I found out that that if you spell prodigy as progidy instead, the urban dictionary translates it as "A stupid person who thinks they're a prodigy, but isn't."
Sorry, Itachi, hope I spelled it right when mentioning you...
One Year Later...
Sasuke flipped midair, five chidori laced kunai sweeping from his fingers and clashing against several others, redirecting their flight and sending them directly into the center of the targets. He ended with a neat twist, landing in a perfect crouch at the base of the forest line. Nodding proudly as he inspected his handiwork, he gathered his weapons pouch and left the knives in their targets, his marksmanship displayed for all to see.
I'm really becoming the youngest prodigy now, he smirked as he headed back to the small compound on the outskirts of the forest.
The Land of Waves, known for its nigh impenetrable barrier of mist and its inner ethereal beauty, had welcomed the refugees of the Uchiha Revolution with open arms. A few had accepted this opportunity, eager to escape the tragedy of the "Killers Night," however many had declined the offer and chosen to remain in the village where they were born.
Thanks to Shisui's negotiations with the Godaime Hokage, the remaining members of the Clan had been permitted to return to society and begin their lives anew, with one notable change in the government: astounded by the young Uchiha's dedication to maintaining peace between both the village and his own people, Tsunade had determined a treaty that favored both Uchiha and Senju. As fifth Hokage, she would maintain a government which the Uchiha would respect, and in exchange she would train one of their own as the Rokudaime Hokage.
Sasuke grinned as he recalled Shisui's reaction when he was assigned the position. As always, he complained morosely about how much he hated politics and why he never really wanted to take up the job in the first place. Shisui was clearly delighted with the prospect, however, with the exception that he smuggled all his paperwork to Itachi when he thought Tsunade wasn't looking.
He'll make a great leader, Sasuke mused, waving to one of the residents he passed. Konoha will never be the same, of course, but maybe that's what the village needs. A dedicated, peace loving, sugar-high wacko who wears fluffy cat ears and ditches his homework on his younger cousin. Shisui would certainly revolutionize the entire shinobi world once he took up the office.
I can just imagine... He'll make his representatives wear funny hats and the other villages will have to pay candy in tribute. Tsunade has no idea what reign of terror she is creating.
"Look, Kaasan! I caught you the biggest frog ever! Isn't he the greatest?"
Naruto's gleeful shout carried over the sounds of construction as the residents of Waves reconstructed their humble village. The blond darted up to Mikoto, oblivious to her cringing laugh as she tried to please her adopted son without touching the grotesque toad in his hands. Naruto, for his part, looked happier than he ever had in his life. He had a family of his own now; a mother he adored, an older brother to look up to, and another sibling his own age to bully the other children when they were mean to him. Naruto even had a stuffed animal to replace Misso; a bright orange frog plushie named Tonkotsu which Mikoto had carefully hand crafted as a memorable gift for "the poor orphan boy who had been neglected far too long."
I wonder how his future will turn out now, Sasuke considered, watching the hyperactive blond jabber on about his love of amphibians.
Many things had changed, and Sasuke could only guess what surprises the following years would bring. He and Naruto would be re-enrolled in the Konoha ninja academy in two weeks, and if the jinchuriki's scores remained the same there was a chance they might still remain on the same team. Naruto still knew nothing of the beast sealed inside himself, but that would be revealed in good time. At least he was no longer facing open rejection from the village; Shisui had seen to that.
The nine rookies had all survived the Killers Night, but their lives had also been altered. Sakura's parents had been crushed under the building that buried Iruka, yet she had gained a sister by way of Yamanaka Ino, whose parents had seen to it that their daughter's "shy little friend" should be looked after properly. Ino had abandoned much of her sense of competition, as she was now more concerned about losing Sakura's friendship than gaining Sasuke's affections.
Hinata and Neji had also been orphaned by the attack, the Hyuuga clan leader dead at Fugaku's hand. Hinata was declared heir to the Hyuuga clan, and was currently being raised to take her place with confidence as the leader of her people.
