Team 7: A Retelling
By: Tellemicus Sundance
#01: Academy Years

Valley of the End

He sat atop the giant stone monument of himself, gazing out over the river that separated him from the lands of his birth. His face was hidden behind the orange and black mask he wore, covering whatever facial expression he might've been feeling towards the land and the ninja village that lie within its borders. It had been nearly eighty years since he'd made his decision to abandon that death-trap of a village and the backstabbing clan that he had been leading for nearly twenty years prior to that. He had known that eventually they'd fall victim to the cunning deception that the accursed Senju had crafted, whether it be waking with their throats slit or being reduced to third-class citizens in the village that they'd helped found and build.

Well, he had certainly seen through that deception, decades in advance no less! And what happened when it finally came to pass? He had been an almost unseen helper in the chaos that followed, only being discovered by the clan prodigy and his Anbu superior. The descendants of those backstabbing fools he'd once led had finally paid the price for their stupidity in trusting the Senju! It had been only a few days since that massacre, and his adrenaline high from it had yet to dissipate. Life just couldn't get any better than this!

With a wicked sneer pulling across his masked face, Uchiha Madara finally stood up and started to walk away, intent on leaving. There were things he needed to attend to still in Water Country, namely provoking yet another bloodline massacre. This time maybe he should entice the Kaguya. They were a powder keg with an unbelievably short fuse after all.

A sudden surge of chakra instantly snapped him from his musings. Sharingan snapping active as he bounced away, he immediately sought the chakra spike. Turning around, he spotted a familiar pattern of incredibly complex seals spreading out from the spot that he'd just vacated. Relaxing out of his taijutsu stance, he stepped away from the glowing seals and watched them idly.

The seals continued to spread outwards at a slow pace until they covered a six-meter diameter. When they finally reached their limit, they began to glow with blinding intensity, so intense that he needed to turn his eye hole away so as to not be blinded. After just a second of this, there came a blinding flash of white light, accompanied by a soft sound of something hitting the rock under him. And with that final flash, the chakra and seals vanished as though they'd never existed.

Madara's sneer deepened behind his mask as he turned back to look at the spot. Lying there, almost innocently, was a large scroll with his name written in kanji.

"So, it's that time again, eh?" he said to himself as he walked forward and picked up the scroll, tucking it into the nether space of his dimensional jutsu for later study. With a sickly sneer, Madara looked down at the giant monument he stood upon and gave an almost respectful salute to. "I appreciate the help, Madara."

Nakano Shrine, Uchiha District, Konohagakure

"I see, so that's how it is," Uchiha Sasuke whispered to himself.

He stood in the secret underground chamber that his—that man—had told him about only three days before. Before him was a stone tablet that stood proudly at the back of the secret chamber. It was a tablet that more or less stated that the Sharingan's true and original purpose was not to be a doujutsu of war but to prevent war. This was possible because the Sharingan gave the Uchiha the ability to control the Bijuu, which Sasuke knew had been running rampart for centuries before finally getting subdued generations ago.

'So that's why Ita—he did it,' Sasuke tried rationalizing to himself. 'To not only test the limits of his abilities, but to also prepare himself for eventually taking control of or maybe even fighting the Bijuu.'

Nodding to himself at this rational explanation for his brother's irrational behavior, Sasuke turned to leave, only to stop and stare in surprise and confusion. There was a potent surge of energy suddenly filling the chamber around him. Sasuke was able to quickly realize that the energy was chakra, the most vile and evilest feeling chakra he'd ever had the misfortune of coming across in his short life. Not even Ita—that man had felt like this when he had confronted him the other night! Sasuke reflexively began backing as far away from the terrifying chakra as he could, sadly he didn't get very far before he back himself into a corner, cowering in fear.

A glowing array of complex circles, lines, symbols, and kanji suddenly appeared upon the floor in the center of the room. Sasuke watched as what he quickly recognized as a sealing array began to slowly spread outwards. It expanded from a relatively small array to nearly five meters, even crawling up the walls of the room when its floor space was too small to contain it. Then, upon reaching five meters, the expansion stopped and the symbols and lines began to glow much more brightly as the vile chakra grew comparatively stronger. Sasuke was forced to close his eyes and cover his face when the light emitted became too painful.

Then, like an overinflated balloon, the chakra burst with a blinding flash of light that visible even through Sasuke's closed eyelids. The sheer potency of the chakra burst was even enough to snuff out the flickering candles Sasuke had lit when he entered. When the darkness of the chamber finally started to set in, it seemed twice as deep due to the blinding light that had just illuminated it.

After several moments of collecting his wits and trying to get his breathing back under control, Sasuke finally lifted his head and looked back at where the sealing array had been. Sadly, he couldn't see much since the only light was from the entrance a ways away, which was even more muted down thanks to the storm outside. But he could see…something on the floor where the seals had first appeared.

Quickly gathering his pride and courage, he climbed to his feet and approached the unmoving object. As he drew closer to it, Sasuke saw that it was in fact a very large scroll lying on its side and there seemed to be a slip of paper attached to the top. Carefully taking the slip of paper, Sasuke stared in confusion at his name, which was written on it.

'It's…for me?' he asked himself, unable to believe it. That chakra he felt had been so cold, vile…evil. Why would the owner of it waste his or her precious time to…give something to him? And in such a strange manner? Looking closer at the slip, Sasuke spotted a date written on the bottom of the paper. Curiously, it was dated for almost a year from now. What was up with that?

Shrugging his questions aside, Sasuke knelt down and cautiously lifted the heavy scroll up, heading the chamber's entrance and better lighting. Climbing the stairs with a scroll that was almost as large and heavy as himself was challenging, but he managed it slowly. Setting the scroll down, he quickly unrolled a portion of it and stared at…a blank piece of paper.

'Wha—What is going on here?' Unrolling the scroll further, he saw the rest of the scroll was just as blank as the first part. Scowling, Sasuke glared down at the scroll in anger. Was someone trying to play him for a fool? Oh, he was going to beat them senseless when he found out who was responsible! The nerve they had of sending him a blank scroll!

Just as he was about to throw the scroll away in disgust, a small symbol at the top of the beginning of the scroll caught his attention. It was a small picture of a Sharingan with the kanji 'read' written under it.

'I need the Sharingan to read what's on the scroll?' Sasuke realized, feeling both relief and frustration welling up inside him. 'But I don't have the—'

A sudden memory flashed across his mind. That memory was of shortly before he lost consciousness during the terrible night of the massacre. He had chased after Itachi and tried to kill him when he wasn't looking. That memory held two prominent occurrences in it. The first being that he had apparently awakened his Sharingan, which was how he had been able to attack and actually hit Itachi for the first time in his life, even if it was only a glancing glow. The second occurrence was the fact that he had seen Itachi crying, which was why Sasuke had been subconsciously trying to suppress the memory. He couldn't bear the thought of seeing his beloved brother apparently mourning his deed of killing their entire clan and family. Not after everything he'd said and done!

