Sasuke (Not Uchiha)
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or any of its characters.
A/N: Sasuke (Not Uchiha) is my first Naruto fanfic. The primary story idea is inspired by the fic Contradicted by HauntedAngel. One of my theories while reading the story (that didn't come true) involved Sasuke knowing who Sakura was, but didn't tell. Then everything extended and so forth into an actual plot inside my head.
Another inspiration is the manga/anime TSUBASA RESERVoir CHRoNicles by CLAMP. Originally, this was supposed to be a Tsubasa and Naruto crossover, but the role of Tsubasa in general was too little, with no characters or plot relating to the story. I found a different, better replacement for it. Even though the ending of Tsubasa was... rather annoying, it was a stepping block in SNU.
Then there's Of Fate and the Unexpected by Paige O.o. First Naruto fic I've ever read. OFatU got me converted into a Naruto Fanfiction writer. :)
And, lastly, of course, is Naruto itself. It is epically awesome, even if there are times when the plot goes downhill. But I will always look into the brighter future.
SasuSaku for the win, people. ^_^
Full Summary: After the horrifying death of Team 7, Sasuke was able to transport back in time for a "price" five year into the past, where he meets his teammates, alive and well. However, no one remembers him, not even his best friends. Stripped of his clan and his past, Sasuke must save his teammate from all the dangers they'd faced, all over again. While past and present interknit and intertwine, Sasuke finds himself strangely gravitated toward a certain pink-haired teammate, who seemed to have found her way into the boy's heart once more...
1. Who Are You! The Stranger In Konoha
In his very worst nightmare, the only thing he saw was the ever-retreating figures of Naruto and Sakura.
Sasuke opened his eyes, revealing the bright, crimson-red Sharingan, and lunged blindly in front. But he was far too late. A shadow, barely forming, appeared beside them. With a single strike, Madara stabbed both of them straight through the heart. The masked man turned toward Sasuke, his gleeful sneer could only be seen through his words. Sasuke watched helplessly as Sakura and Naruto staggered then crumpled to the ground. Dead.
"Really now," he said, holding the Kusanagi against him. "I really thought they would be more of a challenge than that. The ex-Kyuubi Host and a Sannin's apprentice. Even your old sensei was more of a fun." He tutted disappointedly. "And who would've thought that you would be so naïve as well? I thought you wanted to avenge our clan... Well, I wouldn't mind enlightening you in your last moments." He jutted his chin to the left, indicating the broken battlefield, though his own eyes never left his face. "Do you see that? That is Konoha, our home, the place that we have grown to love, to leave, to hate, then to destroy. What is it now? Merely a grave. Tens and hundreds of years later this place would be forgotten, nothing but an old ruin. But you can say, thanks to me, the Uchiha name will still live on, passing down the legend. Of how I, Madara Uchiha, defeated the evil shinobi tyrants and restored peace to this world."
The sword was shifted a millimeter closer to Sasuke's throat, impossible for him to even move a muscle. "A pity, really, that Tsunade chose to give her life to this boy after I removed the Nine-Tails from him. Things could've been a lot more interesting. And that girl—" Even with the mask on, Sasuke could see his smirk "—she had trusted you, didn't she? After all, they both did. It is no fault but yours that they had ended up like this. There is no place for fools like them in this world. Don't you agree with me, Sasuke?"
The last sentence evoked his anger. Sasuke realized that there was no other passion as strong as the hatred that he felt for the man in front of him now. Without any consideration, he dove for Madara.
Swish! That was the sound of a blade, slicing through air.
Pain, like nothing else, coursed through every nerve of his body from the hole that was created in his stomach. Sasuke could barely register the sound of Madara's mad, hysterical laughing as he fell on the ground, stabbed by his very own sword.
His keen hearing caught on to his footsteps leaving behind the background of screams and pleads of mercy. Sasuke opened one bloodied eye, glancing at the aflamed ruins one more time before his head dropped to the ground.
Madara left him to slowly bleed to death. It wasn't as if it would matter either way. His wounds were too deep for even the strongest medic-nin to heal. The man had made certain of that.
How had it come down to this? How was it that, even after he had reunited with his teammates, this had happened?
He couldn't give up. He couldn't. He couldn't.
