Disclaimer: I don't own anything from Naruto. This is written purely for my own enjoyment and I make absolutely no money.
Author's notes: I know I shouldn't start another story and instead work on my two existing ones, but ever since I saw the idea for this story on nobody102's profile it just wouldn't leave my head. Please see author notes at the bottom for a summary.
The Scorned Son
Sasuke Uchiha watched with his usual impassive expression as Iruka-sensei gave them a last few words of advice. Today was the day of their graduation. Finally they would be able to leave the academy and truly begin their life as shinobi of the Leaf. Steadfastly he ignored the adoring looks the girls of the class gave him.
'A few more hours and I will never have to deal with them again this closely.'
Soon enough it was time for the three man teams to be announced. Name after name was called, but his wasn't amongst them. Patiently he waited for his turn. Hopefully his teammates wouldn't get in his way.
"Okay, the next team is Team 7. Sasuke Uchiha, Sakura Haruno and Ino Yamanaka." Iruka-sensei announced.
Sasuke felt his insides freeze. The following moment of silence simultaneously lasted an eternity and passed by in an instant.
"SASUKE-KUN, WE WILL BE TOGETHER FOREVER!" two shrill voices screamed simultaneously directly into his ears. The owners of the voices latched onto his sides, holding him tightly. Sasuke struggled to free himself, but that only caused the girls to hold tighter onto him.
Heedless of the black-haired boy's plight Iruka continued announcing the teams. "Okay, that's it. Take a break until the afternoon and get to know your teammates better."
He felt himself be grabbed and dragged out of the classroom. A chaotic journey later he was lying naked in some dark room. His arms and legs were tightly bound and a ball gag prevented him from speaking. Vainly trying to free himself Sasuke could only watch as his two captors stripped down.
"Sasuke-kun, we love you!"
"You'll have no choice but to marry us both when we're through with you!"
Sasuke tried to scream, but the gag prevented him from making loud sounds. A blindfold descended over his eyes. Two warm bodies pressed against his and his mind descended into a confused jumble.
When he could see again he was in a brightly lit room. Loudly screaming children of all ages with blond and pink hair were running around and he was helplessly trying to catch up with them. In the background two adult, obese women who bore a striking resemblance to Ino and Sakura shouted at him with their screeching voices going at maximum volume.
"Sasuke-kun, change the diapers! Sasuke-kun, feed the babies! Sasuke-kun, make love to us! We'll never let you go!"
Sasuke woke with an inhuman cry of terror. His heart was pounding a staccato and he was drenched in cold sweat. Panicked eyes took in his bedroom, dimly lit by the pale moonlight. It was thankfully empty and silent.
The boy slumped back onto his bed in relief. 'It was only a nightmare.'
Taking a moment to untangle himself from the bed sheets, he stumbled into the bathroom and splashed water into his face. He was still badly shaken, but slowly his conscious mind reasserted itself. While Sakura and Ino were the most persistent of his female admirers they wouldn't resort to rape. Hopefully.
When he returned to his bedroom he looked out the window. The eastern horizon was already becoming lighter. Dawn was coming and it wouldn't be worth it to go back to sleep. After a shower and donning fresh clothes Sasuke headed out to grab something to eat.
Sasuke chose one of the countless food stalls to provide his breakfast this morning. Konoha hardly ever slept and there were already quite a lot of people on the streets; even by night shinobi were coming and going. He didn't really pay attention to what he was eating; it was filling and not too bad-tasting.
Two workmen sat a short distance away, eating their own meal. The mentioning of his name drew his attention to them.
"Hey, isn't that the last Uchiha? Never thought one of those would eat in company of such as us. They were always too proud."
"Shh, don't bring up the Uchiha. Uchiha-sama doesn't like it when people talk about his clan."
"I can understand that. It was a tragedy and a great loss for Konoha. Well, I'm sure he will make his clan proud."
Sasuke's expression didn't change in the slightest when he finished his meal, paid the tab and left the stall and the patrons behind. The man was right; Sasuke didn't like it when people brought up his clan, especially not to his face. What no one knew was the true reason for that. They probably all assumed that he was still distraught about his older brother slaughtering the entire clan. Perhaps some of them thought of him as an unrelenting avenger.
The truth was very different: Sasuke didn't care in the slightest that his clan had been killed.
None of those people had truly cared about him anyway; not his father, not his mother and not his brother. He never felt like he really belonged to the clan. It wasn't as if he had really hated them, but he couldn't bring himself to feel sorrow over their passing.
What annoyed him greatly was the fact that even years after their deaths he couldn't leave their shadow. Each and every person he came in contact with insisted on associating him with the Uchiha clan. There seemed to be no escape. No matter what he did; it was always attributed to his clan.