Forcefully suppressing the urge to cry yet again, Sasuke formed the basic ram handseal and channeled a small amount of his chakra into his eyes. Upon feeling a strange but soothing warmth fill them, he dropped the handseal and looked around the shrine. Everything was so much clearer and in much sharper detail than he had ever seen. The drab colors of the shrine became slightly brighter and, looking out the entrance at the rain, he could clearly see each and every individual bead of rain as it fell from the heavens. Despite himself, a small, sad smile tugged at the corners of his lips. So this was what it was like to see things through the Sharingan.

Returning his attention to the scroll, Sasuke blinked in surprise at what he now saw on it. The scroll, unlike what he'd first assumed, was covered in writing and there were two sealing circles located at the bottom end of the scroll. The kanji in those circles read 'Jutsu' and 'People'. Looking back at the head of the scroll, Sasuke began reading.

Uchiha Sasuke,

If my calculations are correct and if I've performed this space-time jutsu ritual properly, you should have received this scroll exactly one year after Itachi was forced to kill our clan. However, I still haven't mastered the Ame-no-Nuboko no Jutsu yet, so I don't know when this scroll will appear.

"What?" Sasuke asked. That didn't make any sense. A year after—forced—our clan? Blinking suddenly, Sasuke dug up the nametag and looked back at the date he'd spotted originally. The date was indeed exactly one year from three days ago!

"It would seem you didn't perform the ritual correctly, bastard." Sasuke growled as he glared at the scroll accusingly. Sighing in aggravation as he forced his anger aside, he returned his attention to reading the scroll.

What I'm about to tell you will probably sadden you immensely. You won't want to believe some of it, but I assure you that everything I have to say is the truth. As I said already, one year ago Itachi was assigned a top secret mission: massacring the Uchiha clan. However, he couldn't kill you because he loves you very much.

Sasuke couldn't help but snort derisively at this part.

When he left, he told you that he kept you alive because he felt you weren't worth killing since you were so weak. He had told you of the secret behind the Mangekyou Sharingan, and for you to come and find him after you'd gained those same eyes.

But what he didn't tell you were the real reason behind why he killed the Uchiha clan and who the last remaining Uchiha (besides him and yourself) was. I will tell you that, because you needto know in order to get our revenge.

Sasuke's breathing had become increasingly laborious as he read that. He hadn't told anyone about what Itachi had said to him when he spoke to him, most certainly nothing about the Mangekyou Sharingan! How did this person know about that private conversation?

By the time that he had finished reading that first scroll (which listed a great many things and important events), Sasuke was furious to the point of frothing in the mouth. Rolling up the scroll and hiding it behind the stone tablet down in the secret chamber, Sasuke turned and sprinted out into the storm.

He needed answers! And he was going to get them!

Sarutobi Hiruzen looked out over the village from his office window. The storm and rain perfected mirrored his mood. His eyes gravitated towards where the now abandoned Uchiha district was. No doubt by this point, young Sasuke must've visited the barren streets, reliving old memories and weeping over the ghosts of his dead clan.

Taking a long, slow breath of his pipe, Hiruzen felt the comforting smoke and nicotine fill his old lungs and begin to soothe away his unhappy mood. Though he couldn't change it, what was done was done. He would just have to keep the boy under light surveillance for the next week to make sure he didn't do anything rash, like go charging after his brother in a murderous rampage or try to commit seppuku to ease his emotional pain.

A commotion outside his door distracted him from his thoughts. It sounded like a young voice yelling at the top of its lungs, accompanied by a lot of struggling. Was it Naruto again? At that thought, Hiruzen felt a small smile tug at his lips. The young Uzumaki certainly had a flair raising a person's spirits, even when he wasn't trying to. It was just a shame that very, very few other people were willing to open their hearts enough to let the attention-starved boy have a shot.

The doors to his office suddenly burst open, revealing not Naruto but a clearly very angry Uchiha Sasuke. The Hokage's face quickly grew inquisitive as he studied the boy's furious expression. It actually mildly surprised him to realize that the boy's eyes were a bright Sharingan red.

"You can't just barge into the Hokage's office!" his secretary was busy yelling at Sasuke, glaring angrily at the boy as he rushed forward and caught the boy's arm. Turning to Sarutobi, the chuunin bowed hurriedly, "I apologize for the intrusion, Hokage-sama, but he slipped past me before I could inform you."

"It's alright," the Sandaime said calmly as he watched the child curiously. "I had wanted to speak with Sasuke-san anyway. You may return to your duties, Akagi-san."

Bowing again, the chuunin released Sasuke and quickly left the room, closing the doors as he went. Once the doors were closed, Sarutobi leaned forward in his chair as he stared into the pair of angry Sharingan before him. "What did you wish to speak about, Sasuke? And congratulations on awakening your Sharingan."

The boy's eyes narrowed almost accusingly, which only served to deepen Sarutobi's confusion at the boy's anger.

"Is it true?" Sasuke demanded, his voice little more than a bestial growl.

"Is what true?"

"Did you order my brother to kill my clan?" the boy growled, seemingly to barely restrain himself from yelling outright.

Despite himself, Sarutobi couldn't prevent the flinch that shook his body at the accusation. It was a flinch that he knew Sasuke had seen thanks to his new Sharingan eyes. Sighing heavily, he shook his head in denial. "The answer to that question is both yes and no."

"What do you mean?" Sasuke asked, losing some his anger in his confusion.

"If you know about that, then you surely also know about—"

"—the Uchiha clan planning a coup d'état because Konoha was restricting their rights?" Sasuke interrupted, glaring accusingly at the Hokage again.

"That is only partially true, Sasuke," Sarutobi said, calmly.

"So you did order Itachi to kill them?"

"No, I did not," Sarutobi answered sternly, staring levelly into the immature Sharingan. Seeing the boy's confusion, he continued, "Did I know of the plot to massacre your clan? Yes, unfortunately. Did I approve of the plot? No, certainly not!"

"But—But then…Then why did Itachi—?" Sasuke couldn't quite finish his own sentence, confusion and despair rising up inside him as his Sharingan finally faded away. "You're the Hokage!"

"I may be the Hokage," Sarutobi acknowledged, nodding his head in agreement. "But all-knowing and all-seeing, I am not. I wanted to talk with your clan, try to resolve our differences peacefully and without bloodshed. But it would seem that some of my advisers and the leader of my Anbu went behind my back and issued your brother the order to kill the clan. I did not become aware of it until after it was already done. And I assure you, Sasuke, they have all been strictly dealt with for that."

Sasuke was silent for a long time, his gaze dropping to the floor and staring unseeingly at it. Sarutobi could understand that he was still trying to understand what was going on around him and how he now fit into all this.

