A bit late but, I would like to give my utmost gratitude to these people:

naname396, NarutoRox, Amyethious, AprilMae72, Verteufelt, CareBearCara101, NarutoFangirl101, sugardash, KuramaxChan, MoonIllusion and to the rest of you guys who had read and supported, enjoyed and reviewed this story!

Yep, this chapter is still the same day as the previous chapter.


In Between

Chapter 12: Bonds


Fugaku Uchiha had always been mindful of his clan's welfare.

He had high expectations of each and every one, especially for his two sons. The only time he decided to remove his cold and uncaring outer shell was during the night of the Uchiha Clan Massacre. He was foolish to risk the safety of his clansmen when they decided to make a rebellion, knowing that the coup d'état had a fifty-fifty chance of succeeding. Itachi's 'betrayal' was for a cause, a greater good, he reminded himself. The revolt had failed without even deploying their men yet. He felt responsible for all their deaths, but he supposed it wasn't entirely their clan's fault for the need to cause an uprising.

The second chance that was given to him and his wife, he had accepted with renewed hope and point of view. Needless to say, he felt an immense amount of gratitude towards Sasuke and Itachi, for forgiving him and his wrongdoings as a father, and to his wife, who stayed with him even when she knew he was being too hard and hadn't been an ideal leader.

Fugaku also knew that Mikoto had always been reassuring their children that he was, in truth, a very caring man, even more so when it came to the well-being of his family. Slowly, since then, they decided to start anew as a real family, putting aside their hatred and revenge on Danzou.

The Uchiha decided it wouldn't do any good to wallow about troublesome events in the past. He stood up and walked to the yard, seemingly looking beyond.

"Kakashi," he called, "my son has left something of value to him in their haste to escape from here." Fugaku reached into his clothing and rummaged for the item. "This would be a good time to check on them and to deliver this to Sasuke."

Kakashi Hatake stepped out from the shadows; a small book in hand, as he came closer to the older man. He looked like he was just lazily strolling towards the Uchiha, but as soon as he looked up, his visible eye showed how attentive he was of his surroundings. He immediately closed his reading material and kept it in his shuriken bag, before Fugaku reached out to place the object in Kakashi's awaiting hand. As soon as he dropped it into his open palm, the Jounin studied it closely, trying to recall where it had come from. When he was finished inspecting, he lowered it from its eye-level position and then stored it safely into his pocket.

"I wasn't fully informed of the changes that had vastly occurred these past few years in the other world, and to an extent, in Konoha. I'm hoping you'd be bringing news with you when you return." Fugaku turned around then walked onwards across the yard, with Kakashi following closely behind. "Objections?"

The masked man raised his hand. "I would like to-

"None?"

"But sir-"

Fugaku clapped his hands together. "Excellent!" He slowed his pace a bit to look at the man who had been acting as his right-hand man since long ago. Some would say he could be an unofficial member of the Uchiha's, with the way he was always assisting the aforementioned family.

"Were you saying something, Kakashi?"

The silver-haired man sighed then shook his head. "When do I leave, Fugaku-san?"

"Ah, right now, if you will."

~ SasuNaru ~ SasuNaru -x- In Between -x- SasuNaru ~ SasuNaru ~

Lunch came and ended. It had been just as lively and eventful as the first meal of the day.

Albeit, the changes that had occurred after Naruto found out everything (minus the part where Danzou was after him and the Kyuubi) weren't very subtle. Everyone figured the talk with Kushina went by smoothly, if they would disregard the still visible hand mark on his tan cheek. It was evident how the blonde slowly tried to warm up to the Uchiha brothers of his own accord. He laughed and joked more freely around them now and bantered more often. Curious glances were cast at both siblings but it was without any hint of suspiciousness.

It was also obvious how Naruto tended to avoid physical contact with the youngest Uchiha. Sasuke always scowled whenever 'his' moron evaded him, and Itachi would just taunt him for that, "Pitiful little brother, couldn't even lay a finger on what he claims to be his". Nonetheless, whenever Sasuke managed some fleeting light touches on Naruto, the blonde's face would blush a scarlet red. He'd feign annoyance but wouldn't push him away.