He was at the top of his class? Only to be expected of the son of the Uchiha clan head and little brother to 'Clan-killer' Itachi, the unmatched prodigy.
He already mastered several fire jutsu? The Uchiha had always been good at fire techniques.
All Sasuke wanted was make his own name and live his own life, but the universe didn't seem to want to give him the option. He harbored the hope that it would get better after graduation when he could go out into the field.
Sasuke sighed. Graduation was still two months away. It couldn't come soon enough. For some unfathomable reason practically the complete female part of his age group had decided that he would make the perfect boyfriend. Aside from the fact that he felt still too young for such things (although he had begun noticing girls in that way) they were all incredibly annoying. No amount of rebuffing or reasoning managed to divert them from their task 'to gain his love and heal his broken heart'. His heart was completely intact, thank you very much. None of the girls seemed interested in the real him anyway; they were all chasing the image of the Dark Uchiha Prince. By now he ignored the girls and hoped the matter would resolve itself sooner or later.
A few minutes later he arrived at the academy. The doors were already open, but aside from some teachers and the occasional early riser among the students the building was deserted. Once he reached his empty classroom he picked a seat at random and began reading a book on combat tactics. He might as well make use of his time as long as all was quiet. Soon enough one of his female admirers would capture the seat by his side, even if she had to resort to violence in the process.
The silence of the room was only disturbed by the sound of paper whenever he turned a page. Before long his thoughts wandered to last night's nightmare or rather a question it had sparked.
'Who will my teammates be?'
It was a difficult question with far-reaching consequences. In all likelihood he would have to work closely with those two people for years. Over the years he had seen many genin teams running around in the village. Most consisted of two boys and a girl, but of course there were exceptions.
When his classmates arrived one by one he considered their suitability as his teammates.
'Kensuke; he's fascinated with complex traps and mechanisms. Rather weak in other fields. Mostly deadweight, but manageable. Toji; good at taijutsu but uninterested in anything requiring a brain.'
The girls were all out. He didn't even want to think about having Ino or Sakura on the team. Or gods forbid, even both of them. He didn't think his sanity (or his hearing; or his virginity) would survive that.
'Hinata; quiet, reserved and not that talented. On the other hand she's the only girl not after me. I could work with her.'
Sasuke continued appraising his classmates as they entered. Shikamaru and Choji he could work with, but Kiba was hard at the limit. The Inuzuka boy was loud, brash and annoying. Shino seemed a good potential teammate. He hardly ever spoke but received good grades and was generally competent.
His thoughts were interrupted for a while when the daily fight over the seat neighboring his ensued. Today Ino achieved victory. The girl looked at him adoringly and slowly inched closer to him, reminding him uncomfortably of his nightmare. Sasuke kept his eyes glued to the front. Any harmless gesture would be seen as encouragement and he really didn't want to deal with that after last night.
When Iruka-sensei called the students to order the class clown Naruto was missing again as it was often the case. The idiot was probably playing a prank somewhere. Sasuke shuddered mentally. Having Naruto on his team would be just as bad as Sakura or Ino. Somehow the blond boy had gotten it into his head that he was his rival and constantly tried to confront him. Considering that Naruto had been the dead last for several terms his chances of defeating Sasuke in anything were… remote. It had long ceased to be funny, though, and grown into a real annoyance.
Sasuke was distracted the entire day while he thought about the matter of his future teammates; not that anyone noticed. He didn't know how the teams were chosen, meaning he saw no direct way to influence with whom he would end up.
'Why don't I try and use my reputation and connections for something? It won't do any harm and might even work. I'll need to make a list.'
"How was your week, Sasuke-kun? No problems, I hope?" Koharu asked.
Sasuke shook his head. "Nothing worth mentioning, Koharu-sama."
Homura nodded approvingly. "That is good to hear, young man. Any troubles with your studies?"
The young Uchiha continued to make polite conversation. He knew he often tended to appear as or actually be rude, but whenever he met with the two councilors he made an effort to observe all the niceties. After his clan had been slaughtered the village elders Koharu Utatane and Homura Mitokado had assumed guardianship over him. Sasuke rather liked them.
Both of them had been famous shinobi in their youth and were widely respected in the village. Their duties involved advising the Hokage, mediating conflicts inside the village and all sorts of other issues that cropped up but couldn't resolved by the individual departments. In spite of all of that they lived a rather quiet private life and both had large families that didn't really appear in the public spotlight. In short, they were what he hoped to become in forty or fifty years. The position of Hokage was for other people.