Clearing his throat to catch the boy's attention, Sarutobi asked, "May I ask where you came across this information, Sasuke-san? I had understood that your brother never intended to tell you any of this. He wanted you to rebuild the Uchiha clan and name in honor."

The boy was actually halfway through opening his mouth to answer when he suddenly stopped and quickly shut it, turning his face away in defiance. Sighing again, Sarutobi nodded slightly. "Very well then. I will not intrude on your personal matters… Is there anything else you wished to speak with me about?"

Sasuke shook his head as he finally returned his attention back to his Hokage. Standing up and moving around his desk so that he stood before the young Uchiha, Hiruzen looked down on the boy with a sad gaze.

"For what it's worth, Sasuke, which isn't much I know, I deeply apologize for what has happened." He knelt down to the ground and bowed his head upon the floor. Many would've thought that it was a show quite unbecoming of a Hokage, for the greatest ninja of the village to be begging for forgiveness from a mere child. Sasuke, unknowing how to react to that, just stood there awkwardly for a moment before the Hokage once again stood up.

Without a further word from either of them, Sasuke quietly turned and left the Hokage's office, contemplating what he had learned.

The storm had finally passed over with the evening sun peeking out around the clouds. Sasuke found himself sitting upon a pier, looking out over a small lake at the edge of Konohagakure. It was the same place that his father had taken him to learn the Goukakyuu no Jutsu. With his toes tracing ripples in the surface of the lake, Sasuke silently contemplated what he had learned from the Hokage and he should do next.

He had been so close, so very close, to telling the Hokage about the scroll that he had received. But even he was finding it hard to believe. His own future self had sent him the information surrounding the growing mystery of the Uchiha Massacre, along with so much more. Sasuke had, for even the briefest moment, wanted to share this information with the Hokage because the man had always been a kindly person who many of his own fellow clansmen had acknowledged and respected deeply.

But at the same time, Sasuke knew that Sarutobi would likely see the same things in the scroll that he had. Granted, the Hokage didn't have the Sharingan, but Sasuke also now knew that at least two other people in the village did, Shimura Danzo and Hatake Kakashi. Even with his limited exposure to the world, Sasuke was still a very observant person. He could see a certain level of madness and undying hatred in the words of his older counterpart. His older self seemed to have felt that he had been wronged so many times by so many people and his pride forbade him from being able to forgive and accept. Of course, if those subtle hints hidden in his words weren't enough, the overwhelming evil in the chakra that had powered the space-time ritual which transported the scroll back through time was more than enough to tell Sasuke what his future self was like.

However, that wasn't to say that he didn't think his future self didn't have a few good ideas. His future self had sent him that scroll and two others sealed inside it, each one contained information that would supposedly help him in his quest of avenging the clan had the massacre still happened. His future self told him of five people who were the most prominent culprits of the massacre. The first being, sadly, Itachi because the elder Uchiha would inevitably return to confront his younger brother in battle so that he could die at his feet. The second person was Shimura Danzo, the leader of a division of Anbu called Ne. The other two were the Sandaime Hokage's former teammates, Mitokado Homura and Utatane Koharu, who now served as the Hokage's main advisers and were significant members of the Konoha Council. But it was the final person who really got Sasuke's attention: Uchiha Madara, the former leader of the Uchiha clan and one of Konohagakure's Founding Fathers, still alive and scheming to take over the world by using the Bijuu.

It was these people who were directly responsible for the killing of his clan. But where he found he could now somewhat forgive his older brother; the remaining four were another matter. They would receive no mercy from him. He would get stronger. He would grow so strong that they would not stand a chance against him when he finally came for their lives. Just like how they had destroyed his clan and his happy life, he would destroy them!

A ripple in the water at his toes quickly drew Sasuke out of his musings. What he saw before him wasn't his own reflection, it was Itachi.

"Itachi-nii," he whispered, staring at his brother's reflection as anguish filled him yet again. "I…miss…you." A tear dropped from his eyes, disturbing the water and sending ripples outwards, changing the reflection back to his own.

Lifting his head, Sasuke suddenly felt a pair of eyes gazing at him. Turning slightly, he spotted a small blonde kid his age staring at him from the top of embankment. The pair of them just shared momentary glares before turning away. But after a few moments, they each turned and peered at the other again. Suddenly feeling somehow…content, small smiles broke out across their faces.

As the blonde kid continued walking away, Sasuke finally stood and turned to fully face him, watching him leave. Despite himself, Sasuke found himself wondering if his future self had had the same encounter with that kid and if they'd ever see each other again. Shrugging to himself, Sasuke turned and began the long walk back to his new apartment. He had a long night of reading and mesmerizing the scrolls ahead of him.

Two weeks later…

Seven-year-old Haruno Sakura already knew that she would never be the best ninja. As a matter of fact, she probably wouldn't be anything better than a run of the mill genin her entire life. From the moment she'd professed a desire to be a kunoichi, she'd received strong disapproval. Neither of her parents were ninja, though two of her grandparents had apparently been. It was a known fact that not everyone who went through the Academy became ninja. Plenty of children never even entered the Academy. Every village, even a ninja one, needed civilian people to take care of everyday jobs.

Even so, Sakura had wanted to become a ninja. She didn't want to be a civilian citizen of Konoha. She wanted to be special. Her looks weren't extraordinary, though her mother had told her many times that they would change as she matured. She had no musical or artistic talent. She was not strong, nor was she fast. And though Ino had recently taken pity on her and befriended her, she wasn't popular. The best thing she had going for her was her sharp mind and her love of books. So she decided that she would learn everything there was to know about being a ninja. She was already well on her way to memorizing all the ninja sayings and took careful notes on all the lessons. She studied the basics of chakra manipulation and basic strategy until she understood the theory behind them.

Her parents had initially let her enter the Academy, believing that she would drop out after a short time and take up a more average lifestyle as many children did. Well, technically, her mother had been the one to make that decision, since her father was usually away on 'business.' And while possessing ninja status was a mark of prestige, her mother didn't want that kind of dangerous lifestyle for her sweet little girl. Unfortunately for her, Sakura still hadn't quit.

By this time, her mother must've surely recognized that Sakura was in fact quite serious about her choice. But it was still too late. Her mother had already given her word that she could, and she no longer had the heart to stop her. Despite this, Sakura still felt strongly discouraged. Her mother's family wasn't a traditional ninja one, and Sakura really didn't know her father all that well either. So they possessed no special techniques or training methods as many other families did. Perhaps they had when her grandparents had been alive, but if so then those traditions had been lost. That meant that Sakura would be on her own when it came to learning how to get any stronger through ninja training.

The Academy had ended just a few minutes ago and Sakura busy now walking through the deserted hallways, rummaging through her book bag so keep her things neat and orderly.