It was enough to bring a happy grin on his face. And a happy Sasuke was, unquestionably, what everyone preferred over the 'Fire jutsu spamming, Chidori attacking, Genjutsu-induced surrounding via Sharingan' tantrum-throwing Sasuke.

Jiraiya had opted to stay for a week or so, giving more time for Naruto to get reacquainted, in a way, with his godfather and master. He promised himself he would bombard the old man with so many questions he wouldn't even have free time to write a new chapter for his perverted stories.

Naruto was now busy rummaging through cupboards looking for something. He remembered seeing the certain thing somewhere in the kitchen, but couldn't place a finger exactly where. Realizing the mess he'd been starting to make, he hastily put everything back in order the way he saw it in the cupboards. When he was finished, he pouted to himself and turned around. Noticing what was on the counter from his current position, he immediately dashed for it happily.

He knitted his brows in confusion. "How do our toothpicks keep disappearing?" he asked no one in particular.

Sasuke leisurely walked to the kitchen to get a drink, and replied as if on cue, "Don't ask me, I return every toothpick in its container after I'm done using it."

He said it so calmly as if it was the most natural thing to do with a toothpick. A used toothpick. After getting himself a cold glass of water, he raised an eyebrow at the blonde who had his jaw hanging open.

"...You're kidding, right...?" Naruto asked hesitantly after several moments of silence.

Sasuke casually leaned against the counter. He was a few feet away from the moron at the side. Then he took a sip before speaking, "I don't know, am I?"

"You better be, you dumbass..." the Uzumaki half growled, half whined.

"Who knows?" Sasuke replied. His voice was obviously laced with smugness and amusement.

"ARGH!" Naruto glared at him but made no move to retaliate physically. He harshly snapped the toothpick that he had stuck between his teeth in half. Grabbing the small container, he threw the whole thing into the trash bin. With one last glare at the smugly smirking Uchiha, he stomped out of the room and headed for the bathroom. Naruto was climbing up the stairs (he didn't want to use the water closet downstairs since it was near the source of his irritation), when Itachi appeared right in front of him.

"Geez!" Naruto clutched at his chest, willing his pounding heart to calm down. "Don't do that!"

Itachi arched an elegant eyebrow.

"I'm gonna get angry if you startle me again."

"It wasn't my intention. I was merely passing through," the Uchiha calmly replied. They had a short chat after that, talking about trivial stuff including the incident in the kitchen not too long ago.

When they were done, Naruto continued his trip to the bathroom to wash his mouth or grab a toothbrush instead. He wasn't particularly fond of dental flosses. It made his tongue itchy, for some reason, whenever he tried to press his wet appendage against the floss.

And he liked to think it could be a lethal weapon instead to murder someone in their sleep. Like Sasuke, for a very good example.

After he was done, Naruto went to his room and opened the drawer beside his bed and fished out a necklace he had stopped wearing a long time ago. Although he couldn't remember, he knew it was a very important item to him. He couldn't help but think it was more than a gift from Sasuke, like it was a symbol or supposedly to remind him of something. Naruto smiled as he touched his engraved name on the back of the pendant.

He reached up and wound the chain around his neck and secured the necklace's lock. He looked at himself in the mirror and grinned, seeing the swirly pattern at the front. Naruto carefully placed another item he had dug out from the same place, on the bedside table. Ears picking up on nearing footsteps, he turned his gaze towards the open door and saw Jiraiya passing by seconds later.

"Pervy Sage!" he called out. The said man stopped walking and backtracked to enter his room.

"Hey, Naruto, I was just checking the spare room you have here. Seems like you guys still have my stuff and had kept it well."

The young Uzumaki snorted. "Of course we did. You visit like, once or twice a month and stay for a week or so. No point in throwing out garbage that would keep on returning to us."

Jiraiya made false choking noises. "You wound me."

Face melting into a semi-serious one, the Sannin asked him, "So, kiddo, how are you? Care to share your thoughts on the information your brain processed hours ago?"

"Mom and Dad promised to give me back my memories, and I can somewhat understand why they can't just shove everything back to my head." Naruto's eyes shifted to the floor, unconsciously rubbing the back of his neck in an uncomfortable manner. "It's gonna hurt, and I don't wanna stay passed out for days 'cause of it." He winced a little.