They made sure he didn't want for anything reasonable and oversaw his education, but they left him otherwise alone and respected his privacy. There was no butting in and offering false sympathy. To them he was a future asset of the village. They would treat other people in his position exactly the same. The important thing for him was that they didn't conceal that fact and that this was about him personally and not his clan. Well, mostly. As the bearer of a bloodline it was expected of him to father enough children to keep it alive, but that part was unavoidable.
Sasuke appreciated the honesty. It was a refreshing contrast to the faction of the girls that only pretended to like him because of his money or all the people that tried to suck up to him. Individually the Uchiha hadn't been that rich, but there had been more than three hundred Uchiha when the clan had been slaughtered. Since he was the last Uchiha in the village everything belonged to him. Currently Sasuke could only access a generous monthly stipend that would increase drastically when he became genin, but only when he made chunin or reached the age of sixteen everything would be released to him.
They met once a week and talked about things. Sasuke probably spoke more words on these meetings than during the entire week preceding them.
After the usual weekly conversation topics came to an end Sasuke approached the issue that had occupied his thoughts in the last few days. "There is one thing that concerns me. My time at the academy is coming to an end and I'm worried about which of my classmates will share a team with me."
Koharu leveled a stern gaze at him. "That is not the concern of a student. The teams are formed with input from all of your teachers and the jonin who will be responsible for you while the ultimate decision lies with the Hokage. Your strengths will be carefully balanced."
Sasuke knew he had to treat very carefully here. "Of course. I don't mean to imply that I have the right to pick and choose my future teammates. It's just that I fear the teamwork will suffer greatly under certain combinations." He removed a scroll from his pocket and put it on the table. "I respectfully request that you consider the potential problems I have listed here. That is all I ask."
The two old shinobi shared a look. "We will consider your request."
"What do you make of young Sasuke's request?" Homura asked his fellow councilor after the boy had left them.
Koharu looked thoughtful. "It's unusual, but he might have a point. The teachers are not always aware of all the issues that should influence team assignment. The initial team is the most important thing for the development of the genin. If some unrecognized problems exists and are allowed to fester… Do you remember what happened to my nephew Daisuke's team?"
Homura shuddered. "Don't remind me. That was an unmitigated disaster."
The old woman nodded. "Yes, the tensions between the team members escalated at just the wrong moment. In the end we lost seven good people because of silly interpersonal conflicts."
"We might as well take a look at what young Sasuke has noted." Homura opened the scroll Sasuke had left. Koharu peered over his shoulder.
She shook her head when she was finished reading. "This infatuation of the girls with Sasuke could present a problem. I didn't think it would be this bad. Surely, he's exaggerating."
"Maybe he is; maybe he isn't. Graduation is still almost two months in the future." Homura looked at his old teammate. "Perhaps we should investigate ourselves, anonymously of course. I don't want Hiruzen or the teachers to know. Currently there aren't any pressing issues demanding our attention; we have the time."
Slowly a smile spread over Koharu's face before she nodded vigorously. "You're right. It will be just like the old times. It's been ages since I performed a good infiltration."
Homura answered with a smile of his own. "Time to break out the old equipment."
One month later Koharu and Homura were once again sitting together, papers with information about the academy students of Sasuke's class strewn over the table. The secret investigation had been fun and had reminded her of the time when she was still an active kunoichi. Unfortunately they didn't like what they had found and the mood was serious.
Koharu was the first to speak. "It's worse than I ever imagined. The skills of the students aren't what they should be in my opinion. They treat everything as if they are rich civilians who have all the time in the world to make mischief and play around. All those girls only think of romantic nonsense and nothing else. I never even thought of boys that way until I made chunin."
Her old teammate chuckled. "And when did you become chunin? At the age of twelve. We live in different times, Koharu. We became genin when we were eight. Almost all the current students will be halfway to thirteen when they graduate. Apart from young Sasuke's special situation their hormones make everything more difficult."
"I don't think the late enrollment and extended academy time is doing the children any favors. It sounded good when the reforms were introduced, but from what I saw they are missing vital skills." Koharu tapped on the files of the jonin selected to take on students this term. "Most of them graduated at age nine. Just like us they were already chunin at the same age this batch of students will become genin. Despite their longer academy time their abilities are much worse on average. I can't imagine that the new generation is inherently inferior; there has to be something wrong with the training."
Homura thoughtfully stroked his beard. "You're right, but it is unlikely we can convince Hiruzen of that. He was one of the main proponents of the academy reform in order to 'allow the students a childhood', after all. If he doesn't want to see something that goes against his ideals he closes his eyes to it. Just look at his pet project."
