walked out of the room with her team following her. She was surprised to see Hatake Kakashi walking down the hall. She stopped for a second and asked,

"What are you doing here on time, Kakashi? You are never on time?"

"This team I am supposed to teach is going to be an assassination squad. That means I am going to have to work them harder than what I would have normally. I cannot be late like I would if they were just some other team of genin."

Kurenai felt herself pale at Kakashi's words. Those children...an assassination squad? It was unthinkable! Assassination squads did the dirty work. Normally assassination squads were found only in ANBU. What was the Sandaime Hokage thinking?"

"Tell me Kurenai, do you think they have what it takes?" Kakashi asked.

Kurenai noticed the look in Kakashi's one eye. The Copy Ninja obviously did not want to teach children to kill in cold blood, but it was what had been asked of him. Kurenai thought back on the three children she had seen in the room. Shy, insecure Hinata; lazy Shikamaru; and crushing Sasuke. Kurenai responded in a choked voice,

"You have a lot of work ahead of you."

So saying, Kurenai continued walking with her students behind her. Kiba and Sakura started whispering while Naruto had an irritated look in his eye. How dare that Uchiha teme get to be part of an assassination squad while he was just relegated with what was obviously a combat squad?

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Kakashi observed the new genin from outside the window. The only one in the room that held himself with any kind of strength was Sasuke. Even then, Kakashi could see holes in the way he moved. Kakashi noticed with interest, however, that the holes in the way Sasuke held himself were not as striking one would expect of a new genin. They were more like the holes of a powerful chuunin or a weak jounin. It would take time to iron those out, but Kakashi was certain that if he could teach Sasuke team work; it would be Sasuke who could protect his team mates if Kakashi was unable to.

Thinking about Sasuke's teammates, Kakashi nearly sighed. There was a lot of work ahead of him. First and fore-mostly was teaching Hinata to have faith in her own strength as well as kicking Shikamaru's ass until he lost his lazy streak. The two genin would not be ready for assassination missions for months if ever. Sure, Kakashi could see the strategy in placing these three on an assassination squad. Hinata would be the scout; Shikamaru would pin the enemies down; and Sasuke would strike the finishing blow. However, there were a lot of emotions in that room that would have to be removed before they could ever work efficiently together.

Kakashi finally entered the room and looked at his new Team Nine. The powerful jounin spoke softly,

"Team Nine, meet me on the roof. We have some things to talk about."

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Sasuke smirked when he saw who his jounin sensei was. Taka had made it a point to tell Sasuke about the Copy Ninja Hatake Kakashi. As Kakashi was the only ninja other than the three living Uchiha who had a sharingan, it was good to know about him. Kakashi was a ninja who had copied over a thousand jutsu and it was Kakashi, after Jiraiya and Tsunade, who was most likely in line to become Hokage once Sarutobi died or abdicated.

"Troublesome," Shikamaru stated as the walked to the roof top.

"S-so Sasuke, Shikamaru, are you guys happy to be genin now?" Hinata asked.

Sasuke turned to the Hyuuga and nodded grimly, he had a feeling that something was wrong. The way Kakashi had spoken did not seem normal. Shikamaru seemed to have picked up on that as well, Sasuke noticed. The three genin walked the rest of the way in silence, each one lost in their own thoughts.

When the reached the roof, they saw Kakashi looking sternly at them. The Jounin spoke harshly,

"When I said to meet me on the roof, I did not mean in five minutes. I meant now! You guys moved way too slow. For that, each of you are going to give me one hundred push-ups before we talk! Get to it!"

"Troublesome," Shikamaru muttered.

"Make that two hundred for your complaining, Shikamaru! I do not tolerate laziness!" Kakashi yelled. The jounin hated doing this, but he knew that harshness would be the best way to train the genin into a powerful team.

The three genin quickly did two hundred push-ups; Sasuke was the only one who seemed unaffected by the push-ups, the other two were sweating as they stood up. Kakashi looked at them and shook his head. He spoke,

"Alright, lets begin by introducing ourselves. Tell me some of your hobbies, dreams for the future, what you hate, what you like, that sort of thing."