Jiraiya fully understood the risks of the Memory Sealing jutsu that Kushina placed on him. It would be easier if the caster had set up a trigger to restore the memories - with or without his presence. But most didn't do that and Jiraiya wasn't sure if Kushina had put one on Naruto either. Also, it wasn't really a common practiced technique for two main reasons.

One, some never gained their memories back after having them temporarily sealed, since only the caster could remove and reinsert them. If the caster died, the person's condition would be permanent. It wasn't a favorable thing when one can simply die during a mission and take the sealed memories to his grave.

Two, if the person successfully gained back his memories he would suffer from the after-effects; a head-splitting headache and unconsciousness for a while. The longer the length of the sealed memories, the longer the period of the coma state.

Thirteen years of his Shinobi life had been stripped off of Naruto.

The repercussions of giving back those many years of memories in one go would be severe. Everything he remembered before and after the jutsuwas performed would be registered by his brain. In Naruto's case, the things he had come to know as his past, his childhood, would collide with the truth.

For most people, it could take from two weeks to several months to recover from that situation. But since the jutsu was done by someone with excellent sealing abilities like Kushina, the risks could be lessened. The Uzumaki clan was known for their sealing prowess, after all. With a little help from Fugaku's Sharingan, they were able to implant new memories in Naruto's head into believing that Kizuna was where he grew up, and has always been his home. He retained memories of his family and the friends he had in the Human world.

Speaking of friends, Kushina had yet to explain to her son about the other Konoha ninjas that had been sent - or in their case, volunteered - off to this world with them.

Jiraiya sighed.

It would take a few more days for Naruto to process everything being retold to him to reduce the impact of the repercussion. But he hoped someone would tell the brat sooner or later that his friends' past memories were still intact. Just that, Kushina and Minato, and occasionally Kakashi with his Sharingan, had been tweaking the other teenagers' present memories to make them fit in the Human world - in Naruto's current life.

One would wonder why so many people would go such lengths for a single boy. But the boy himself was willing to risk his own life just to protect them from Danzou, or any threat for that matter. Having the Kyuubi displayed as a source of power and fear was surely not what any sane Konoha nin wanted.

Jiraiya mentally shook his head. At least now, no one had to lie to Naruto anymore, or pretend that everyone and everything was normal. His friends and their families wouldn't have to hide being Shinobi and the teens would no longer need memory-tweaking. There was only so much for one's mind to take with constant changes. Seriously. They didn't really seal the teens' memories off (the adults' stayed the same) like what Kushina did to Naruto. His was permanent unless the seal was released, or had started to weaken accordingly to what day an advanced caster had set it to dissolve.

Getting his mind off of the serious topic, Jiraiya looked around. When he first arrived at the brat's room, the first three things he noticed were the accessory around the teen's neck, another one placed on top of his nightstand and... the excessively messy room of the brat.

His room was the definition of utter chaos.

"I feel like I haven't seen those necklaces for ages," Jiraiya commented lightly, eyes softening as he looked at the First Hokage's crystal heirloom.

Naruto shrugged and grinned sheepishly. "I never knew what they meant to me in the first place, so I didn't think of wearing them. Felt like keeping them instead. But now that I do know, I'll use them both." He grabbed the other necklace and wore it around his neck, its pendant side by side with the other.

"So... Sasuke and I were best friends?"

Naruto traced the black swirling pattern embedded on the pendant, unable to keep a huge grin from forming.

Kushina shook her head. "You were more than that." She smiled and whispered, almost in a conspiratorial way, "There was a special bond that you both shared just between the two of you."

"I'm willing to try befriending him properly this time, Pervy Sage." He fiddled with the cerulean Uzumaki necklace. "He could be a prick like, most of the time, though."

They both laughed heartily.

~ SasuNaru ~ SasuNaru -x- In Between -x- SasuNaru ~ SasuNaru ~

Sasuke, with a small smile, pushed himself off of his leaning position on the wall. He wasn't really eavesdropping. He believed no Uchiha were capable of such thing. He was just about to call the idiot out of his room when he overheard Jiraiya mentioning the necklaces, and he couldn't help but listen a bit (their voices were too loud, he defended). He was about to walk away silently after he heard Naruto's satisfying response, not intending to disturb the teacher-and-student pair, when his path was suddenly blocked. He looked up and frowned.