Koharu scowled. The Uzumaki boy was almost completely out of control. Until now they hadn't know the details (if Hiruzen declared someone or something his personal interest they stayed away from it), but the boy's academic record was catastrophic. If a normal student skipped so many classes he would have been expelled long ago, especially considering his abysmal grades. The same was true for his juvenile pranks; some might be excused as adolescent exuberance, but the sheer number and scale made it a different matter. It seemed the boy could accept no limits and had massive discipline problems; it was an insubordination waiting to happen. He was in dire need of a firm hand. Unfortunately it wasn't going to happen.
"We can do nothing about Naruto aside from hoping that his future sensei manages to offset the damage." she finally said. "By now it's too late for anything else and Hiruzen won't budge on the issue. I fear in his indulgence and quest to give the boy a 'normal' life he has crippled his future as a shinobi. Our fundamental disagreement about the handling of the boy aside he would have needed a personal tutor, remedial training and a fulltime parental figure other than the Hokage. Hiruzen is just too busy to properly supervise a child."
Her old friend nodded. "Currently Naruto is a liability, not an asset. I understand why Sasuke doesn't believe he can work with him. Rivalries can be successful in stimulating two people to reach new heights, but this one seems unhealthy to me. It will do more harm than good in my opinion." Homura set down his glasses, pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed before he continued speaking. "Yesterday I casually asked Hiruzen if the teams have already been planned. It hasn't been finalized, but the current setup pairs Sasuke with Naruto and Sakura Haruno under Kakashi Hatake. I have grave doubts about the wisdom of creating such a team."
The old woman looked at Homura curiously. "Why is that? Sasuke is the top student in the class; Naruto will be the dead-last if he even manages to graduate. They could hopefully balance each other out and Sasuke could help Naruto bring to the level he should be at. Kakashi is one of our top shinobi, perhaps even the best."
"Kakashi… has psychological baggage. It doesn't seem to interfere with his missions, but teaching and leading a cell of fresh genin is very different from having a few experienced shinobi under his command. In contrast to the other jonin he never taught anyone before. Do you think someone like him can deal properly with a love-struck girl who needs her ass kicked into gear repeatedly and proper motivation, an undisciplined, low-skilled loudmouth with a demon in his belly and a talented recluse like Sasuke? They have all very different needs."
Koharu leant back in her chair and considered the matter seriously. A capable sensei should be able to forge his genin into a cohesive unit. This proposed team had more problems than most and would require supreme teaching skills; skills they didn't know Kakashi possessed. That was the crux of the matter. They didn't know if Kakashi could do it. If he could make it work everything would be fine, but any mistake or failure would have long-lasting consequences. She would have preferred to assign Naruto and Sasuke to someone who had already demonstrated the extent of his teaching ability.
"Hiruzen will never consent to have someone else teach Naruto. Kakashi is his most trusted man and was the student of the boy's father. There's nobody else who could teach young Sasuke how to use his sharingan."
Homura waved her objection away. "The last argument doesn't hold water. I looked it up; Kakashi learned how to use his sharingan in self-study. Sasuke can do the same or we will have to look through the documents left behind by the Uchiha for hints. It isn't even certain Sasuke has the sharingan; not all Uchiha develop it. No, I think it best if we try to move Sasuke to another team. If Kakashi's effort goes sour we will lose only one critical asset, not two. Both Naruto and Sakura are at the top of Sasuke's list of people he doesn't think he can successfully work with long-term and I agree with that assessment. In about six months to a year the teams will be mixed temporarily anyway; Sasuke can learn to work with them after the initial critical period is over."
A moment later Koharu nodded. "I agree. Together we should be able to convince Hiruzen to reassign Sasuke. On the matter of the academy we should begin collecting proof in a quiet investigation. If our training produces sub-standard shinobi we will have to make corrections."
Sasuke sat impassively in the classroom, waiting for their sensei to arrive. It was the last day of the academy. Thankfully there had been no more nightmares, at least of the same intensity. He still didn't know if the appeal to his guardians had been successful, but he hoped for the best. Bringing the matter up again would make him appear as a petulant child that wanted to get his way.
He was a bit surprised to see Naruto enter the classroom. The idiot had failed the graduation test, but now a Konoha headband rested on his head. Since not even Naruto had the audacity to simply steal such a thing he must have graduated somehow in the end. Perhaps someone had intervened on his behalf. Putting the matter out of his mind he wondered in what way he would have to change his training regime. Until now he had mostly trained by himself after the academy closed and taken some general advice from his guardians, but a jonin would have far more experience in the matter.
