Naruto: Wind Monk Banishment 11 (Main)
Chapter 11: Three Uchihas in the Leaves
Author's Note: Looking back I noticed how when I started writing this series I had far more comedic moments I drew from other fanfics as sources of inspiration. Thus it can only be assumed that the recent influx of dark fics has drastically darkened my view and thus my plot. A lot changes in two years…that being said, let's do this.
Also: I also want to add that Madara in the manga being responsible for Rin being a Jinchuuriki and her death ultimately are really contrived in an attempt to redeem Obito.
A few years ago
Sasuke Uchiha felt a set of eyes upon his back as he walked through the streets of Konoha. It was roughly two months after he had been returned, forcefully, to the village he abandoned at the promise of power; tainted power, which had been sealed away by a man much more proficient than Kakashi when it came to that art.
He had been allowed two hours time to walk around before he ended back up in holding for his attempted defection to 'get some sun' according to one of them, but there was probably a hidden purpose within it. Thankfully it had not been made public beyond those knowledgeable about the mission, but it was clear that the ANBU shinobi trailing him was making themselves known as a warning. If he did or said anything that went against what amounted to his house arrest, he would be back in a cell so fast that the world would spin.
He continued to walk, allowing the hood of the cloak he had been given by the Sannin to hide his face. It was pale after they had their way with him, reinforcing the seal on the Cursed Mark and making him read those reports over and over before sealing away his chakra as well. He was just a well-trained civilian at best, powerless in the grand scope of things. Nowhere near strong enough to kill his brother…
… No, he didn't even want that anymore. He didn't know what he wanted. His clan was planning to do something akin to what his brother and whoever aided him had done as well. They were just strangers and their lives didn't hold as much meaning as his clan's in his eyes, but any notion of moral myopia was now fallible. What purpose did he have now?
These two hours were a punishment he was sure. Where could he go in the two hours he was allowed? The Training Grounds and any shinobi-related places were off-limits. His clan compound as well. Those places were all he knew in his quest for power and now they were taken away, so what was left? All he could do was walk around while making himself as indiscernible as the next civilian going to and fro on the street.
Eventually he grew bored of walking and, shamefully, allowed his guard to drop from the ennui. As a result he was shamefully caught unaware as a slender hand and feminine voice came from beside him. He brushed the hand aside and leapt back, reaching for where he normally kept his weapons on instinct despite their absence.
He then caught the surprised look on the face of a slender young woman, long brown hair falling down her back that was only tamed by a white bandanna atop it. The white robe and dark blue apron indicated she was a waitress. Her caramel eyes took on a soft and apologetic appearance as she spoke. "Sorry if I frightened you."
"You didn't," he said curtly. His pride wouldn't allow him to admit she did. He wasn't that humbled. "What do you want?"
"You're Sasuke, if I recall?" she asked. "You're Naruto's teammate, aren't you?"
"I… was…." He shifted a little. "How do you know who I am? Who are you?"
"My name is Ayame." The older girl's smile was rather gentle despite his tone being harsh. "He's said a lot about you and your face matched the picture he showed me when he got assigned as part of a team. I thought maybe you could tell me if he's okay? Dad and I have been worried and everyone is openly talking about the Kyuubi and how it's inside of him and—"
"You didn't know?" he interjected.
"I was surprised, I admit," she confessed. "But he was like a sweet little brother to me. I just want to know if he's okay after everything, but I can't find him. Not his place or anywhere. Dad and I are worried…"
Like a little brother… Her words resonated in his mind and overlapped with Itachi's. Did she care for Naruto like Itachi did for him in the past? The thought kept popping up in his mind as she looked at him with hopeful anticipation for an answer.
The ANBU was still there, their presence still within the range of his heightened senses that weren't dulled by boredom or stray thoughts anymore, waiting to see how he responded. With a careful and level voice he said, "He's on a training trip… I suppose."
He looked in the direction towards where he sensed the ANBU. Whoever it was hadn't made a move. They knew it was a lie if they were watching him, so it was tolerable.
"Why would he leave without telling us anything?" she wondered aloud. "He's normally so loud about when he had a mission to leave the village and comes to say goodbye."
There was a brief flash in Sasuke's mind as he recalled their last encounter, the clashing of lighting and the spiraling sphere. The next level of the Sharingan and the teachings of the Snake Sannin were to be traded in exchange for his best friend's life. The lightning penetrated his chest as the spiraling sphere petered out, never intent on delivering the fatal blow, only for the blond to strike him with a blow to the head using a clone hidden behind him during the clash.
He shook himself out of it and said, "Because of a mistake I made he felt like he wasn't strong enough and left with the Hokage's permission. I don't know when he'll be back."
