Hi! Sorry for taking so long to update but real life and the heartbreaking ending of another comic I was reading got in the way.
So, after screaming a Darth Varder NOOOOOOO several times and leaving an angry text on that author's tumblr page (Damn you, Kieron Gillen. Damn you!), I finally pulled myself together and focused on my beloved fics.
This isn't very long, but I hope you guys enjoy it.
Warning: some spoilers.
"Tou-chan… Slow down!" Sasuke said.
However, Naruto didn't answer him and continued walking hurriedly through the busy streets of Konoha. The stars were shining in the clear sky above them and the moon was big and full.
After drying up their tears, Naruto grabbed Sasuke's wrist and pulled him out the cabin and away from the unconscious ANBU before they got caught.
"We'll talk at my home" Naruto had said in the forest. "We need to leave this place before we get caught."
After that, the blond didn't say another word and kept pushing Sasuke. The raven knew his father was still pretty mad at him and that he had the right to be, still he hated the silent treatment, especially after they had finally found each other.
"Daddy…" Sasuke groaned, while Naruto pulled him through the crowd.
"Keep quiet" Naruto said without turning. "I told you, we'll talk at home."
Naruto's icy tone made Sasuke gulp and lower his head sadly. "I'm sorry…"
Sighing, the blond slid his hand by the raven's wrist and grabbed his hand. It was a small gesture, but Sasuke couldn't help but smile a little.
"I'm really sorry, Ino" Chouji apologized to his fuming female teammate. "I didn't mean to bump into you!"
"Bump? You threw me into the damn lake!" the blonde girl screamed. "Why can't you look to what you're attacking? Look at my clothes! They're all wet! And my hair is a mess!"
Chouji lowered his head. "Sorry…"
"C'mon, Ino. Chouji didn't do it on purpose" Asuma said, watching his new students walk ahead of him.
"That's right" Shikamaru said. "Besides, you can be mad all you want but that won't change anything. You'll still be wet."
Ino turned to the young Nara with lightning in her eyes. "Whose side are you on? What have I done to deserve a team of obnoxious boys?"
"Stop complaining, Ino" Shikamaru said, looking rather bored. "We're already teamed up and, no matter how much you want it, you're not on Sasuke's team."
The blonde hissed. She couldn't understand why Sakura of all people, was the one who got to be on Sasuke's team. Sure, Naruto was also there and he was a major pain in the ass, but being with Sasuke every day was every girl's dream. Just thinking that Sakura could be hitting blatantly on the handsome raven made Ino wish to strangle someone. Right now, either Shikamaru or Chouji looked like very good choices.
"Oh! Speak of the devil" Shikamaru said, looking straight ahead.
The members of Team 10 followed his gaze and Ino's cranky expression quickly changed into a smile.
"Sasuke-kun!" she squealed happily.
Sasuke was walking a few meters away from them. Ino was ready to rush to his side and try to strike a conversation when she noticed that he wasn't alone. There was someone else with him, someone who was wearing bright orange.
"Is that Naruto?" Chouji asked, reaching for his fries.
"That's strange. Sasuke and Naruto are talking a walk?" Shikamaru remarked. "They can't stand each other."
"Maybe Kakashi gave them work to do" Asuma said. "Those two had a huge fight two days ago. I guess Kakashi wants to make them a better team."
"It wasn't Sasuke-kun's fault. Naruto keeps annoying him" Ino stated matter-of-factly. "Poor Sasuke-kun… stuck with that jerk. I'll go there and make him company!"
"What? Ino!" her teammates cried out, but the blonde had already left.
Ino started running and pulling people out of her way until she reached the raven. "Hi, Sasuke-kun!"
Sasuke almost jumped when she grabbed his arm and stared at her completely startled. Naruto turned around too and his blue eyes widened, though he didn't as surprised as his teammate.
"Ino? What are you doing?" Naruto asked.
"I saw you guys, so I decided to come and greet Sasuke-kun" Ino said oblivious to Sasuke's discomfort.
"Ino? Are you Ino?" the raven asked slowly, staring attentively at her face.
"Of course I am, Sasuke-kun" the Yamanaka answered, trying not to feel upset that Sasuke didn't seem to know her name. "You look tired? Have you arrived from a mission? Have you eaten yet?"