Sasuke was so occupied with his thoughts that he even managed to partially ignore the shouting of Sakura and the other girls. He really hoped he would never have to suffer it again after today.
Suddenly Sasuke felt a small amount of killing intent. Turning his head slightly, he saw that Naruto was glaring at him.
"What?" Sasuke asked.
"What do you mean, what?" Naruto shouted. He probably planned to say more, but Sakura carelessly shoved him aside.
"Sasuke-kun, can I sit next to you?" the pink-haired girl asked. Without waiting for an answer she sat down in the seat beside him, slowly inching closer and looking at him adoringly.
Sasuke felt sweat forming on his face. The (unfortunately not uncommon) situation was far too close to his nightmares. Still, he tried to ignore the girl as best as he could.
From one moment to another Naruto climbed on the desk in front of Sasuke and glared at him from close range.
'What is the idiot's problem? Why can't he just leave me alone? All I want is some peace and quiet.'
"NARUTO! LEAVE SASUKE-KUN ALONE!" Sakura screeched.
'So much for peace and quiet…'
"Kick his ass, Sasuke-kun." The comments from the peanut gallery weren't helping, either.
Suddenly he noticed that the boy in front of his seat was moving his arm backwards. He would jostle Naruto. Judging from their positions the blond boy would fall directly on top of him. Since he was sitting he wouldn't get away in time.
Sasuke's hands were already forming seals while these thoughts raced through his brain. He just needed a target… oh yes, that would do.
Almost without any transition Sasuke appeared in a seat in the back row of the class. The former occupant of the seat was now in his earlier position. A loud gasp from all the watching students indicated that the collision must have been spectacular.
When Sasuke saw what had happened he was very glad about what he had done and had to suppress laughter. He had switched with the one person in the room who wouldn't mind close contact with the blond boy. How the moron could miss that the girl was attracted to him Sasuke didn't know; neither could he fathom what the quiet girl saw in the loudmouth.
Naruto and Hinata were staring wide-eyed at each other, their lips tightly pressed together.
Total silence descended over the classroom as more and more people saw what had happened. Seconds ticked by until finally Hinata fainted, the biggest smile on her face that Sasuke had ever seen. Naruto blankly stared into space, his mouth hanging open.
'I think I broke him. At least he's quiet for now.'
Unfortunately, Sakura wasn't. "NARUTO! How do you dare to take advantage of Hinata!"
"It wasn't my fault, I swear."
A few minutes later Naruto had some bruises, a fuming Sakura sat beside him and a beet-red Hinata had returned to the last row, taking a free seat besides Sasuke. Sasuke watched her curiously. He wondered what her reaction would be. The kiss hadn't been intended, but depending on how Hinata saw that he might be in trouble.
The still furiously blushing Hinata gave him a small smile and whispered "Thank you."
Sasuke just nodded before facing the just arriving Iruka. Actually being thanked for performing a non-consensual kawarimi was unexpected, but considering that he had seen Hinata pining after Naruto for years without approaching him it was somewhat logical.
'Perhaps now the moron will finally notice her.'
Iruka's speech was different than in his nightmare, but it covered mostly the same topics. Soon enough it was time for the announcements of the teams. The announcement of the first six teams proceeded without incident, disregarding some mutterings of joy or displeasure.
"Team 7: Sakura Haruno, Kiba Inuzaka, Naruto Uzumaki."
Sasuke had to bite back a snigger that threatened to shatter his calm demeanor. Sakura and Naruto deserved each other. Kiba was sometimes almost as loud. 'I don't want to think about the fact that it could have been me; I really dodged a kunai there.'
Hinata seemed momentarily dejected, but she perked up when Iruka called her name.
"Team 8: Shino Aburame, Hinata Hyuuga, Sasuke Uchiha."
'Jackpot.' Sasuke thought while many of his female admirers voiced their frustration. It seemed either fortune smiled upon him or his guardians had followed his request. He was with the two people he thought he could work with without too much annoyance. The future looked much brighter than only a few minutes ago.
Author's notes: As I said, this story is based on a story idea from nobody102. I plan on continuing this, but between my other two stories and real life updates will probably be very slow. Pairings are undecided at this point.
Please review and tell me what you think.
Original story idea: AU in which Sasuke isn't obsessed about vengeance, because he didn't really like his family. Since Sasuke is still a quiet, reserved person, few people know he's not terribly bothered by it, especially since mentioning the Uchiha annoys him greately. Even when they're all dead, he still cannot seem to escape their reach. A story of Sasuke's quest to make his own name in a world that insists on associating him with a clan he never felt he belonged in. A Sasuke-centric story, obviously, and one in which he doesn't become a traitor to Konoha.