Shikamaru and Shino had been relatively unaffected by the events, save that they both had to face the same grisly scene of the aftermath that changed many a young academy student's view of the shinobi life.
Kiba, on the other hand, was plagued by the death of his sister, Hana, and he honored her memory by determining to become one of the greatest dog trainers in history. Akamaru was already well under way, pushed to his limits and beyond due to his master's fervency.
As for Itachi...
Sasuke shuddering as he recalled how close it had been. Itachi's life was a miracle in itself. Only a short time after the battle was declared at an end, he had collapsed from both the mental and physical trauma he had suffered during the past seventy-two hours. For two days his life hung on the balance as he struggled for each breath, the medics never leaving his side. Twice he stopped breathing, and Sasuke feared he had lost his brother.
It was thanks to Tsunade that Itachi made almost a complete recovery in the end. Barking orders at the scurrying medics, she focused everything she had into saving the life of the young Uchiha who, according to Shisui, had sacrificed all he had in his attempt to prevent the coup d'etat from coming to pass.
Tsunade's efforts were not without reward; Itachi's lungs were strengthened, stopping in its tracks the fatal, corrosive infection which later would have developed into the same disease that, unbenownst to Sasuke, had weakened Itachi considerably during their final battle. Although his former prowress would never be regained, Sasuke was confident his brother was yet destined to become a powerful shinobi.
Itachi was now leaning against a fence with a bored expression as a white haired man with sunglasses chewed him out for being an "impertinent brat who was going to get in trouble for interfering where his pointed little nose didn't belong." Gato soon found himself diving head first in the lake, followed by the last three of his goons who hadn't fled at the sight of Itachi's mangekyo.
Wiping his hands off nonchallantly, Itachi shot his brother a wink and bent to assist Tazuna with the stack of boards he had been lifting. Itachi was more at ease these days, as though a great weight had been taken off his shoulders. In all manners of respect this was true: no longer expected to behave as both the Leaf's and the Uchiha's promised savior, he was permitted to relax his calloused demeanor and experience his first six months of being a perfectly normal shinobi.
Not that anything was normal with Itachi, of course; most fourteen year olds weren't expected to develop mangekyo or toss crime lords over their shoulder without breaking a sweat, but with the lack of his father's compelling and Danzo's overbearance, Itachi was finding more reason to smile. He still was annoyingly serene and collected for someone his age, but he found more opportunities to openly prove that he cared.
The truth behind Fugaku's final demise stayed between Sasuke and Itachi. It was their dark secret, just as was the story concerning Sasuke's past life in the "genjutsu." Even Shisui didn't know for sure who killed their father, though Sasuke wondered if he always suspected.
"Hey, cousin! Tell me your brother isn't trying to kill himself all over again!"
Sasuke grinned as Shisui flashed to Itachi's side, grabbing his end of the stack of boards as though afraid he would drop the load on his toes.
"Shisui, I was handling it fine," Itachi growled, earning a roll of the eyes from Shisui.
"Yes, and the bruise on your forehead is just a splotch of paint. What'd you do, drop a hammer on your head?"
Kaiza laughed. "Pretty close," he admitted. "I'm afraid that was my fault, though. I didn't realize he was working right under me."
Another fact that had been changed by Sasuke's time flip; with Itachi officially labeled the "Guardian of Waves," Gato had been intercepted before he could take over the unsuspecting village. Inari's adopted father was still alive, and the boy himself was already looking up to Naruto as his hero.
NARUTO? Of all people? You would think he would consider Itachi to be his role model instead. What is it with kids and admiring the dobe?
Perhaps Naruto's open and blatant personality was what made him such a winner among the Wave children. Even now he ran to Shisui, begging him for his opinion on the salamander, two frogs, and three giant toads riding on his head and shoulders. Shisui inspected each with great care, his serious expression backfired by the bright pink scarf tied around his head.