"What?" Sasuke asked while he looked on suspiciously.

"Foxy's been ranting about something," Itachi briefly waited to see his brother's reaction before raising an eyebrow in mild amusement, "something about you returning every single toothpick you've used back in its holder."

Sasuke snorted. "Clearly, it was a joke, but he took it so seriously that i just couldn't break the news and correct him."

"And I'm guessing he's never gonna live this down." Itachi smirked at him. "You are so cruel to the one you like. It seems like we've raised you just right."

The younger Uchiha waved his hand dismissively, "I hardly think my actions toward Naruto have anything to do with how I was brought up."

Itachi gave him a penetrating stare and stood motionless on his spot for a moment, before suddenly deciding to turn Sasuke around and push him back the way he came from.

Sasuke did his best to steady himself while trying to put most of his weight on his feet. As much as spending a lot of time with Naruto was very crucial to him, he didn't think the Uzumaki would appreciate any kind of intrusion at the moment, especially when they had started talking about his parents' near death experience with the Kyuubi. He glared at Itachi over his shoulder after noticing the little space left they had to cover to arrive at Naruto's door.

He's acting like I'm bringing him to his impending doom, Itachi dryly thought as he resisted the urge to roll his eyes, half dragging his brother towards the blonde's room. They weren't really using much strength to deal with each other. It was one of those times where they acted pretty normal- as normal as an Uchiha can be.

Itachi stopped pushing when they were right outside Naruto's room. Neither male inside noticed their presence until he had knocked on the still-open door. All talking ceased as Naruto's questioning eyes drifted over to the emotionless Itachi, and then to Sasuke who looked like boring holes into his black and orange carpeted floor was his life goal.

"Um..." Naruto started lamely, "What's up?"

"If you aren't busy," Sasuke remained quiet but turned his glare towards his talking sibling, "now would be a good time, perhaps, to take us on a tour around town?"

The young Namikaze looked confused for a few seconds before remembering what his father suggested earlier that day. "Oh, yeah! Yeah. Almost forgot about that, haha!"

Sasuke tried not to look awkward as he stood there beside his brother, when they (Itachi) had interrupted them in the midst of their personal talk. Both of them were unmoving save for how their eyes followed the blonde's movements. "It's alright if we can do it some other time, seeing as how you're busy at the moment." He pointedly glared at his sibling, which Itachi expertly ignored.

"Nah, it's fine." Naruto brought his fist down on his open palm, thinking about something. He supposed he could take a walk with the both of them outside. Sasuke and Itachi had been staying over for more than a week already, but he didn't interact with them on a normal occasion, except for today.

"I'll show you some parts of Kizuna! I don't wanna stay outside too long when it's starting to get cold, though. Oh, and I have to get back earlier than you two cause I promised to help Mom with cleaning the kitchen." He grinned and rubbed the spot below his nose, another habit he inherited from Kushina. "You guys don't mind right?"

"Not at all," Itachi calmly replied for the both of them. "We'll remember our way back." He lightly nudged Sasuke with his arm, quietly telling him to give his own assurance that he wanted it.

"Yeah, some fresh air wouldn't be so bad. Just don't get us lost on our way."

"Teme..."

~ SasuNaru ~ SasuNaru -x- In Between -x- SasuNaru ~ SasuNaru ~

"Where do you want me to put these mugs, Mom?"

"Oh, just place them in the last cupboard to your right, dear. Careful with them!"

He had just returned from his trip with the Brooding Brothers outside. They didn't go sight-seeing much since he was in a hurry to get back home. But he promised they'd go out more often during weekends or when he and Sasuke didn't have piles of homework waiting for them.

While re-placing and arranging the large cups into their proper places, Naruto began wondering once again if he had heard his mother correctly during their earlier conversation. Sasuke had been... a sweet child?

The blonde wanted to laugh at that but refrained from doing so outwardly. He was more worried about breaking anything in the kitchen and receiving the wrath of his mother, than looking like a daydreaming laughing idiot.