A shift of his shoulder brought a shearing sense of extreme pain. Sasuke felt as if his whole being was jabbed by one thousand knifes. Over and over again.
Noises of the battlefield began to fade into one single rhythm: the sound of his heartbeat. In his mind's eye, he saw Naruto, Sakura, and Kakashi standing on that red bridge so long ago.
Ba-dum ba-dum ba-dum.
Kakashi, even through the mask, could be seen smiling. Naruto was grinning his head off like a fool. Sakura gave a small serene smile of her own.
Ba-dum ba-dum ba-dum ba-dum.
He was with them too. His twelve year old self, smirking at some unknown joke.
What had changed?
If only he hadn't... If only he had known... If only he could stop this ending...
The beating was getting fainter...
A man's voice, middle-aged and clear as a bell, rang through his head.
"I can change your past... but you have to give me something in return. Are you willing to change your past?"
He could not see that man, but his voice was calm, reassuring. Sasuke found it strangely comforting.
The world disappeared into an endless void of blackness, but he wasn't sure if it was the world or he had vanished. The only thing that had remained clear was the voice in his head, but even that began to fade as well.
"Your price is—"
And so the fool continued on his road,
He was deaf, from the words of truth
The last step
He woke up to the bright sunshine in a soft bed.
This impossibility was also completed with the even more ridiculous chirping of the birds and sounds of people talking and laughing. What was happening? This was definitely not where he was supposed to be. Sasuke Uchiha was dead!
The painful memories of Madara on the battlefield cut through his groggy mind. He sat up. A blanket fell from his chest. He blinked.
Perhaps you aren't dead, a voice inside his head said.
He sneered at nothing in particular. Yeah, he shot back. And this is freakin' Konoha.
He thought he heard someone laugh, but when he turned around, Sasuke saw no one. He sensed no one.
What the hell?
Sasuke couldn't stand it anymore. He clambered forward to the window (why was everything so high up?) and pulled the curtain aside. The sunlight came onto him on full-blast, and he had to blink a few times to get rid of the black spots.
When he could see again, Sasuke looked outside the window for a few seconds, and then—
He had just seen the Hokage Mountain.
All the drowsiness, if any, had faded away immediately. Just then, he realized four other things:
Number One. He was shorter.
Number Two. His voice was higher.
Number Three. His hands were smaller.
Number Four... He was twelve years old.
Okay... Calm down, you are an Uchiha... There is nothing you cannot handle... This is probably just a gentjutsu that is a little tougher than the others... You just have to figure it out before Madara returns... And then you will get a chance of—
Of what? Avenging Itachi? Tsunade? Kakashi? Sakura? Naruto? Sasuke stuck his hands in his pockets, and walked down the street. People, both ordinary civilians and shinobi, were staring at him. Who was he? they seemed to be thinking.
He no longer had the urge to slaughter every single one of the citizens like he had... before. But did it really matter now? This was all fake, an elaborate genjutsu no doubt created by Madara for some last minute torture. Sasuke's face scrunched up, twisting his childlike features into an unsightly sneer. Pulling his (illusionary, he reminded himself) hands from his pocket, Sasuke began the forming of a seal.
"Kai," he muttered.
"Kai," he repeated.
"Kai. Kai. Kai. Kai. K—Ugh!" In his moment of anger, his eyes had flashed red, revealing his Sharingan. This was not right... Normally he would've seen through any illusions with his bloodline, but nothing was happening.
Then again, this was Madara Uchiha they were talking about.
Sasuke walked past a shop and looked at himself at the reflection of the window, trying to get used to seeing the twelve year old. Then he stared at his eyes.
It doesn't matter! he shouted to himself for getting distracted. Everything. Is. FAKE!
He was wasting time. Time in a genjutsu world was never certain. The sooner he got out of this torture, the better.
A glint of sunlight, probably a reflection of someone's watch, caught him in the eye. The boy blinked and looked up, ready to murder whoever it was that had angered him in such a foul mood.
When he did, Sasuke felt as if his breath was knocked from his chest.
In front of him was a girl with bright pink hair.
"Sakura!" he shouted.
The girl did not turn, but continued forward with a bag in her arm.
Half the street was already looking at him.
Sasuke scowled in annoyance. Was she deaf or something?
