All right, first chapter up. I want to keep the basic storyline the same as that of its predecessor, and make it a little more believable, if I can manage it. I'm also hoping that the re-write will help me work my inspiration back up so I can actually finish this one.
Sasuke sat quietly at one of the tables, chin on interlocked fists and ignoring the conversations around him but for the instinctive tracking for danger. He repressed a sigh, keeping his face impassive—he'd been a real jerk at this age.
One good thing about being tossed into his younger self, though—with not even fading traces of Oorchimaru's curse-seal, his mind was clear and his emotions stable. A relief. He hadn't realized just how much of an effect that seal had had on him until it was gone.
He set those thoughts aside as the door slammed open, revealing Sakura and Ino, the pre-teens bickering loudly over who would sit next to him. He'd deliberately taken the inside seat, leaving the window open, making it more difficult for someone to sit next to him.
Save, hopefully, Naruto who was more than likely going to take the window-entrance due to long-instilled paranoia.
Then again… was it really paranoia when most of the world really was out to get him?
Thinking of the orange eyesore… there he was. Only not an orange eyesore as he darted across rooftops towards the open window—dark grey dominated his outfit, fairly standard shinobi-wear, and a grey bandana covered his head. If not for Sasuke's familiarity with the chakra signature, he would never have recognized his friend.
It made sense, Sasuke supposed. He himself was wearing a dimmer shade of blue than usual for his apparent age, forgoing the Uchiha fan. It felt… vulnerable to be in this young, weak body. Whereas Naruto-the-Hokage was powerful enough to not need to hide and Naruto-the-dobe too recklessly honorable, Naruto-the-war-veteran knew when discretion was needed. The outfit he was wearing was similar to the ANBU gear, and anyone with a brain knew that those uniforms were for more than show.
Naruto slipped in the window, that peculiar twist of mixed chakra that he could do turning attention away from him as though he wasn't there, save for Sasuke. He was familiar enough with the trick to ignore the subtle desire to glance away.
A half-seal and a flicker and Naruto was back to wearing a slightly toned-down version of his orange jumpsuit, the bandana tucked away in a pocket. The henged outfit was a darker orange, more similar to the colors he'd worn as Hokage, and not a jumpsuit, the clothing pattern matching the grey outfit he was really wearing. That made it easier to hold a henge for long periods of time—the more similarities to reality, the easier it was to hold an illusion.
Of course, Sasuke wasn't sure if that applied to Naruto's not-henge shapeshift that he called a henge.
Naruto's chakra smoothed and the desire to look elsewhere faded. Taking that as permission, Sasuke nodded to his leader, "Naruto," he acknowledged.
"Sasuke," Naruto returned, the hint of a smile playing at the corner of his mouth.
Sasuke nodded once, "Glad you made it."
Dead silence fell over the classroom as every eye turned to the pair.
Sasuke had just spoken to Naruto. Voluntarily. Politely. What was going on?
Iruka's timely arrival managed to get the class' attention off the two 'returning' students, and the subsequent announcing of the Gennin teams erased thoughts of the two's oddly friendly interaction. For the most part, anyway.
The teams were as Naruto and Sasuke had expected, as they hadn't arrived early enough to change that. For which there was a bit of gratitude—even if she was back to fan-girl stage, it was good to have the familiarity of Sakura as the third teammate. There was trepidation, too, because… well, what if they forgot she wasn't as strong as they remembered, and did something—or didn't do something—that got her killed?
Neither of them would be able to forgive themselves. They had to be careful.
Still, if they were going to change the future, they had to start changing.
Iruka's voice drew the two of them back to the present as he dismissed the class for lunch.
Naruto glanced to Sasuke and hopped out the window, the Uchiha only a heartbeat behind.
"Spar?" Sasuke asked as Naruto stopped in 'their' training ground.
"That's the idea!" Naruto grinned briefly at his friend, "We need to figure out what we can do. Obviously, our bodies aren't up to scratch, but let's see how our chakra control is doing."