Seriously... Sasuke Uchiha, capable of kindness and generosity? Were they talking about the same guy here? Last he checked, the bastard didn't even have the heart to throw a used toothpick into a trash bin and instead, he put it back with its other clean, unused siblings, which led to Naruto throwing the whole bunch away in dismay.

He snorted to himself, half in annoyance and half in amusement at the whole thought. Sealed memory or not, he just knew either way that his opinion on the broody teen didn't change. Albeit, Sasuke had his moments of humanity in him, he still had a screwed up personality, Naruto thought offhandedly.

"Naruto!"

He jerked up in surprise.

"You're gonna tear the cupboard door off its hinges if you keep pulling and leaning away on your weight!" Naruto didn't seem to be attentive to what Kushina was shouting about. She poked his cheek with the end of a rolling pin. "Stop turning it into a makeshift swing!"

"Oops." He immediately stood up straight again and let go of the knob. "Sorry, Mom."

Kushina smiled, turning back to wiping the kitchen counter clean. "It's alright. You can go now, Naru-chan. I'm almost finished here anyway."

The blonde didn't need further instructions before he exited the kitchen. He was about to pass through the dining room, when he noticed the two spiky-haired adults standing in the living room with their backs turned to him. Naruto grinned.

He crouched low and sneakily tiptoed towards them both, making sure he wouldn't hit any surface or step on anything that could make noise. He was sure he hadn't alerted them of his presence since neither Minato nor Jiraiya turned around to regard him. When he was about a foot away from them both, Naruto opened his mouth to yell loudly as a surprise attack when-

"Son, we went through this already," Minato's voice calmly broke through his concentration without either of the two men turning around. "You're supposed to lift your foot each step when approaching an 'enemy', not drag it across the ground."

"Aw, dangit!" Naruto stood up from his bent position, snapping his fingers in the air. "I thought I finally had you this time!"

"You learn to be more aware of your surroundings when you've encountered different kinds of opponents and surprise attacks," Jiraiya added with a small smirk on his face.

"I'll teach you properly how to pounce on your prey next time," Minato draped an arm across his son's shoulders. "Just make sure not to use it for the wrong reason, like peeping on girls as sensei does. Your mother would kill us all."

"One Pervy Sage is enough!" Naruto exclaimed, laughing.

"You make it sound like that's a bad thing," Jiraiya cocked his head in a mock arrogant manner, then the trio laughed once again before moving to a different spot to avoid blocking the pathway – not that anyone was currently walking through. Kushina was in the kitchen, the Uchiha siblings were still outside and they didn't have other visitors at the moment.

When Naruto calmed down a bit, he spoke up, "Hey, Dad." Minato inclined his head, facing him. "Pervy Sage." Jiraiya was silent but kept his gaze trained on the younger Namikaze.

"Can you guys teach me the way of the Shinobi again?" The two adults looked dumbfounded. Naruto hurriedly followed up his request, "I-I promise not to do anything reckless! And it's not like we really have to start from the basics, right...?"

Naruto felt like squirming due to the kind of looks he was subjected to, until Minato smiled softly. Naruto closed his eyes and grinned when he saw his dad coming closer to him to ruffle his hair affectionately. "Actually we do, if you'd want to train properly. But I highly doubt it'd take longer this time around."

Naruto peeked one eye open, face somewhat scrunching up in wonder. "When my past memories return, is it gonna replace what I know about the present?"

"Nope," the older Namikaze answered bluntly, slowly lowering his hand to his side. "That's why the jutsu's after-effects will take its toll on you when the memories overlap." His son nodded in understanding.

"Hmm, going back to our earlier discussion," Minato crossed his arms and grinned, "I approve of your wanting to train again."

"Aw-yeah!" Naruto beamed at his father, "I just know I'm going to be awesome! Not that I'm not already awesome but- YEAH!" He was throwing his hands up in the air and seconds away from doing the ridiculous happy dance he was so fond of.

Minato stepped in before his son could even decide using the coffee table as his mini-stage. He grabbed the hem of Naruto's shirt and pulled him away from any object liable to be used in his happy mood. "Don't worry, no matter how overprotective your mother is, I'm sure she'll be delighted to hear about this."

"Well, I'm not."