Ignoring the nagging thought in the back of his head that this was, after all, a genjutsu, Sasuke ran after Sakura as fast as his feet could carry him (which was still pretty fast, even in his twelve year old form).
The figure stopped, back stooped slightly as if sighing. Sasuke quickly caught up, reaching out for her shoulder.
No need. Sakura turned around herself. An irritated look plastered on her face.
"Naruto, I told you not to—"
She stopped as he put a hand on her shoulder, trying to adjust his breathing. Never in his life had Sasuke tried to run so fast, and it seemed that his twelve-year old (illusionary) body couldn't handle it.
But he couldn't help but smirk a little. She had recognized him after all—
That was the sound of Sakura's palm contacting the skin of Sasuke's face.
The bag that she had been carrying dropped on the ground, apples and peaches spilling everywhere.
"Who are you?"
Who are you?
Being on the receiving end of Sakura's violent side was never good, but that wasn't what Sasuke had been thinking about.
Who are you?
He glared at her, and then stopped. Of course. This was a genjutsu. Sakura was probably designed to react this way because, obviously, she was not real. What had he been thinking? If Madara had been hoping that he could leech more information out of him, he was wrong.
That was why he had been surprised when she said, "Who are you? What do you want? You are not from the Leaf. I haven't seen you around before. I would remember." Her face suddenly turned red like she had said too much.
He didn't answer.
Her embarrassment turned into irritation. "Well? What are you doing here? You're a shinobi, I'm sure. No one can move as fast. The kunai holster is kind of a giveaway too." When he didn't respond, she continued. "What village are you from? Sand? Grass? Stone? What business do you have in Leaf? The Chunin Exams are not until later this year."
Sasuke suddenly remembered that yellow slip he'd found in his pouch. The one with his name on it and the name... "Kumogakure. I am from the Village Hidden in the Cloud. And," he added, "I have a pass."
He held the pass in front of her face while studying Sakura. Her hair was long, and she wore no headband... That meant that she hadn't graduated from the Academy yet, but the leaves on the nearby trees indicated spring. So... about twelve years old?
He saw her gulp and tucked the pass to the village away.
"Oh! Seems like the real thing..."
"Can I leave now?" he asked rather bluntly, suddenly very tired of Sakura, fake or not. "I have... an appointment with the Hokage."
Sakura beamed at him. Sasuke was reminded terribly of how she had done so too, before. Once upon a time.
"Alright! You're new, right? I'll show you around!"
He took a step backward, but Sakura grabbed his arm and tugged him forward. Not knowing what to do, Sasuke could do nothing but to follow his lie.
The old man in the fancy rice bonnet sat in front of Sasuke, a pipe smoking from his hand and eyes concentrated on the sheet of something.
Sasuke's hand twitched.
The Third Hokage looked up from the paperwork and smiled kindly. He handed back Sasuke's pass and said, "Well, Sasuke, there is no fault in the document. From today on, you belong to the village of Konoha. Prove your loyalty as we test your strength. As you can tell, we do not normally let outside shinobi in our village, but with your background, it shall be an exception. Do you understand?"
The pale youth nodded, his dark eyes still trained upon a spot on the wall to the right. He was not meeting the old man's eye, or his smile.
Sasuke remembered that he had, as a genin, attended this man's funeral. It had been the first funeral since the Uchiha Massacre. It seemed that even the Sandaime had not remembered him. Sasuke looked at the old man, and then turned his attention back to the wall again.
"So... I heard that you have come here to search for your heritage. You also possess the Sharingan."
He was obviously trying to make conversation. Sasuke could simply nod, making it more awkward, and leave quickly (it was all just a genjutsu!), but he was... curious of what the man had to say. So what was the story?
A small voice whispered in the back of his mind that he actually didn't want to leave, that he wanted to stay like this, even at the last moments of his life. That he didn't care this was a genjutsu, that he simply wanted to be a Leaf-nin again.
Sasuke shut the voice up.
He did the next best thing beside a nod. "Yes."
"You've gotten separated from your family, since you are an orphan, correct? And you have the Sharingan. Though you do know what had happened to the Uchiha clan?"
"You strive to become a strong shinobi?"
"That is my goal." He had no idea what propelled him to say that, but it just sounded right. Even if it was very... Naruto-like.
The man smiled again. "You have dreams, Sasuke. That dream shall come true one day if you work hard. Your forehead protector will be given to you once you pass the test tomorrow. Wear it, and be proud of your heritage.