"If you haven't, I know the nicest restaurant right across this street. You should join me!"
Sasuke look at Ino and Naruto, not knowing what to do or what to say. Fortunately, Naruto walked to his classmate.
"Sorry, Ino. We're busy right now" the blond boy said.
"I didn't ask you, Naruto" Ino whispered with a frown. "In case you didn't notice, I invited Sasuke-kun."
The raven's onyx eyes widened at her words and his expression became stern.
"He's right, Ino. We're busy" Sasuke said, pulling his arm away. "We'll see you around."
"But…" the girl whimpered, her smile dying in her lips.
Sasuke turned around and started walking. Naruto looked at bit surprised at the raven before saying goodbye to Ino and following him.
Overcoming her disappointment, Ino decided to give it another try. She wasn't trying hard enough. She needed to do better, be sexier. Every girl in the village knew that Uchiha Sasuke was a difficult guy to please, which made him even more appealing.
However, as the feisty blonde was about to shout at her childhood crush, she stopped dead on her feet and her jaw dropped.
When Naruto reached Sasuke, the latter voluntarily held his hand.
As he watched Naruto opening the apartment's door, Sasuke wanted to ask him about Ino. In the future, she was his father's friend, a bit scary and gross when she kissed him, but she was still a family friend. In the past, she was mean to his Tou-chan, like everybody else.
He wished he could talk to him about it. He wished he wouldn't be so mad.
When Naruto entered his old home, he seemed to be lost in thoughts until he walked through the kitchen and saw the broken table and the huge mess.
"What the hell?" the blond cried out.
Sasuke didn't remember the ANBU crushing the table when they took him, so maybe Naruto had done it.
The blond started picking up the broken glass and pieces of wood with his back to Sasuke. "Go take a bath. I'll lend you some of my clothes."
Sasuke finally noticed his dirty clothes, which he had worn ever since he went to the Hokage's Office to find his grandpa. Naruto could be very dense, but he always noticed when Sasuke needed something.
Sasuke obeyed silently and went to the bathroom. Like the apartment, it was small and old, with cracks on almost every tile, but it was surprisingly clean. On the corner, there was a white towel and a laundry basket almost identical to the one they had at home. Even the soap and the shampoo were the same brand as well.
When the boy tossed his dirty clothes to the basket and entered the bathtub, he could feel like he was home again, which made him smile for the first time in days. After bathing, Sasuke wrapped himself with the towel and went to Naruto's bedroom.
His first thought was that he had entered the wrong room until he saw the bed and the clothes on top of it. The bedroom had been completely cleaned, most likely by Naruto's clones. The question was why he had done it? Sasuke's own bedroom was always a mess until his Dad nagged him to clean it. He wouldn't mind if Naruto's bedroom wasn't tidy, it actually made them alike.
But maybe his father didn't want him to know that he used to be a complete slob.
Carefully, Sasuke put on the black shirt with a red fire symbol and a pair of dark-green pants. As soon as he was dressed there was a knock on the door.
"Can I come in?" Naruto asked.
"Yeah" the raven answered, staring meekly at his very young parent.
"Your hair is still wet" Naruto said, picking up the towel.
Sasuke sat in bed and let the blond try to dry his black hair before combing it with his hands. It was during this awkward silence that Naruto finally decided to talk.
"How long have you been here? In the past?"
Sasuke stared at Naruto's blue eyes, which looked a lot older than they did yesterday. There was no doubt that there an adult in this kid's body, but it was still weird seeing his father so young and small.
"About a week... more or less."
"A week?" Naruto cried out. "How is that possible? I went right after you!"
"I dunno, Tou-chan. I remember that old hag dragging me to that temple and then I saw a red light" Sasuke explained, lowering his eyes. "When I woke up, I was here. I woke up in my old house… my past self's house."
Naruto stared at his son for a while, his expression filled with concern. "Did something happen?"
The raven shook his head and stared at his hands, his cheeks reddening. "It was… pretty awesome at first. I mean, this body was a lot stronger and everyone here seemed to like me. I wasn't the second best or just "Naruto's kid" anymore. I am actually popular here."
"I see…"Naruto tried not to feel hurt about those words. Of course Sasuke would be thrilled about being a strong and admired shinobi instead of being continuously shadowed by his adoptive parent. "I guess Kakashi figured out you were acting different from your… usual self."