They had gotten there mostly by roof-hopping, which didn't really take much control—or chakra—and neither of them had found the time to really test.
"Jutsu?" Sasuke asked.
Naruto nodded, "Any, so long as we don't leave recognizable marks from the ones we shouldn't know, yet. After I set up a privacy screen."
Sasuke nodded. Naruto's version of a privacy screen projected the idea that nothing interesting was going on in whatever area he was screening. People would ignore it, unlike the barriers that simply made it impossible to see or hear what was going on inside. Sure, Naruto's did that too, but it was made much less obvious by his twist of chakra and will.
It didn't take either of them long to figure out control was pretty much shot. Naruto was unable to make a Rasengan without a clone and Sasuke's lightning struck erratically.
"Damn," Naruto grumbled, "All right, that's enough. We're gonna have to practice control. Try no jutsu—weapons and taijutsu only." They still needed to figure out exact physical limitations, after all.
Sasuke nodded, cancelling his half-formed fireball and replacing it with a rain of senbon.
Naruto dodged with more difficulty than he had expected, grimaced and fell back on a kunai and academy stance that felt a little—off.
Damn. Muscle memory was built up to the wrong forms, still.
Sasuke noticed, lowering his guard and signaling an end to the spar. "This isn't going to work right now. Let's work on getting ourselves back in shape before anything else."
Naruto nodded, making a face. "Ugh. I hate Mizuki. He's the one who taught me all the wrong forms!"
Sasuke perked up in a distinctly hostile way, "Can I kill him?"
Naruto considered that, "Probably not. He was taken into custody last night, and right now neither of us is ready to stage a jailbreak. Besides, he broke The Law. He might already be dead."
"Huh," Sasuke almost pouted, "Too bad. I wanted to kill him myself."
Naruto smiled slightly, warmed. "Thanks."
Sasuke shrugged, "Anyway, we should probably be heading back, soon. We don't want to pull a Kakashi when we aren't supposed to know how late he'll be."
"True," Naruto scuffed out the seals he'd placed around the training ground, glad that his fuuinjutsu still worked just fine. "Let's go."
They got back to the classroom before Kakashi, thankfully, and shrugged at Iruka's raised eyebrow. "You said our teacher was Hatake Kakashi. You know his reputation."
Iruka did, at that, but how did two newly-minted Gennin? Upon asking, Sasuke rolled his eyes.
"Of course the clan kept records on the only known non-Uchiha with a Sharingan."
While Iruka was distracted with Sasuke, Naruto grabbed a chalkboard eraser, found a desk, pulled out some paper, and set about drawing a hasty seal.
The prank from their first meeting with Kakashi had lacked… flair. However, it had also been effective, sooooo…
"Naruto?" Iruka asked curiously as the blond set the eraser in the middle of the scrawled seal.
A pulse of chakra activated the array, transferring its energy to the eraser. A second seal hid the chakra signature.
… Was that even possible?
Naruto grinned and arranged the eraser above the door, where it would fall on a certain unwary Jounin's head, then a third drawn seal and another pulse of chakra had the paper he'd used crumbling to ash.
Sakura sputtered, but Sasuke only smirked and Iruka decided to let it slide. He'd not seen Naruto set up on of his rather infamous pranks before, and had to admit to curiosity. Besides, the likelihood that it would actually work on Sharingan Kakashi was fairly slim.
Five minutes later, an eraser fell on a grey-haired head in a puff of chalk dust—and everywhere the dust settled turned to shades of eye-wrenching greens, yellows, blues, and oranges that constantly shifted, drawing the eye against one's will.
A lone eye twitched as Naruto laughed and Sasuke let out a reluctant chuckle. Sakura stammered in horrified amusement, unsure whether to apologize or laugh, and Iruka hid a smile.
"My first impression of you… I hate you already."
Iruka couldn't help it. He laughed.