Everyone turned to look at the Uchiha pair who had just come back from their 'tour' outside. Apparently, Sasuke disapproved – his slight front door-slamming was proof enough. Itachi briefly narrowed his eyes at his brother for the haughty tone he used in the presence of two respected older Shinobi in the room. None of them seemed to care, though.

"Me neither," Jiraiya stated while raising a hand to catch the brat's attention.

Naruto glared at them both alternately. And then, almost in an instant, his scowl softened up. He walked over to his sensei, put his hands on hips then looked defiantly at him in the eyes.

"I want to train to become stronger to protect everyone from whatever threat you guys haven't told me, even if I have to go back to square one."

Jiraiya's eyes narrowed at him, daring him to back down. "After all the trouble we've been through while hiding the fact that we're all Shinobi, you expect me to just agree with you?"

"Please? It's also gonna help lessen the jutsu's impact on me."

"Alright," the white-haired Sannin answered firmly.

"What!?" Sasuke rushed over to them, "Just that?"

Jiraiya shrugged. "What? He's persuasive."

Itachi heard someone whistle lowly at that, and for once, he was surprised that it was Minato who did it and not the hyperactive grinning Naruto. He blinked but paid no further attention to it.

Everyone took their seats. With Jiraiya, Sasuke and Itachi on one of the couches, and adjacent them were Naruto on his bright orange recliner and Minato, beside him, sat on the gold-yellow one identical to his son's. It was silent for a few more minutes until the younger Uzumaki decided to call his mother over. Kushina immediately dashed out of the kitchen, drying her wet hands on her apron as she sat down on her crimson red recliner on Naruto's other side.

"There's no need for Naruto to train as a Shinobi again," Sasuke declared once everyone had settled in their seats.

"Why not?" Kushina asked, unaware of the early discussion but seemed to approve of the idea just as Minato predicted.

"Well, if he keeps it up, I wouldn't have to protect him myself anymore."

Everyone blinked. No one decided to break the silence except Itachi, who nonchalantly commented, "Are you sulking, little brother? You do realize he's bound to revert to his former self - that's typically on par with you - once his memories return, right?"

Sasuke nodded numbly.

"He finally decided to accept things as they are and train as one of us again. The brat wants it, so let him be," Jiraiya tried coaxing him, "His mind may have forgotten, but his body hasn't."

"I bet he'll even manage to do a Rasengan in about three days, opposed to the one week training he initially did," Minato added, grinning at his wife and son who were sporting the same smiles. Even though he knew, Naruto didn't even know what exactly a Rasengan was.

The discussion ended with a silently brooding Sasuke (nothing new) and a very happy and excited Naruto. The youngest Uchiha supposed he could also make use of the moron's training time to his advantage. He would teach him the basics himself, to lift some of the burden off of Jiraiya and the Namikaze couple. Sasuke would go out of his way to help a comrade with amnesia. Yup, he was generous like that.

Screw that logic.

Sasuke already felt he wasn't getting enough attention at school since Naruto liked to hang out with his other friends, giving each of them at least the same amount of attention he usually received. And then there was also the fact that he had to constantly defend attacks from the obnoxious Sai-person and the sly Gaara. Sasuke and Naruto didn't interact much at home until today, and the raven was getting even more broody from the lack of the blonde's attention. He was already deprived of Naruto for three years. He at least needed to make up for lost time.

And then Sasuke abruptly stopped walking.

I think I am very much obsessed with him.

~ SasuNaru ~ SasuNaru -x- In Between -x- SasuNaru ~ SasuNaru ~

Naruto was back in the same storage room he had stepped in before, where he first found the 'secret scroll'. He was searching haphazardly anywhere his eyes could lay on for objects that would help him be reminded, or at least, associated with the Shinobi world he grew up in. Sasuke was accompanying him earlier, but he figured the raven got bored of doing nothing else but searching for random stuff in the large room, so the Uchiha told him to call him if he needed help with something else.

Suddenly, Naruto noticed how an increasing amount of smoke began to cloud his vision. "What the hell," he began flailing his arms about, trying to get rid of the things wafting around. "What's up with all this steam, smoke... whatever."

He heard someone descend on the floor, like he had just hopped down from a high place but landed gracefully on his feet. The Namikaze huffed and followed the source of the sound.