She regarded his expression for a moment, her lips pursed and her gaze inquisitive. Then her expression returned to its soft nature and she grabbed his hand. "Come sit, please. I'll treat you to a meal as a thank you."
He tried to refuse, but she was insistent and he was starving. The food they gave him in what amounted to his cell was horrid enough that he'd eat just about anything else. He wasn't even picky at the moment as she made him a bowl of ramen and then presented it.
However, what she whispered in his ear as she set down the bowl, the sound of the broth boiling and vegetables sizzling overlapping it in the background, once more caught him by surprise. "You were lying."
"I don't know what—" Sasuke was cut off when she pressed a finger to his lips.
"I've known Naruto for a long time," she started with, resting her elbow on the counter top as she leaned over and met his gaze. "I know what someone who's hurt and trying to mask that pain looks like, not to mention you looked over your shoulder like you were being watched. You probably can't tell me the complete truth because it's a ninja-thing, but I could see how pained it was for you to say those words to me."
"Why aren't you angry then?" Sasuke asked under his breath instead of denying it. "It's all my fault."
"Mistakes can be amended. What matters is if you really feel bad about. I can see you do," she finished as she removed her finger. On her way back to the kitchen she turned and gave him a wink as she said, "Enjoy the meal."
Clever girl, he thought. Given how he had a reputation for attracting fangirls and Naruto had spoken about him, it would look like she was flirting while the sounds coming from the kitchen would've muted the conversation unless the ANBU had put in more effort, in which case they would've hidden their presence better from the start.
She knew the truth about Naruto, the source of the hatred that was directed to him, and still considered him family. Sasuke couldn't help but wonder if things had turned out differently for him if that was the type of person he had supporting him like Naruto did? How would she react if she knew how he tried to kill the person she saw as a little brother just for the sake of power? Would she hate or forgive him?
He just didn't know. The thought of that gentle face of hers contorted into something ugly by hatred sobered him as he finished the meal in silence. It honestly made him sick to even entertain the notion what hatred could possibly twist someone who appeared as nice as she was into making such an expression. Was that the type of feeling that Itachi tried to foster in him by making him remember the massacre and the moment he killed his parents?
What did Itachi want me to become? Sasuke wondered, brooded even. Then he decided he didn't feel like walking around anymore with the hour he had left. Standing in the alley and out of sight he said to the nameless watcher, "Take me back. I've had enough sun."
Silence followed. Then the ANBU appeared in a swirl of leaves. He grabbed his shoulder and then Body Flickered with him towards the holding facility, the sensation nostalgic to Sasuke after only two months without being able to feel chakra flowing through him. Soon he was back where he had been left to rot only to find there was a familiar face covered by a mask at the bottom waiting while reading an orange book.
"Kakashi," Sasuke said as he sat on his bed.
"Yo," his former Jounin responded back as he put away the book. There was none of the usual joviality in his tone as he did so. Instead there was underlying fury and something akin to failure. "I didn't expect you to be here for another hour. Just as well, I finished that chapter anyway."
"I'm surprised it wasn't you who was watching me," Sasuke said plainly.
Kakashi shook his head. "My teaching methods and apparent negligence have been called into question. On principle having me watch you would be against protocol due to potential attachments. I'm only allowed to be here because I'm to inform you two things on the Hokage's orders."
Sasuke listened. There wasn't much else he could do. There were no books in the plain room, only a bed and walls.
"The first was that I went tracking for Naruto following Jiraiya-sama's leads," Kakashi stated. For a moment Sasuke felt uncharacteristically hopeful that he had found him. But his gut said otherwise and he clamped down on those feelings. "He's gone."
"What do you mean gone?" Sasuke asked. "How hard is it to find an idiot dressed in orange without the ability to use jutsu?"
Kakashi reprimanded him with a glare that nearly stilled the Genin's heart. Silence followed until he deemed to speak. "He went towards the Land of Wind. Desert lands all around, not known for its hospitality at all, not the first place we would look or hope to. We confirmed he crossed the border and a message was sent to Suna asking if he was there. He wasn't."
"They're lying," Sasuke stated.
"So soon after the invasion they're not really in a position to do so," he said. Left unsaid was that the spies Jiraiya had within the village confirmed it as well. "Not to mention that we never went over desert-survival or where their village was located at. Even with a map and the limited supplies he had bought, the sandstorms would play a large factor too and they were active this time of year…"
In other words there was a chance he was one more lost to the desert. "So he's…"
"Presumed deceased until proven otherwise on paper, anyway," Kakashi stated bluntly. The next few words he spoke with his voice emotionless, a feat that took great effort on the part of the Jounin. "His name won't even go on the Memorial Stone."