Contrary to the expectations of Tsunade, Shisui refused to accept a replacement for the eye Danzo stole from him. His varying patches proved both a symbol and comic relief to many who had suffered deeply from the Killers Night. Every day Shisui seemed to be wearing a different color, from polka dots to dinosaur prints to solid patterns for formal occasions. The cloth tied around his head spoke clearly that the Uchiha Revolution could not be blamed solely on the clan it was named for. Both sides had been responsible and had paid dearly for the bloody night. Shisui was living proof that Senju and Uchiha could both survive and move past the tragedy to accept each other as allies once more.
Not that everyone could be considered an asset to the village, as Sasuke noted when he saw a familiar pearl and crimson kimono swirl into the clearing. I am so grateful she decided to remain in the village instead of accepting Kaasan's offer to stay with us.
Ayama waved brightly at him, her former disdain muted in light of a sudden burst of maturity she had recognized after her parents' death. She waltzed towards Shisui and Itachi, the latter stepping back too far and almost falling back into the pond. Shisui's hand lashed out and grasped his cousin's shirt collar, preventing a horribly indignified memory for the poor, traumatized teenager.
"Well, hello, princess," Shisui greeted between his teeth as Itachi flailed for balance. "For what blessed occasion should you so grace us with your presence today?"
Ayama tossed her head, waltzing forward with one hand primly set upon her swaying hip. "It is Itachi's birthday," she reminded, dropping for once the "kun" suffix at the end.
"That was yesterday," Shisui remarked sourly. "Don't you ever keep appointments?"
"Mikoto-San advised that I wait until the celebrations were over," Ayama replied airily. "After all, it was a family party and I observed that you took great care not to invite me."
"You're quite bright for your age," Shisui quipped. "Now why don't you take that dazzling brilliance elsewhere and stop giving my cousin a heart attack?"
Ayama smirked wickedly and dangled a pink and white bag in front of his nose. "You would not even ask for what reason I should come this far?"
"Because you're an idiot?"
Ayama's eyes narrowed and she stuck her nose in the air. "Fine. See if I care whether or not you like pocky."
"You just do that - wait! Did you say... pocky?" Shisui's demeanor changed drastically and he made a dive for the bag. Ayama snatched it away, her two tomoed sharingan twirling merrily.
"Sorry, I heard that bribes only work on the weak willed," she trilled softly. Taking a small package out of the bag, she handed it to Sasuke.
"I asked Mikoto-San this time; she said you like tomatoes."
Sasuke accepted the small carton reluctantly, wondering if it had been poisoned. Shisui leapt forward with a voracious expression, sneaking a peek and whimpering when the bag was taken away.
"That's strawberry pocky," he said hopefully.
"And dango for Itachi-kun," Ayama added, handing a second package to the one adressed. "Of course, I would not consider that you would be interested in a gift from the "spiteful she-vixen.'"
"That's "spiteful, impertinent, bratty, troublesome, little she-vixen,'" Shisui corrected as he darted for the forbidden treats. "This is a bribe, isn't it? How'd you know pocky was my favorite?"
"I just watched you shop with your cousin," Ayama smirked. "It was really quite easy."
Shisui snorted, irritated that his attempts were yet thwarted. "You should've been a shinobi, twerp."
"There is still a chance," Ayama allowed, removing a pocky stick and dangling it in front of his nose. "I always did want to marry a Hokage. I shall be eighteen in a very few short years."
Shisui glared, snatching the pocky stick and turning his back to her. "Sorry, I just vowed to remain single for life. When did you stop chasing my cousin, anyhow?"
"When did you stop calling me an ugly toad behind my back?"
"Irrelevant question," Shisui snorted. "I still think you're a two faced villain with delusions of competing in a beauty contest with a salamander."
"As if you are not a thick headed, clumsy oaf of a chimpanze yourself," Ayama retaliated heatedly.