"Did you want something, Sasuke? Cause I'm pretty sure you're-"

"Yo, Naruto."

The first time it happened, Naruto was too shocked to react to the circumstances. But now for the second time, he found his voice and yelled at the top of his lungs, "DAD! MOM! THERE'S A STRANGER IN THE HOUSE AND I DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW HE GOT IN!"

He shouted some more incoherent words before asking for help again. "I SWEAR HE'S SOME KIND OF ROBBER! THE MASK SAYS IT ALL AND HE'S ABOUT TO TOUCH ME! GAH!"

Minato was right behind him in an instant thanks to his Flying Thunder God jutsu and the seal on Naruto's clothing. He was quickly scanning the area with sharp eyes. Sasuke came as fast as he can, arriving shortly after the older Namikaze, with Jiraiya, Itachi and Kushina at his tail. When the five newcomers finally had a grasp of what was happening, they all breathed a sigh of relief and visibly relaxed, except Itachi who only looked on with a slightly amused expression.

Kakashi cheerfully waved at his former teacher and the people who filed in through the doorway.

"I tried explaining and introducing myself to him, but as usual, he wouldn't listen," he answered their unvoiced question with a hint of mirth in his voice. "I stopped trying to speak after five seconds of his non-stop yelling."

Naruto glared at him. "But you were gonna touch me with your tentacles!"

The Jounin blinked, then looked at both of his hands and flexed them, "I was just gonna pat your head, hoping it would calm you down. And these are fingers." He wiggled them in front of the blonde's face. "Normal ones, see?"

Naruto, after finally calming down, huffed in annoyance at the 'weird-looking masked man'. He swatted at the hand then got up, dusting himself off. When he looked up again, he saw his parents and Jiraiya greeting the gray-haired man, welcoming him to their home.

From across the room, stood the Uchiha siblings who were watching everything in silence. Sasuke had returned to his calm self after realizing there were no threats to his blonde.

"Moron," he started, "you sound as if he was butchering you alive."

"HEY! It's not my fault people randomly decide to appear out of nowhere when I'm the only one in sight," Naruto argued, stomping his way towards the wall to lean on it, arms crossed. "Why is it always me anyway..." he grumbled to himself.

Now that he had stopped moving about, it was then that he noted how the temperature in the room had dropped compared to before.

"Wow, it's so friggin' cold." The Uzumaki rubbed at his arms to give himself a bit of heat from the touch.

For a moment, Sasuke looked at him as if he had spoken the stupidest thing in the world. "Turn the damn air conditioner off then."

"No. It's too hot."

Now Sasuke just looked ready to feed him to Manda for even bringing it up in the first place. Since either way, the moron was still complaining. He looked up, his gaze locking onto his sensei's single visible eye which then closed and crinkled while he smiled underneath the mask.

"Sasuke," the silver haired-man called as a heads up before throwing an object in the air.

Pairs of eyes were trained on the item in midair until it landed safely in Sasuke's hand, catching it with ease. He opened his fist to peer into the small thing.

"My necklace." He felt relief flood through him. He looked up and nodded gratefully at Kakashi. "I knew this would come back to me, sooner or later."

"Fugaku-san and Mikoto-san would like to send their greetings to you all, especially to you, Naruto," Kakashi said, watching the blonde as he pointed to himself and blinked. "They are reassured that you are taking good care of their sons," he leaned closer to Naruto to whisper, "particularly Sasuke-kun."

The young Uzumaki's face instantly heated up and tried to hide his slight embarrassment with a scowl, "Who the heck are you?"

Kakashi blinked twice, then patted him on the head.

"And stop doing that!"

The silver haired man stepped back a little to give him the space he wanted then replied, "I'm Kakashi Hatake, your team's sensei. Pleased to meet you... again."


AN: I'm thinking of revising the first chapter, so that it'd be more presentable and eye-catching to new readers. Just the first, don't worry. No major changes will be done. Help me get more readers with your lovely thoughts and reviews? D:

And a big, big thank you for your support guys!

NEXT CHAPTER:
Itachi calls Sasuke via, surprise surprise, mobile phone!
And he answers (!?), "WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE'S-"
Oh, and our favorite pair goes out on a 'date'.

Drop me a review? You know you wanna ;D