"Hey, check it out!" a loud voice from nearby jarred Sakura from her thoughts. "It's Billboard-brow!"

Looking up as she passed a hallway in the ninja academy, Sakura instantly spotted a group of five familiar students. They were the same ones who'd teased and bullied her mercilessly since her first day. They had tapered off slightly since Ino had essentially taken her under her protection, but there were still times that they cornered her…like now.

"Leave me alone, Ami-san," Sakura said, trying to keep her voice steady and calm, but she was sure that the older girl heard the faint hesitation in her tone. "I don't wanna—"

"Do what, Forehead?" Ami snapped as she and her friends marched up to and surrounded Sakura. "You gonna go run and cry to that Yamanaka girl to save you again?"

Before Sakura could form any reply to that, Ami shoved her backward, knocking her unsteadily into one of the other girls who'd gotten behind her. The girl behind her yanked her book bag off her shoulders and Sakura barely had time to cry out in surprise when she was suddenly shoved forward roughly, right towards Ami's cocked fist.

As a first year academy student, Sakura had little to no training in taijutsu and basic self-defense. This was because the academy first year was generally dedicated towards bookwork, learning to touch and use chakra, mesmerizing the twelve basic handseals, and basic weapons training. Alas, Sakura could do nothing more than throw out her arms in a feeble attempt of protecting herself. Ami, a second year student, easily pushed through and past her arms and landed a solid hit in Sakura's gut. The punch, though quite weak, was strong enough to knock the air out of Sakura's lungs and cause her to collapse to the floor, wheezing heavily as she cradled her injury, tears welling up in her eyes.

"Let that be a warning to you," Ami said, sounding far too happy about the pain she'd inflicted to the smaller and younger girl. "This academy is for real ninja only, not some freak with a billboard-sized forehead trying t—"

"That is quite enough!" a loud voice snapped, interrupting Ami's tirade before it could gain momentum. Looking up and through the legs of her tormentors, Sakura spotted the familiar outline of one of the Academy Chuunin instructors.

'Thank you, great Kami-sama!' Sakura cheered mentally. As she painfully tried to push herself up into a sitting position, the Chuunin collected the girls' names and forced them to leave, promising to speak to their parents about possibly removing them from the Academy because of their poor behavior. The girls had quickly fled once the Chuunin had made that promise, some of them being ashen white.

Turning to look down at the slowly recovering pink-haired girl, the Chuunin's face contorted through a rapid series of emotions and expressions that she wasn't able to decipher one before it was replaced by another. Then, letting out a small sigh, the Chuunin raised his hands to form a seal and said, "Kai." In a puff of smoke, the man was replaced by a small boy.

"You okay, Haruno-san?" Uchiha Sasuke asked in a neutral voice.

Despite the throbbing pain in her stomach, Sakura's cheeks suddenly reddened in shyness as she took in the incredibly cute boy who stood before her. She had seen and heard of him before, everyone in the Academy had at this point. It was the Uchiha Sasuke! Sakura had always had a potent admiration for his skills in class, but she'd never had the self-confidence to do anything more than quietly applaud him. She had always considered herself lucky if he happened to so much as glance in her direction. Then again, why would he want to look her massive and ugly forehead anyway? And yet, now, here he was. Standing in front of her, after having tricked and chased off the girls bullying her!

Seeing that he was still waiting for an answer, Sakura quickly averted her gaze as her cheeks reddened even more. "H-Hai, Sa-Sasuke-san," she managed to gasp out, her embarrassment deepening at the stutter. "Arigato." Normally, she'd have applauded him for his incredible skill at tricking a group of second year students with a Henge like that. Was it any wonder why Uchiha Sasuke was considered the best in his year?

Looking her over, Sasuke just nodded minutely. After a moment's time of clearly debating with himself, he finally knelt down and gently helped her to her feet. "Do those girls do this all the time?"

"N-Not so much…anymore," she stuttered, refusing to look him and his suspicious gaze at her answer. "If I'd been with Ino-san, they'd have left me alone."

"Hn," Sasuke grunted slightly as he picked up her book bag and held it out to her. "I'll walk you home," he said quietly, catching Sakura by surprise and causing to stare at him unbelievingly. The Uchiha Sasuke wanted to walk her home? Whatever kami was up there smiling down at her right now, she hoped and prayed that it'd continue to bless her.

This was turning out to be the best day ever!

The sounds of shouting and things getting thrown about were audible from the street. The noise caused Sakura to draw up short as she and Sasuke approached her home. Up until that point, she and Sasuke had been engaged in a relatively innocent conversation pertaining to their favorite foods. The conversation, which had been quiet and halting due to their comparable levels of nervousness, had come to an immediate halt as they heard the sounds of the loud argument taking place inside the building ahead of them.

"Does this happen often?" Sasuke asked quietly, his voice strictly neutral as he gazed upon the house with a slight glare. After what had happened to his family two weeks ago, he had grown to deeply dislike families that didn't love one another. Family was the most important thing in a person's life, thus it should treasured above all else.

"No," Sakura whispered back, flinching when she heard something glass break inside. "Only when Otousan comes home." Turning to Sasuke and forcing a smile on her face, Sakura tried to sound more upbeat and confident than she was really feeling. "Don't worry, I'm sure they're about done by now."

A chair being sent through the front window caused both of them to jump in surprise as they stared at it with mounting worry. Forcing herself to ignore the argument, Sakura turned back to Sasuke and forced her smile to return as he faced her. "Arigato-gozimasu for walking me home and helping me at the Academy, Sasuke-san. I'll see you tomorrow."

"Hai," Sasuke grunted as he watched her march up to and enter the front door.

Despite himself, he couldn't help but ask why his future self never knew that his future teammate had grown up with domestic troubles like this. Surely the girl must've mentioned it to his counterpart…or maybe his counterpart just hadn't cared enough at the time to remember it. Nevertheless, that was the sole reason that Sasuke had walked Sakura home instead of merely walking away after he'd helped her. He wanted to get to know her before she became the crazed fangirl that he'd read about. If this was what she had to come home to…Sasuke suddenly found himself understanding somewhat why the girl would become such a romance-starved teenager.

'Maybe I should go and check on this 'Naruto' kid now,' Sasuke contemplated as he turned and started to walk away.

That could be tricky however, he realized. Based on what little his counterpart knew of Uzumaki's childhood and what Sasuke also knew of the guy's academy attendance, there was no guarantee that he would be able to find him at all. Uzumaki had a tendency of skipping or sleeping through class, playing pranks on teachers and students alike whenever he was at the Academy, and just making a spectacle of himself in general. Outside the Academy, he still pulled pranks, but they were isolated events against people who'd wronged him in some way. Other than that, the kid was practically a ghost.