"U-um why don't you go first, sensei?" Hinata spoke quietly.

Kakashi narrowed his eye at the young girl. He spoke softly,

"Never tell your superior officer what to do. Is that understood?"

"H-hai!" Hinata stuttered.

"I will go first, however, just to show you how it is done. My name is Jounin Hatake Kakashi. I like a lot of things and I dislike some things. My hobbies include some stuff. My dreams for the future...eh you don't need to know that."

Sasuke felt his eye twitch at the Jounin's words. Was this guy for real? The Jounin turned to Hinata and said,

"Your turn."

"O-okay. M-my name is Hyuuga Hinata. I like gardening and medicine. I don't like people who treat their comrades badly. M-my dream for the future is to become a powerful kunoichi."

"Okay," Kakashi spoke, "Your turn, Shikamaru."

"Okay, my name is Nara Shikamaru. I don't really have any hobbies, but I like to watch clouds. I dislike work. And my dream for the future is to avoid work."

Kakashi glared at the genin. He spoke softly but powerfully,

"If you want to avoid work, why are you a shinobi?"

"Because my dad was one," Shikamaru spoke.

"Listen closely to me you lazy son of a bitch," Kakashi said harshly, causing Hinata and Sasuke to jump, "Your laziness could cost your teammates their lives. If you don't lose your apathetic attitude, it could lead to mine, Sasuke's, or Hinata's death. If you don't change your attitude, I will make certain you never become a shinobi. And if your laziness causes any of my comrades to die, I will kill you myself."

Shikamaru felt his eyes grow wide at Kakashi's words. Never had he thought about his laziness as a way that his comrades could die. Maybe this jounin was right?

Kakashi saw the wheels turning behind Shikamaru's head and knew that he had started the young shinobi on the path to greatness...or at least something beyond mediocrity. The powerful jounin turned to Sasuke. This would be interesting.

"Your turn, duck-butt."

Sasuke glared at Kakashi before saying,

"My name is Uchiha Sasuke. I like Onigiri and tomatoes. My hobbies include training and reading scrolls about my clan. My dream for the future is to restore my clan to the greatness it once held and to kill the man who stripped us of our honor and power."

Kakashi nodded his head, it was what he expected. He did have one question,

"Where does Konoha factor into your plans?"

Sasuke looked surprise and grew quiet for a moment before finally saying,

"Konoha is the home of the Uchiha and always will be."

Kakashi nodded. Sasuke was loyal to Konoha. His loyalty to Konoha might be behind his loyalty to the Uchiha Clan, but one could not expect more than that from him. The Jounin looked at his team. He had a lot of work ahead of him, but this team had potential.

"Alright, we are going to meet tomorrow at training ground seventeen. I want you three to be well prepared. Unlike the other teams who have to pass a test to be allowed to stay genin, I am going to automatically pass all three of you. However the reason behind this is because you three have been designated as an assassination squad."

The three genin's eyes widened at this news. Kakashi noticed this and sighed,

"I did not want you three to be given this designation, but the Sandaime Hokage had decreed this. I will train you three to the bone so that each of you are prepared for the missions we will face together. I will teach the three of you the truth of being a shinobi. Now we meet at training ground seventeen at eight o'clock tomorrow morning. Do not be late! Dismissed!"

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Taka smiled as he heard all that Sasuke had told him. Kakashi, when he was serious, was one of the toughest teachers in the Land of Fire. However, that also meant that he was one of the best. Taka sighed, soon his time would be ending and Kakashi's time would come as Sasuke's main teacher. Taka already had it planned out. Soon, Sasuke would kill him and gain the Mangekyou Sharingan which would protect the young boy from Akatsuki. Taka could only hope it would be enough.

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Okay! I hope you enjoyed this chapter! Sorry it took so long to update. I had midterms at school. Hopefully the next chapter will be up sooner! Please Review! Thanks!

BrokenAvenger21