Sasuke failed on that end, a hitch to be heard as he ground out, "What do you mean?"
"The first reason was because he wasn't technically a shinobi anymore," Kakashi stated. "The second is that doing so would be the same thing as confirming he was dead, something that the Hokage and few others aren't willing to do. If the Kyuubi shows up in nine or so years then we'll know, but until then all anyone has is hope…"
More silence followed as he digested the information. The idiot who went through so much abuse to become a Hokage so people would respect him was denied even the right to be remembered as a ninja. The person who he considered killing for the sake of gaining more power, to awaken the next level of his eyes like Itachi told him and to go to Orochimaru, as well as the person who didn't give up on him because he claimed to be his friend, would only be known as the demon fox who mocked the corps with his actions while only a few would know the truth.
It rankled him. "Why are you telling me this, Kakashi?"
"I thought you should know the complete scope of what your lust for power had wrought." Kakashi turned his back on him. "Most of the shinobi who are aware of your defection-attempt have less than pleasant feelings towards you, most notably the parents of those whose children were injured bringing you back. The only goodwill towards you that exists is the ignorant, those who believe the Cursed Mark influenced your thoughts, and…well, you can guess that…"
The words brought to mind Ayame. The last goodwill he had was from those who Naruto was close with. Someone who considered him a brother… who Sasuke had taken away from her…
"Back to the second thing," Kakashi said after giving him a moment to think over his words. "In three months time there will be an evaluation of your mental state and a council of shinobi will judge whether or not you should be reinstated at all. We only need to keep you in the village and keeping your chakra permanently sealed while under watch or imprisoned to ensure your bloodline safety is a viable means of doing so. There's a very good chance you won't even be allowed to be a part of the Reserves since you don't have decent clearance and you did commit treason.
"I would suggest taking up a hobby that you can eventually profit off as a civilian, if they let you out that is. You don't need the money, per se, but it would do well to help you pass the time…" Without even so much as a goodbye he left after that. It was clear that Kakashi, the man who claimed those who abandoned their comrades were worse than trash, saw him as just that much.
Just like that he was in his cell all alone again with his thoughts. He focused on the aftertaste of the ramen that still lingered in his mouth to hold back what felt like guilt.
Present - With Sasuke
The sound of humming was clear as day to his trained ears. Even over the sizzling of meat over the flames of his stove. Sasuke spared a glance over his shoulder to turn to the source.
Ayame sat at the table in a dress and blouse, her long hair drifting down past her shoulders. There was a small smile on her face that grew a little wider as their eyes met past the candle that burned on the table.
It was date night for the all intents and purposes since they hadn't spent as much time together between him training to retrieve Naruto and guarding him, while she worked at her father's stand. Sasuke, wanting to keep his private life out of the public view, only allowed for a few to know about them. To that end he escorted her into the Uchiha District under a jutsu to hide her appearance, just to be safe.
"It's almost ready," he told her, returning his gaze to the food. The vegetables were done already, as was the rice. All that was left was the meat. "Just another minute and it'll be done."
"Take your time," she insisted, her brown eyes flickering in the glow of the candle. "It's attractive watching a man cook."
He allowed himself to give a short chuckle at that. "Well, I needed a fall back and working with fire and heat comes naturally to an Uchiha. If I had to do something else it seemed like a good idea at the time."
"Oh?" She honestly sounded amused by that. "So you didn't do it just to impress Dad and me? After all, you came to our Ramen Shop over and over to eat and ask for advice. I thought it was cute, like a stray puppy coming over and over and slowly opening up."
"I was thirteen back then. I didn't entertain the thought of dating back then," he said with a hint of mirth as he cut off the eye of the stove and prepared the plates. True, he wanted to get to know them better out of some guilt and to know Naruto better than what was on the papers he was shown, and yes she was a very attractive young woman only a few years his senior. "It just happened."
"Deny it all you want," she teased as he set down the plates on the tables and took his seat. "We both know the truth, Sasuke-kun…"
He shuddered at that. "Drop the suffix, please. It reminds me too much of less desirable women."
She only made a light hum before she cut started on her meal. The pair ate in silence. When done, she gave him her opinion. "You've improved so much since then. If you do decide to become a chef, you'd do well."
"Hn." He took the plates and put them in the sink before turning to find that Ayame was waiting for him on the couch, patting the cushion next to her. Sasuke took a seat and brushed aside her hair to meet her gaze head-on. "So…same as before?"
"Remember not to make it go on for too long," she warned him. Her tone was more playful than strict. "You're still trying to keep on my Dad's good side so we can't spend too long in it this time."