"Come back here, gaki!" an angry voice screamed from further down the street, catching Sasuke's attention instantly. Looking up, Sasuke saw an elderly man, covered from head to toe with flour, hobbling down the street. He was waving his walking stick threateningly at a small blonde kid who was sprinting as far away from the old fart as fast as he could get. "Get back here and take your beating like a man, gaki!"

"Do you see a man around?" the blonde yelled back as he continued his sprint down the street, his voice surprisingly loud for his small body

Rounding a corner, the blonde had vanished before the elderly man could reach the same corner and continue the chase. The man started rumbling out a few choice cuss words, namely 'demon brat', when he saw nothing but an empty street ahead of him. When he realized that the blonde had somehow escaped him and his righteous wrath, the flour-covered old man turned and hobbled back to where he came from, probably to give himself a shower and a fresh change of clothes.

Dropping the Kakuremino no Jutsu, Naruto let loose a loud chuckle. "Baka, an old fart like you couldn't have possibly caught the great Uzumaki Naruto, future Hokage!"

"That was mildly impressive," a voice behind him said.

Yelping and jumping almost three feet in the air out of surprise, Naruto stumbled and collapsed upon the ground. Twisting around, he found himself staring up into the dark eyes of the top student in his class. Though the boy's face was neutral, Naruto could've sworn he saw amusement dancing in his eyes at how easily he'd startled Naruto.

"What do you want, bastard?" Naruto demanded loudly as he jumped back to his feet and pointed accusingly at the stoic Uchiha. "And did you mean by that 'mildly impressive' crap? I'll have you know that it was very impressive!"

"I was going to compliment you on how well you managed to do the Kakuremino no Jutsu," Sasuke said, shrugging carelessly. "Given how well you do in the Academy, it was a little surprising to me. I'd have thought for sure that old man would've seen through it in an instant. The fact that he didn't only means that you're only slightly better than I'd first thought you were."

Naruto looked like he was torn between wanting to brag about how awesome he really was and wanting to yell at Sasuke for insinuating that he was so bad at his ninja skills. Regardless, there was a peculiar amount of redness on his cheeks when he realized that someone had just complimented him…even if they also insulted him at the same time.

"Well, of course he wasn't gonna catch me!" Naruto exclaimed once he'd finally managed to recollect himself. "I'm gonna be the Hokage one day! Dattebayo!"

"Dattebayo?" Sasuke repeated, quirking an eyebrow at the word.

A mega-watt grin spread across Naruto's face as he rubbed his neck in an embarrassed manner. "Yeah, I just made it up! Pretty cool, eh?"

Sasuke just stared at Naruto's sheepish but pleased expression with his eyebrow still quirked upwards. In a way, he could see why his older self had never been able to take this kid too seriously, even after they became teammates. Disregarding his abysmal grades and loud, irritating voice, he didn't strike Sasuke as being too overly bright. But, based on what he now knew from the scroll on the boy's various achievements, Sasuke understood that appearances could be deceiving. After all, everyone had their occasional moments of pure brilliance.

"Hn," Sasuke snorted slightly as he turned to walk away.

"Hey!" Naruto called out. "Wanna go get some ramen? I know this place that sells the best ramen in the whole world!"

"I don't like ramen," Sasuke answered, glancing back at his classmate.

Naruto looked positively scandalized at that statement. "WHAT? How can you not like ramen? It's the bestest food in the world!"

"'Bestest' isn't a word, baka," Sasuke pointed out, a superior smirk pulling at his lips. Before Naruto could the wind back in his sails again, Sasuke turned back to face him, his hands in his pockets as he asked, "Does this place sell anything else besides ramen?"

Blinking, Naruto crossed his arms as he tried to remember. Hesitantly, he answered, "I don't know. I think they also sell dango and tea. I don't really pay any attention to anything other than the ramen menu."

That last statement drew yet another smirk across Sasuke's face. "Fine, let's go see what this place has."

Naruto looked up at Sasuke with wide, surprised eyes as his mouth began hanging slightly open in honest disbelief. Disbelief that Sasuke had actually agreed to hang out with him, like friends would. Slowly, like the change of the tides, Naruto's face changed to a happy smile that was clearly trying to stretch his face apart.

"Okay! Off to Ichiraku Ramen! DATTEBAYO!" he cheered, throwing his arms up in victory.

Hokage Mountain
Six months later…

"This is a very bad idea," Sasuke said from where he was standing off to the side. "You do know that, right?"

"Shut up, Sasuke!" Naruto yelled as he shifted in the harness around his shoulders and lowered a pair of goggles over his eyes. "You're just jealous 'cause you're scared and didn't think of it yourself!"

Sasuke just snorted as he quirked an eyebrow at that accusation. As if he'd be dumb enough to even consider what the blonde was going to attempt. Oh, the only reason he'd decided to help Naruto with his idea was because he was sure he could get a good laugh out of it at Naruto's expense.

"If you two are done, I could use some help here, Sasuke," Sakura grumbled unhappily from her position under the landing struts.

The three of them were atop the Hokage Mountain, just over the faces of the former village leaders. The early spring morning sun was shining down unimpeded upon the three of them as they scurried about, finishing up their little project. The reason they were gathered up there at such an early hour was entirely Naruto's fault.

During one of the few days in class that the blonde had actually tried to pay attention in, the Academy instructors had been giving a brief history lesson on the Second Ninja War. When they spoke of the battles with Sora-nin and the following destruction of Soragakure, Naruto had become infatuated with the idea of flying around the village and skies on gliders like the ninjas of that village had done. Thus, he became determined to build his own glider and do just that.

After countless failures of his own personal designs and attempts, he'd finally come to ask Sasuke and Sakura to help him with his little project. Ever since that day that Sasuke had stopped and 'met' the two of them, the three kids had slowly become something akin to friends. In a strange way, each of them was slowly starting to think of one another in more sibling terms, rather than as friends. And as a lot of siblings do, when one had a stupid idea, the others just had to tag along and watch as it crashed and burned. Quite literally, in this case.

Sakura hadn't really liked Naruto's idea, but she went along with it when Sasuke didn't seem to have any arguments against it. Plus, she quietly admitted to herself, it would've been fun to see Naruto go flying around the village, if only briefly. Seeing him try to land would've been even funnier. So she had done her best to help Sasuke design it, and help Naruto build the glider, which was the basic triangular cloth type.

And now here they were preparing for the first test flight. Of course, Naruto, being Naruto, decided immediately that it was guaranteed success and that the first flight should be done in 'style', namely launching from the top of the Hokage Monument. That was an idea that neither of his two friends really liked the sound of. But because it was Naruto who volunteered (demanded) the first shot, they made no objections about it. It was his neck he was risking after all. Which was why they were up there so early in the morning; they knew that if anyone caught them, they wouldn't get the chance to launch.