"Speaking of which—" he coughed twice as a book was flipped open "—there is also the matter of assigning teams."
"Hn." He couldn't care less about that. Sasuke was more curious about what had changed.
"...Unfortunately, all of the teams are full. But, there is a way of compromising..." the Hokage was probably talking aloud to fill in the silence "Aha. Here is one. One of the members already a Chunin—an early graduate from the Academy, I see... Much like a teacher's assistant. He is also an—but I'm sure it wouldn't matter much. Differences can be settled. The other two are only starting tomorrow... Then that's all good and done." The book snapped shut, and the man lifted his eyes to meet Sasuke's. "It is decided. You, Sasuke, will be joining Team 7 with your mentor, Hatake Kakashi."
The Third was oblivious to Sasuke's stunned silence as he continued on. "And you will be starting tomorrow." He smiled. "Eat a light breakfast."
Sasuke walked back to his apartment and fell on the bed.
On the way back to his apartment, Sasuke had to remind himself over and over again that This Was All A Genjutsu. Part of him was afraid (when was the last time that had happened?), because he knew, deep down, that if this illusion continued, Sasuke would never, ever want to leave...
A voice chuckled in the back of his head. Sasuke whirled around and, as fast as lightning, threw a kunai toward the source. There was a dull thunk! when the blade lodged itself onto his wooden dresser.
The voice laughed again in amusement. Sasuke's mind hit a small spot of recognition, but he could not recall the where or the when. It is never good to fight an unknown enemy, especially when you can't see them. Sasuke resorted on taunting.
"Show your face, coward," he said in a perfectly calm voice. Somehow that always seemed to aggravate his opponents more.
"I can't do that," the Voice said.
So he didn't fall for the taunt. Sasuke guessed that he could settle for destroying everything with his Chidori. After all, this was just—
"A genjutsu," the Voice finished for him. "Are you still focused on that theory?"
"Tch" was Sasuke's response as he hurled yet another kunai toward the nonexistent man.
Silence. The Voice began mulling things over, thinking to himself—itself. When it began again it held a thoughtful tone.
"Sasuke, if this was a genjutsu, how do you know that I'm not just a distraction used to drive you mad?"
The boy froze. He blinked, and the blood-red Sharingan disappeared, replaced by a cold and calculating obsidian. It was a long time before he spoke.
"What do you want?"
"I want you to understand the important fact that this—" the Voice paused for a bit to indicate the room "—is not an illusion. This is reality."
There was a brief moment when Sasuke considered the possibility. It would explain a lot, like the reason he couldn't get out of the "genjutsu."
But that moment passed by quickly.
"I don't need your crap," he stated quite clearly, three shurikens already held flat between his fingers.
The Voice chuckled quietly again. "Now. Before you completely mutilate your apartment, think about this: Before dying in the, ah, past, you had desperately wished that you could unmake the decision four years ago, the decision to join Orochimaru in exchange for the promise of power for your revenge." Sasuke almost snarled at that sentence. The invisible man was laughing again. "The important thing is, I have granted you that wish. In exchange, though, you had to give me something. After all, there is no such thing as a free lunch in this world."
Sasuke still did not relax his stance. His eyes predatorily surveyed the area once more. He found nothing. "What can you possibly take anything away from me? You cannot even confront me face-to-face. Coward."
"Haven't you noticed it yet? How no one seems to recognize you, the boy who has lived in the village for his whole life? Not the Third Hokage, who you had known before your own teammates." A pause. "Not even Sakura, the girl who you had so bluntly rejected."
"What do you mean?"
"What I took away from you, Sasuke, is your past."
Thunk thunk thunk. Crack!
The three ninja stars aligned themselves onto the splintered doorframe. There was a moment of blissful silence until the Voice once again drifted forward.
"You are no longer recognized as an Uchiha, even with the Sharingan. All of what you did in the past life will be undone and erased. No one will even have the slightest recognition of your name. But you will. You will remember. The pain that you feel is the price.
"Meet them tomorrow. It's the same time, same place. You know what I am talking about, Sasuke."
Edited A/N: The poem that is used after Sasuke "died" is from "Monster," by Splattered Pages. Her poems are great. Check them out in my profile. :)