Their lips met for a moment in a kiss as she leaned forward. He didn't resist. Instead he pulled her further into it and brought her on top of him as they laid there. When she pulled away she found herself starting into the famed eyes of the Uchiha and the intimate genjutsu was woven for the both of them…
On the Outskirts of Konoha
At the edge of the village, near a clearing, there stood two guards adorned in ANBU masks, both remaining vigilant as their duty entailed. They were ordered to stand guard in that location while their brethren met with their leader as he discussed what steps they would take next secure the Jinchuuriki of the Leaf that had gone astray over the last few years. Measures would be taken to reinstall loyalty to the Leaf in it and bring it to heel for the good of the village.
A few had already been taken, such as a few of the other ANBU who had been assigned to protect the Jinchuuriki and subsequently replaced. Their deaths were a necessity that would prove beneficial towards the village in the end and thus not lamented, and with the Hokage preoccupied with village matters and Jiraiya out of the village few would be able to stop them. While those two were respected for their abilities their emotions weighed them down and so did their attachments.
ROOT had no such thing. They were efficient and washed their hands in blood so that the village would remain as strong as possible. Even if the pair had some question of what they were doing from a moral standpoint, which they didn't, their thoughts on the matter were irrelevant for two reasons.
The first was because they were Danzo's men and unfailingly loyal to him. He was the one the village would flourish under and become strong and stable. They were to be his tools in bringing that to fruition.
The second was because they heard the sound of kunai slicing through the air from behind, two of them to be exact, and both were preparing to penetrate their skulls from behind to embed themselves into their brains for a quick death. With practiced grace and efficiently they both averted death by leaning their heads to the side, allowing the weapons to pass by harmlessly, and then spun on their heels with their weapons drawn, a Tanto in one hand and a Ninja-Tou in the other.
It was then they came face-to-face with the man in a black cloak adorned with red clouds. With raven black hair that fell into the high-raised collar, they faced a pair of pitch onyx eyes that were set in a stern manner beneath a Leaf bandana that was crossed off. They knew in a glance they faced the S-Class Missing-Nin, Itachi Uchiha.
Then death came from them as they felt cold steel against their neck, before a wedge of pain followed the tip piercing the skin and drawing a crimson smile, life-blood leaking to the grass below and staining the dark viridian with what seemed to be luminous scarlet in the moonlight. Even if having their throat slit didn't finish the job, the kunai were rammed into the base of brainstem from behind to be certain.
The bodies dropped as the weapons were removed to reveal two more copies of the man, solid and wielding kunai with the same lackadaisical expression as the original. Both kneeled down. One grabbed the sword of the dead guard and the other planted a hand onto the seemingly normal patch of grass. The sword was immediately tossed to the original, who caught it in his right hand, while the patch of grass suddenly popped open to reveal a hidden hatch.
The three descended into the darkness of the cavern that had been hollowed out, leading towards the village. The Sharingan came alive, the eyes of insight unveiling the darkness as they ventured forward and navigated the seal traps that laid along the path ahead to be traversed by the ROOT agents through memorization. They eventually stumbled upon a dead end at the edge of the corridor, where what looked to be sheer rock blocked their path with no opening in sight. It needed to be opened from the other side.
With nary a word the two spare clones let their chakra seep around them and into the ground, to change how they interacted with one another. The Underground Projection Fish technique was an immensely useful technique to that end since they were underground, simple in nature as they melded into the ground and swam beneath it to the other side while the original waited patiently with the blade in hand. It was something picked up during his time in Akatsuki, who he spent a few years in the service of. While his purpose in joining the organization was to better serve the Leaf, he would admit that though the actions he took were less than noble he found himself sympathizing with their leader and his partner.
Pain sought peace the only way he believed that Shinobi could attain it, through unmitigated force that would put the fear of God into them. He sought a weapon that would instill the horror that combat wrought into all who possessed it. True the plan was flawed, in that all it would take was one person who was enamored with the destruction to get their hands on the weapon and then all would be lost, but one could admire the resolve he had towards attaining his goal.
Kisame was much the same, Itachi supposed. While he didn't shy away from violence and even basked in it, the man admired the truth above all else. Considering he lived as one who was part of a world of all lies such a contradiction must have troubled him to no end.
The clones swam beneath the surface of the ground and until they emerged on the other side of the wall, bursting out of the ground in the room with six ROOT agents on guard. The two by the wall where the original waited were the first to perish once more as kunai found the soft flesh of their throat and cleaved through it to spray the wall red in an arch. Touching the dual switches that the guards would have activated upon the pass-code being rapped against the wall, the original came into view as the door slid open upwards and they faced two of the others who fell sway to his eyes of hypnotism.