"And quite happy to admit it," Shisui said cheekily, sneaking another pocky stick.
Ayama sniffed derisively, dangling the bag from one finger. "So, is a bribe enough to convince you to allow me to visit Mikoto-San un-apprehended?"
Shisui regarded the sweets for an instant before snatching the box and scarfing down another of his favorite candies. "Five minutes, no interference," he promised.
Ayama tossed her head primly, heading down the worn path with a dancer's step. Shisui's eyes followed her until Itachi noisily cleared his throat.
"One word, cousin," Shisui swore, casting a dark glare on his shorter relative, "And you're going going for a swim in the most disgusting, miry swamp I can find."
Itachi smirked in response, stuffing the dango pack in his pocket and returning to assist a bemused Tazuna. Shisui looked down the path again, watching the pink and white patch of color disappear over the hill.
"You know," he admitted, "She's not that bad once you get to know her. Some of her insults are rather creative when you think about it."
Sasuke just stared at him, shaking his head.
"What?" Shisui defended himself. "Have you ever tried holding a verbal sparring match with a porcupine before? Those things are dangerous?"
"You like her," Sasuke snorted.
"Hey, no comment from I'm-smarter-than-my-older-cousin here concerning - I do not like her!"
"Yes, you do."
"You're acting childish."
"You're only nine, you're not the one to talk here!"
"Are you sure you're destined to be Hokage?"
Shisui shoved a pocky stick in his cousin's mouth, and Sasuke gagged on the sugary texture.
"Chew on that for a while and tell me I was sweet talking that old hag who's been tormenting Itachi."
Sasuke glared at his cousin, wondering if it was permissable to knock out a couple of the future Rokudaime Hokage's teeth. Shisui shoved his shoulder, almost knocking him into the lake, and with a cackle of mirth the battle for justice commenced.
Some distance away a masked figure watched the two Uchiha, scorning their childish atics. The one standing some distance away he had anticipated for his own key to vengeance, before the boy had been broken and remade, warped into a petty object of nobility that revulsed him to the core. Bitterly disappointed he turned away, disgusted by the turn of events. He would have his revenge, eventually. Now was not the time, however.
The crippled raven was useless to him now. A powerful shinobi he may become, but his moment of crisis had come and gone in a forenight with only his pathetic, respectable cousin to guide his way. He could have offered the boy the chance to become invincible. Now the prodigy was only another tool of Konoha, his potential wasted in this poor excuse of a community.
There would be others, however; he had but to bide his time and wait for the perfect one to come along. The young hawk was showing promise in spite of his brother's overbearing potential. Indeed, he would watch this one and wait for the opportune moment to arrive.
Slipping into the shadows, the Unnamed One passed a hand over his mask and vanished in a burst of spirals.
Sasuke tensed as a chakra signature flickered close by, dark and powerful as Orochimaru's had been. He shuddered and glanced over his shoulder. Nothing out of the ordinary caught his attention, and with a shrug he locked the suspicion away for future knowledge. At the present moment he refused to consider anything that would ruin a perfect day. Shisui was here for a visit, Itachi was safe and alive, and the future held more possibilities than ever before.
Even if a certain blond idiot caused a mortified Tsunami to faint as he performed a sexy-no-jutsu in front of the entire village.
Leaping after his adopted brother with the vow to murder him slowly, Sasuke tore after Naruto without even bothering to activate his sharingan. Until the dobe discovered his potential as a jinchuriki, why bother? He'd catch up to him eventually.
Overhead the sun slowly dipped into the horizon, and a raven tested its newly healed wings and took to flight once more.
Whew! Finally finished another story! :D
This fic was conspired to settle a two year long grudge against Sasuke after he stupidly and ungratefully crippled his brother permanently in another thrice cursed story. (Wow, I really need to take the fictional world less seriously.) Now whenever I get mad at Sasuke I can re-read the poisoning chapter and cackle madly as he suffers from a guilt trip. XD