Naruto was now strapping himself into the safety harness and belts that they had rigged to the frame of the glider. Sakura was busy making the final touches on the landing struts to make sure the wheels wouldn't go flying off when Naruto came in for a landing. And Sasuke was standing off to the side, watching the blonde with a knowing smirk as the strong winds blew in his hair in his face. He just knew this was going to end badly…for the blonde, of course.

"Hey, Sakura-chan!" Naruto called out as he was trying to fasten the last strap over his shoulder. "This strap is really loose. Is that okay?"

Sighing in exasperation, the pink-haired girl left her spot and moved in front of Naruto to check the strap and help him tighten it. Seeing the problem, she immediately reached up and unbuckled the strap. "You baka! Weren't you paying attention to what you were doing? You're supposed to tighten it the other way!"

Just as she was latching the strap back into its proper position, a sudden strong gust of wind washed over them. The wind nearly sent Sasuke stumbling to his knees. A startled pair of cries quickly drew his attention to his friends. Looking up, he watched in frozen fascination as the glider was knocked free of its restraints and sent rolling towards the edge of the cliff.

Sakura had the misfortune of getting hit right in her stomach in front of Naruto, which caused her to double over in surprise and pain, knocking her head against Naruto's in the process. Dazed by the unexpected blow, neither of them realized the danger they were in until it was much too late. They were at the edge and dipping forward before they could even think to stop the glider.

"Hang on, Sakura!" Naruto yelled.

Feeling her feet leave the ground, Sakura automatically snatched a hold of the balancing bar she was bent over with a death-tight grip. As the nose of the glider lowered, Sakura took a deep breath…and let out a piercing scream of terror as she, Naruto, and the glider finally dropped off the top of the monument. Finally reacting, Sasuke sprinted forward to the glider, in a vain attempt at preventing the inevitable. He reached the edge just in time see the disaster truly begin to unfold. With her body flailing in the winds, Sakura clamped her legs around Naruto's suspended body as tightly as her terror-fueled muscles could manage.

"I'm gonna die! I'M GONNA DIE! I'M GONNA DIE!" Sakura screamed at the top of lungs, closing her eyes tightly. "I DON'T WANNA DIE!"

Naruto, for his part, was busy letting out a cheer of pure delight as he felt the winds rushing past him. He didn't notice Sakura wrapping herself around him though. He was focusing more on leaning his body backwards and raising the nose of the glider. Sure enough, after falling almost halfway down the Mountain, the glider finally caught enough speed and lifting power to pull out of its impromptu dive.

"WHO-HOOO! This is awesome!" Naruto cheered as he leaned his body to the side, causing the glider to swing that direction. And causing Sakura's panicked shrieks to grow that much louder.

Looking down at the village below him, Naruto's grin widened considerably as he spotted the people down there. All of them were looking upwards at him and Sakura as they were flying by overhead.

"Hey, Sakura-chan, look at that!" Naruto said, letting go of the balancing bar and pointing downwards. "Everyone looks like little ants down there!"


"No way, Sakura-chan!" Naruto yelled, quite disgruntled at her request. "This is too fun! Hey, let's go buzz the Hokage Tower!"

No sooner had he said that than Naruto started leaning off to the side, turning the glider in that direction. However, he didn't anticipate for Sakura suddenly throwing her own weight around, and sending the glider into a much steeper and sharper turn than he was ready for.

"I'LL KILL YOU, NARUTO!" Sakura screamed as she shifted her weight.

She had finally opened her eyes and was now trying to reach up to grab his throat, fully intending to carry through with her threat. But her remaining grip on the balancing bar slipped as the glider went into its turn. Sakura let out a scream of absolute terror as she slipped and hung upside-down, dangling from Naruto's waist.

"I'M GONNA DIE!" She screamed, clamping her eyes shut as she threw her arms over her face in a feeble attempt to block out the horrifying sight of an upside-down Konoha 'above' her.

"STOP SQUIRMING, SAKURA!" Naruto yelled at her as he fought to regain control.

Thankfully, now that her weight wasn't swinging about from side to side, Naruto was able to get the glider out of the turn. However, because her weight was now hanging below and slightly behind him, Sakura was unintentionally pulling the glider into a steep upwards climb. Naruto could literally feel the glider come to a complete stop, hanging dead in the air for split second.

"This is gonna be bad," he muttered to himself as he felt gravity begin taking effect.

And sure enough, the glider went into a tumbling fall. Naruto was clutching the balancing bar tightly, trying futilely to get the glider under control again and out of the fall. Sakura was quickly losing her grip on Naruto due to the increasing G-force from the fall and spin they were in. Looking down, Naruto saw her legs coming free of his waist, as if in slow motion. Then, just as they finally separated, he managed to react, releasing the bar and reaching downward, catching Sakura by her heel.

Due to his changed position, Naruto could see that they were falling directly towards one of the rivers that flowed through Konohagakure.

"Sakura, take a deep breath!" Naruto yelled, watching the river's surface rapidly approaching.

"I WANT MY MOMMY!" Sakura screamed, her arms still around her head, trying to shield herself from the inevitable. Unbeknownst to either of them, Sakura's chakra was lashing out and running rampart, reacting to her panic and terror.

Just as they were about ten meters above the river, the water suddenly exploded upwards, seemingly of its own accord. The water rushed up and engulfed the pair of them, cushioning them slightly as they impacted and sunk beneath its surface. Rather easily, Sakura was able to reorient herself and tear free of Naruto's slackened grasp, swimming for the surface for all her worth.

Naruto wasn't so lucky since he was not only still strapped into the safety harness of the glider, but his impact with the water had been much less gentle than Sakura's. Panicking for the first time since their little misadventure started, Naruto struggling vainly in freeing himself. His lungs were scaring for air and his head was starting to spin. Before he knew it, his struggles had ceased and he blacked out.

A split second later, a strong pair of arms grabbed him, cut him free of the safety harness, and rapidly brought him back to the surface.

Later that day…

"Leave me alone, you ass-wipes!" a loud voice yelled from the room behind the door he was standing in front of.

Despite himself, Sasuke couldn't prevent the small smile that was slowly starting to cross his face. And here he'd been slightly worried the dobe had been badly hurt. Silly him. Of course, that wasn't to say that Sakura was alright either. The doctors had told him that she seemed to be in some kind of shock, and that she was probably going to be traumatized for the rest of her life because of what had happened.

"Uzumaki, if you'd just stop squirming around, we could get this over with a lot quicker," a second voice said, clearly trying to keep its temper in check.

"NO!" Naruto yelled, sounding far more panicked than Sasuke had ever heard him before. "I don't wanna shot!"

Blinking in surprise, Sasuke stared at the door. The dobe was scared of needles? He didn't see that coming! A ruckus broke in the room again. The dobe was probably trying to make a run for it.

"Get away from me, ya fucking sadists!" Naruto screamed.