The two ROOT who were enthralled by the Sharingan drew two kunai and threw them, one burying itself into the skull of the throwers and the other two catching the chest of one of the remaining two to end his life as well. The final guard in the room moved. He made a break for the exit to go and alert Danzo of what had transpired, only to come face-to-face with the original that Body Flickered ahead of him.
Holding onto the blade of the Ninja-Tou to his side, the mirror wheel eyes of red spun as a Genjutsu took hold of him and false memories and a mental directive embedded into his mind like the claws of a crow digging into flesh. Itachi handed him a scroll, which he accepted, and then stepped aside as the ROOT agent continued to run and alert Danzo without being the wiser of what had happened to him.
Looking at the corpses Itachi noted to himself that normally having them turn on their comrades took a few seconds longer, but Danzo's conditioning had made it much easier. They were trained not to see beyond the scope of the mission and everything else was expendable, including their own lives and those of their allies. It was sad, in a way, that these were what served as the ideal Shinobi, mere tools to be discarded.
A small sigh escaped his lips from behind the high collar of his cloak as he and his clones proceeded onwards to finish things here as their unwitting puppet moved on ahead. He could pick up the scent of hellfire and the screams ahead. His trap was sprung.
It was time to clean up the rot beneath the Leaf…
The Memorial Stone
It was a beautiful night tonight, Tobi mused while gazing up from in front of the Memorial Stone to the moon above. He was taking a moment from his task inside his own personal dimension. His left fingers were tenderly caressing a single name upon it: Rin.
She was his teammate. She was his friend. She was the woman he loved enough to die for once.
And she was killed, by the man she had loved and the man he trusted to look after her.
When he was still Obito he rushed to their aid as they were pursued, only to arrive in time to witness Kakashi driving his Chidori through her chest and killing her. He knew the truth. He knew that she had thrown herself into it. But it still caused him pain, pain unlike anything he had felt before, as his eye morphed into the Mamgekyo Sharingan.
It was then he could see the truth. He could see that the system itself was to blame, villages competing against one another in their power games. Human nature twisting their gifts into weapons until everything was dyed in the color of blood. The world was unsalvageable… thus he turned to the moon for a better world.
Tobi turned from the stone to stare at the Hokage Monument, towards the face of his former leader. A man he admired and trusted at one point. The very man whose life he had sought to end to attain key towards the Eternal Tsukiyomi.
While the man managed to fight him off, as one would expect from a Hokage, he and his wife still died as sacrifices towards the path to the eternal dream. The life they fought so desperately to protect and ultimately sacrificed themselves for, their son, would be another. Had there been anything left of "Obito" he would admit that he was a monster.
But for Tobi it didn't matter. Nothing in this world mattered when the world he would bring forth was a better one. In that world he could raise the dead and peace would reign within it, something that many aspired for as they were covered in the blood of the innocent and their enemies.
He had already waded through the sea of blood that made up this chaos-riddled land and soon he would finish what he started. When he succeeded and brought them to paradise the deaths and betrayals would not be so many or in vain. Results could wipe any sin.
The space around him twisted as he was pulled into his own dimension, a black world with a number of columns that existed to serve as the floor. Sitting down on the floor, next to a corpse, was the silent and dull-eyed form of White Zetsu. Or rather it was a clone of him while the real White and Black Zetsu were busy in Suna retrieving the Seven-Tails.
He had brought a pair of the clones with him, one already in the field and laying the ground work while the other was kept in reserve here until the proper time. They premature in development, flawed but not without purpose. They could transform into a near-perfect replica of anyone whose chakra they sampled.
The one in the field was already under the guise of a Root ANBU whose corpse now occupied his world, and would be discarded once they got what they came for. The other would be the jinchuuriki. The less people who suspected he was kept alive, the easier it would be to hold him until it was time for the extraction.
The idea would be that an ANBU went rogue and killed the jinchuuriki while he slept under some machination of Danzo. The copy-body would of course be missing the chakra of the Kyuubi, leading to them believing he had extracted it from the jinchuuriki. ROOT would be eliminated by the superior force of the Hokage and Danzo dealt with, no one in the wiser while he worked.
All he needed was a single witness to the scenario he had planned out…
End Note: As you can guess Sasuke was not easily forgiven by everyone and had to build that trust up over time. A lot happened in those four years since then. Also yes, he did use his eyes of hypnotism for some Genjutsu-play with Ayame since he respects Teuchi's wishes for her not to sleep with him as a loop-hole (off-screen).
Ah, the potential of illusions is so great and vast without needed the finer details…
More violence to come next chapter.