"Yes… I think he noticed right away, but he waited to see what I would do. I thought I was fooling everyone, but I wasn't" Sasuke went on. "They caught me yesterday. Here, in your house."
Naruto stiffened. "Here? Why did they catch you here? How did you know where I lived?"
"Because I was looking for you" the boy cried out, tears rolling down his cheeks as he finally stared back at Naruto. "Tou-san and Kaa-san were dead and Nii-san was away. I hated being in that house all alone."
Naruto's eyes became even wider. "Did anyone tell you … about Itachi?"
"No, just that he was away. I couldn't even meet him" the boy answered, not noticing Naruto's relief. "I wanted to find grandpa and grandma too."
"So you tried to find other members of your family…" Naruto deduced sadly, imagining how upset Sasuke most have felt when he realized his clan was gone.
"Yes, I wanted to find grandpa first so I went to the Hokage's Office but he wasn't there" Sasuke explained. "The Sandaime told me he had died, and then I went looking for you and grandma."
Naruto blinked, confused. "Wait… what?"
"I thought grandpa Minato could help me go back home, but when they told me he was dead I thought I could tell grandma Kushina instead and stay with you."
Naruto finally understood. Sasuke had been looking for his parents and his younger self, which was understandable because his father's face was carved on the mountain. Sasuke was a bright kid.
"I guess you found me, huh?" the blond said with a small smile.
If possible, Sasuke became redder. "You… sort of dared me into a fight. I didn't know it was you, Tou-chan. I just wasn't thinking… I thought you would be a baby or a little kid, not my age or my teammate."
Naruto nodded. "Did you beat me up?"
"I… kind of."
Naruto sighed and sat in his bed beside Sasuke. All his life, he wished he was someone admirable, someone he could be proud of. He knew that his experience as a total loser gave him the willpower to become the man he was now and understand other people's pain and loneliness.
He wasn't embarrassed of his past, but he still felt that twinge in his heart every time he remembered how it was like being laughed at, mocked, rejected and hated. That sad, little boy who cried alone on the swings would always exist inside of him, but he wasn't sure he wanted his son to see that part of him. Telling him about his mistakes as a young ninja was completely different from seeing him first hand.
"Are you… ashamed of me?" the blond boy asked.
"At this age, I was a loudmouth and I didn't know anything… I guess I really was a loser."
"No! Don't say that!" Sasuke cried out.
"It's alright, Sasuke" Naruto said with the saddest smile. "I just hope I didn't give you a bad time. If I said something hurtful while you were here, I'm sorry."
Naruto was about to continue when he felt two strong arms pulling him into an embrace. It was weird because he could see Uchiha Sasuke hugging him, but he smelled and behaved like his little boy.
"I wanted to tell you that you are awesome and that we were going to be a family" Sasuke mumbled. "When I saw those people being so mean to you, I just wanted to crush them into a pulp! But I was the worse, because you wanted to be my friend and all did was make you sad."
"I… It wasn't like that" Naruto mumbled. "I wasn't exactly easy to deal with and you… you had your own problems."
Sasuke buried his face on Naruto's shoulder. "I don't like my past self."
"I like him. I like you" the blond answered, rubbing Sasuke's back. "You two are the same person, but you just… changed."
Sasuke's hug became tighter. "I don't wanna be him."
"That's like wishing I had always been admired as a hero" the blond answered. "But you know what? If I hadn't been weak and unpopular once, I wouldn't be the person I turned into."
The raven blinked and stared back at Naruto's face. "I still don't like him."
"I forgot how little you really are. You'll understand one day, when you're older."
"You know? You sound really weird talking like a Dad when you're smaller than me" the raven pouted.
"Fine" Naruto got up and closed all the windows on his apartment, putting sealing tags on each one and the front door. Now, his apartment could only be opened from the inside and he wouldn't have to worry about ANBU ninja breaking into his house. Thank God he had trained his sealing skills over the past six years.
He supposed Kakashi was going to find out about Sasuke's escape soon, if he hadn't already. However, the blond wanted to avoid any confrontations with his sensei while he was stuck in his young body.
"What are you doing?" Sasuke asked, his legs crossed over the bed.