"I see Naruto's recovering nicely," a familiar voice spoke up from behind Sasuke, causing the young Uchiha to flinch in surprise. Turning to face the man, Sasuke found himself face to face with the Hokage. "Hello again, Sasuke-kun. I take it you're here visiting your friends?"

"H-Hai," Sasuke stuttered, backing away from the door slightly to allow the Hokage the chance to enter the room if he desired. "Is Naruto always like this in a hospital?"

Chuckling quietly despite his obvious attempt not to, the Sandaime nodded, "For as long as I've known him, he's had that fear of needles and of hospitals in general." Looking down at the Uchiha, the Hokage's expression suddenly hardened somewhat. "I trust you, Naruto, and Sakura all have a very good reason for your little misadventure this morning?"

"It was all Naruto's idea," Sasuke said immediately, unashamed in the slightest at his attempt to foist all blame on the blonde, where he believed it rightfully belonged.

"Be that as it may," the Hokage said, nodding slightly to acknowledge Sasuke's statement. "You still helped it along, making you just as guilty."

"NEEDLE!" Naruto shrieked, clearly in full panic mode. That, accompanied by the sudden sound of breaking glass, distracted both of them from their conversation, as well as the doctor and nurse inside suddenly yelling at Naruto about paying for whatever was broken.

"We'll finish this conversation later, Sasuke-kun," the Hokage said to Sasuke as he opened the door. From the looks of it, Naruto had broken the room's window in his frantic escape attempt and could be seen fleeing down the street at the best possible speeds his short legs could carry him. "What am I gonna do with him?"

Five days later…

Despite herself, Sakura couldn't help but stare in amazement as what she holding in her hands. She was sitting on a bench near the river that flowed past her parents' house, practicing on touching and focusing her chakra. It was a very difficult process for the young girl because it required a considerable amount of concentration, much more than most eight-year-olds possessed generally.

She had just been sitting there, minding her own business as she focused her chakra, eyes closed in concentration. Then, all of a sudden, she'd felt the air around her start to grow very cold. Looking up in curiosity, Sakura stared in surprise at what was happening around her. The bench was covered in a very fine layer of frost and there seemed to be droplets of water seeping up from the river and orbiting around her, as though she were the sun and they were the planets.

The surprise caused her to reflexively lose her concentration, which in turn caused the water to drop to the ground lifelessly as the cold air was swept aside in the heat of the spring sun. After recovering from her surprise at the sheer impossibility and peculiarity of the event, she tried to see if she could mimic it and began channeling her chakra again. Sure enough, the air cooled once again as the water rose back up into the air around her. Changing her concentration slightly, she found she was able to direct the floating water to gather into a single orb of water that was floating between her palms.

"What's going on here?" she asked herself, understanding but not comprehending what was going on around her. Releasing her concentration, she watched the water drop to the ground once again, seeping through her fingers like it was supposed to.

"Maybe Sasuke-kun will know?" she said to herself as she climbed off the bench and hurried off in the direction she knew he would be at this time of day.

Sure enough, she found him practicing his kunai and shuriken throwing techniques in the Academy training grounds. But what caught her by surprise was that he seemed to have a visitor, a girl with in a blue, sleeveless shirt with her brown hair up in a pair of buns. Ducking back behind the corner she'd just passed, Sakura watched her friend and idol as he threw a handful of kunai at the three targets in front of him. Each of the kunai struck each of the bull's eyes.

The new girl, who'd been standing next to and slightly behind him, nodded her head in approval. "That's good, Sasuke-kun. You're getting a lot better at the technique."

"I have a good sensei, Tenten-san," Sasuke said, glancing at the girl with a ghost of a smile on his face.

"Oh really?" Tenten asked, smiling at him cutely with a small blush on her cheeks. That look immediately had Sakura digging her nails into wood of the Academy building's corner she was hiding behind. Of course, why she did that, she didn't know. "And who's that sensei, Sasuke-kun? Is she really pretty?"

"No," Sasuke said flatly. "Not even in the slightest. In fact, she's something of a major annoyance because she's far too proud of her aim."

"Really?" Tenten asked, seeming like she was ready to bash the Uchiha's skull in for a moment or two. But then she collected herself and smiled back him coyly. "I would really like to meet this sensei of yours. Maybe I could give her some tips also?"

"Not much of a chance of that happening anytime soon," Sasuke muttered, more to himself than anyone else. Turning to face Tenten fully, he gave her a full and formal bow. "Arigato, Tenten-sensei, for helping me with my throwing technique."

"Just remember, it's all in the wrist, Sasuke-kun." Tenten brushed off the formal thanks with a wave of her hand.

Leaning forward unexpectedly, she placed a light kiss on Sasuke's cheek, causing the younger Uchiha's cheeks to instantly redden in the most adorable blush Sakura had ever seen on his face. The girl lingered near his ear, whispering something to him for a moment. Then she stood up and walked over to the kunai and gathered them, leaving a dumbfounded Sasuke behind her. He just watched her with a strange expression of his face as she collected her weapons and walked away.

"Who was that, Sasuke-kun?" Sakura demanded as she walked up behind him, causing him to instantly flinch in surprise. He spun to face her with a deer-in-the-headlights look. Had he really been that distracted by what that girl had said and done?

"Sa-Sakura-san," he stuttered, clearly fighting to get himself back under control. "What are you doing here?"

"Looking for you," she answered flatly, staring at him accusingly. "Who was that?"

"Her name's Tenten," he said, finally managing to control himself. "She's in the class above us. I was practicing my throwing techniques and she offered to give me some tips to improve my aim on multiple targets."

"Why not ask one of the instructors?" Sakura demanded with an arched brow.

"Because I know for a fact that she's already got an aim that's far superior than any of them," he answered with complete confidence. "So, what did you need from me, Sakura-san?"

"Something weird's been happening around me whenever I focus on my chakra lately," Sakura said, finally deciding to let him off the hook…for now. "I don't know what I'm doing wrong. It doesn't make any sense to me!"

"Show me," Sasuke instructed, crossing his arms and going into full seriousness mode.

Bringing her hands up into a seal, Sakura began focusing on her chakra like she had been doing. And after a few moments of feeling the energizing energy coursing through her, she felt it starting to take affect again. The air began to cool and, when she opened her eyes, she could see drops of water forming out of the air around her. Looking back at Sasuke, she blinked in surprise at the strangely unguarded expression on his face, which was of startled disbelief.

"Sa-Sakura!" he gasped out, disbelief clear in his voice. "Y-You're a—You're a—! How is this possible?"

"What?" Sakura asked, starting to feel genuinely scared. If Sasuke-kun, the best of their class, was getting scared of what she was doing, it must definitely be bad! "What is it?"

Sasuke must've heard her restrained panic. He quickly shook himself and regained control of himself. Looking back up at the girl, Sakura could honestly say that his suddenly piercing gaze was sending shivers down her spine; shivers that had nothing to do with the cool air surrounding them.

"Sakura, I need you do to something for me," he said seriously. Cupping his hands together, he continued, "Bring the water together and try focusing some of this cold air into it. Can you do that for me?"

Nodding hesitantly, Sakura did as he asked. Gathering the water into her hands, she tried what he asked of her, trying to transfer the coldness into the water. Slowly at first, but with increasing speed, the water began to freeze into a solid floating chunk of ice.

"Hyouton," Sasuke muttered, drawing Sakura's gaze back up him. He was gazing at the ice ball in her hands with such intensity that it was kind of frightening to the girl. Looking back up at the girl, the intense gaze on seemed to deepen as he stared at her. "You're a member of the Hyouton Kekkei Genkai?"

"The what?" she asked automatically. "But…I don't have a bloodline limit! My momma would've told me!"

"Maybe she didn't know," Sasuke said, his gaze suddenly changing as he entered deep thought. "But…how did it manifest? And why did it manifest now and not before?"

"I've been able to do this since…five days ago," Sakura muttered, shivers of fear shaking her entire body at just the mention of that horrible flight over Konoha with that idiot.

Sasuke seemed to also act as if she'd punched him in the gut when he heard that. Returning his gaze back to her, he stared wide eyed at her. In a quiet voice, he muttered, "I did wonder…how that river suddenly exploded like it did when there weren't any ninja nearby to you guys at the time…Maybe that's when and why your Hyouton surfaced."

"What do you mean, Sasuke-kun?" Sakura asked, not quite understanding what he was saying.

"Some Kekkei Genkai don't manifest unless the person is in a high stress or highly dangerous situation," Sasuke said staring at her for a moment with a peculiar gaze. Then a slight smirk spread across his face. "Which means you have Naruto to thank for this." Sakura didn't try to hide her disgust at the idea of actually thanking Naruto. "Also, I recommend you not use your Hyouton too much until after you graduate the Academy. You never know just what the repercussions could be for a new child of an old bloodline suddenly appearing when she's still only a child.

It was then that Sakura finally seemed to realize just what Sasuke was saying. She was a descendent of one of the great ninja families! A ninja bloodline that apparently was able to manipulate and control water and ice! She wasn't just average. She was special after all!

"Sasuke-kun!" she suddenly squealed, dropping her little ice sculpture and snatching him up in a tight hug. "I'm just like you! I'm from a ninja clan! Yay!"

"Sa-Sakura!" Sasuke shouted in surprise as she threw herself on him. "Let—Let go of me!"

Nakano Shrine, Uchiha District
Later that day…

'Sakura is of the Hyouton bloodline?' Sasuke thought to himself in amazement for the umpteenth time. 'I can't believe that Haruno Sakura, the girl who had become one of my future self's biggest headaches and later trained by one of the Sannin had had a Kekkei Genkai the whole time and never realized it! But why didn't myself know of it?'

That was the crux of his dilemma at this time as he reviewed the data that his older self had gathered on the Haruno girl. He was going over that limited data now with a fine-toothed comb. Nowhere in any of it did it mention even the faintest whisper of the possibility that she had such ability! She was destined to be the smartest kunoichi of his class, even squeezing past himself in their academic scores, but she would have average physical skills (at best) and have superb chakra control. She had gotten chosen by the future Godaime Hokage to be her apprentice, where she drastically increased her fighting skills, but became an unsurpassed medic-nin in her own right.

Sasuke blinked at that part. An unsurpassed medic-nin? Even better than her sensei? That thought drew a small smirk over Sasuke's face. That was the hint! She may not have had the same traumatic experience with Naruto's glider, but she surely must've had a latent Suiton-type chakra. It was a known fact that Suiton users generally made the best medic-nins because a vast majority of the human body consisted of water after all.

Nodding to himself in acceptance to his idea, Sasuke's small smirk vanished as he stared at his future self's scrolls. His Sakura had an active Kekkei Genkai…and his older self's hadn't. Something somewhere along the timeline had been changed. What did that mean for him? His former smirk now became a deep frown as he looked over his 'Events Scroll' with his Sharingan.

It meant, he realized, that everything his future self had sent him was now essentially worthless to him because it now outlined a future that could have been. Switching his gaze over to the Jutsu Scroll, he felt his smirk return slight. The timeline may have changed slightly, but his goals and those jutsu contained inside were still intact.

They would never change!

(Tellemicus' Note:) At long last, I've finally posted this story eh? I hope at least some of my old Legacy fans will read this story. But, in case you haven't noticed already, this story is going to be largely a Sasuke-centric fic. For some reason, lately I've become absolutely smitten the Sharingan. Though Sasuke and Madara are still the biggest jackasses I've ever had the misfortune of knowing.

Big thanks to FictionReader98 for helping me organize this story and the characters.

Sorakagure – Hidden in the Sky

Ame-no-Nuboko no Jutsu – Heavenly Jeweled Spear/This is a super forbidden space-time ritual fuuinjutsu that has been all but forgotten since the days of the Rikudou Sennin. It has the power to tear open the space-time continuum and allow the user to essentially alter the present by sending information to the past. However, there are six significant dangers to using this jutsu. The first being that the user must be keenly aware of the specific space-time they desire to reach, which affects just how extensive and complex the sealing array must be. The second danger is the colossal amount of chakra needed just to initiate the space-time tear. The third flaw is that once it's used, the user has to wait 10 years before they can use it again or they'll lose their life. The fourth flaw is that the jutsu doesn't necessarily affect their own reality. Instead, it essentially creates an alternate dimension from the moment they chose to interrupt the timeline. The fifth flaw is that it is impossible to 'contact' the future, only the past, because the future is always in motion and that there's no way to accurately land on the moment you desired (if the user was even still alive). The sixth flaw is that living beings cannot be sent to the past, which is why Sasuke and Madara had to use scrolls rather than just making the journey themselves. (S-Rank Fuuinjutsu)
Note: Ame-no-nuhoko (天沼矛, "heavenly jeweled spear") is the name given to the naginata in Japanese mythology used to raise the primordial land-mass, Onōgoro-shima, from the sea. According to the Kojiki, the gods Izanagi and Izanami were responsible for creating the first land. To help them do this, they were given a naginata decorated with jewels, named Ame-no-nuboko. The two deities then went to the bridge between heaven and earth, Ame-no-ukihashi ("floating bridge of heaven"), and churned the sea below with the naginata. When drops of salty water fell from the tip, they formed into the first island, Onōgoro-shima. Izanagi and Izanami then descended from the bridge of heaven and made their home on the island.

Kakuremino no Jutsu - Magic Cloak of Invisibility Technique/Kakuremino no Jutsu is a very basic Ninjutsu technique. The ninja uses a camouflage cloth to cloak themselves in the background, no chakra required to perform it. (E-Rank Ninjutsu)