"I don't want people to spy on us or break into the house" Naruto explained as he made the hand seals. After a small explosion of white smoke, Naruto emerged but he had the appearance of his adult self.
"Tou-chan? How did you turn back?" the raven asked, jumping from the bed and walking towards him in awe.
"I didn't. It's a Transformation jutsu" the now adult Naruto explained. "Even when I was a kid, I had a huge chakra reserve. I can stay like this for hours."
"I wish I could do it" the raven whispered, still staring at his father.
"Baa-chan uses a Jutsu that makes her look young all the time, but I don't know how to use it."
Sasuke nodded. We would like to turn back into his real self, but having Daddy as a grown up made him feel a lot safer.
"Were you hurt?" Naruto asked, placing both his hands on the raven's shoulders. "Did anyone hurt you when they took you?"
"No. No one hurt me. A man who looks like Ino read my mind and the Third told everyone I was telling the truth."
Sitting on the bed again, Sasuke told his father everything, including how he won the race against Sakura to his conversation with Kakashi in the hidden hut before Naruto broke him out. The blond didn't interrupt, even when Sasuke told him about how his younger self had reacted when he found out he wasn't the Sasuke he knew, though his eye's reflected his feelings of guilt perfectly.
By the time Sasuke finished his tale, he was yawning.
"You should go to sleep, it's almost midnight" Naruto said, tucking the boy in his bed.
"Can you stay here?"
Sasuke nodded grabbed his father's hand. "What are we going to do, Daddy? How can we go home?"
"I don't know, but I'm sure there's a way" the Naruto answered with a smile. "Tomorrow we'll start looking together. Something will come up."
Sasuke knew his Dad was trying to make him feel better and maybe he was just as scared as Sasuke was. Still, the raven smiled and decided to believe in his words.
Hours after both Sasuke and Naruto had fallen asleep, Kakashi had reported to the Hokage about Sasuke's escape and Ino tossed around in her bed trying to forget her crush holding another boy's hand, a shadow slipped inside Konoha.
Despite his calm expression, Itachi was worried. It took him hours to convince Kisame that he wished to attend a private matter and explain to Pain that he wanted to see his brother. Their leader could hate Konohagakure with every fiber of his body, but he understood Itachi's reasons for keeping his plans about his little brother a secret. As long as Itachi didn't betray Akatsuki, Pain gave him permission to do as he pleased.
Tobi, or Madara, wanted to know what Itachi was going to do, so the young Uchiha told him the truth, hoping he wouldn't follow him and meddle. There had been rumors about a young Uchiha survivor in Konohagakure that had been possessed by and enemy and no one knew how to release him.
"If Sasuke's body is taken over, my plan to make him kill me will fail" Itachi told the masked man. "I want to know if this rumor is real."
"Why not send Zetsu there?" Tobi asked. "He could tell us if it is real in a few minutes and save you a trip."
"Zetsu wouldn't be able to tell if Sasuke was possessed because he doesn't know him. A good impersonator can't fool me."
Tobi crossed his arms around his chest and stared at Itachi with his single Sharingan.
"Very well, Itachi. We wouldn't want Sasuke to die after all the trouble you had to keep him alive."
Itachi wished he could kill Tobi right there. He knew the old Uchiha was planning to use Sasuke as his pawn once Itachi was out of his way.
"Not if I can do something about it" Itachi thought.
As he walked through the nearly deserted streets of his village, Itachi couldn't help but feel a twinge of nostalgia. It had been so long since he was home, words could not describe how much he missed being a normal ninja, having a family and playing with his little brother.
He had made a choice, a very hard one, but he didn't regret his sacrifice. He had to be strong and stand by his beliefs, just like Shisui had. No matter what, he would always be Konoha's Itachi.
The Uchiha suddenly stopped. There was a man walking in his direction, staring right at him. Despite that his hat was hiding his face, Itachi knew this man had recognized him immediately.
"It's been a long time" the Third Hokage said. "Welcome home."
Yay! Itachi is here! Is that good or bad?
Some of you asked when this story takes place in the main plot. It's before Nobunaga's arc on Phoenix Rising. And yes, I am aware that Sasuke doesn't recognize Kakashi in the main story despite meeting him here, but you should think of this like the Naruto movies are to the main plot.
See you guys next time!