It was strange thing to be walking through the streets of what he knew to be Konoha from so many years ago, something Shino could never have dreamed he'd do. He wondered what he was supposed to do here; surely there was a reason he had been sent back in time, right?

With a sigh, Shino walked around the village, trying to come up with a strategy in mind; he couldn't just stay here and do nothing at all; there had to be something he could do to fix what would happen in the inevitable future.

Konoha looked almost the same as Abarame knew it as, with some small differences. There weren't as many shops as there were in his time, as many houses as he was used to, but the biggest thing that got him was how the Uchiha District was alive and blooming.

The boy wondered if the massacre never happened, would the war still occur? Would things still go the way they had in the future?

One thing Shino was glad to see was still the same was Ichiraku Ramen. Breathing a sigh of relief, he approached the stand, glad to feel some of the old familiarity wash over him.

Sitting down on one of the barstools, the brunet looked over at Teuchi, the man responsible for the stand. His daughter, Ayame, was cooking noodles in the corner of the working area. There were no other customers for which Abarame was thankful for; he didn't want to socialise after having gone through what he had. He was still trying to come to terms with his best friend's death, the fact that he was no longer in his own time – that he would probably never see his friends or family again.

"You look glum."

Shino hadn't realised he was looking down at his lap until he glanced up to address the man who had spoken to him. He just shrugged, not really wanting to reply.

Teuchi stood before the teen, looking down at him with a soft expression. "Want a bowl?"

Shino nodded in answer, waiting patiently for his meal to be cooked. Thoughts ran through his mind; what should he do? What was he supposed to do? Should he stay in this timeline or try to return back to his own?

If the brunet went back, he would have to deal with the results of a senseless war. If he remained in this time, he could potentially change all those outcomes. But what if he couldn't do anything? What if he made everything worse?

Before Shino could really think too much on the pros and cons, his train of thought was interrupted as a bowl of ramen was placed before him. He looked up and nodded at Ayame before he retrieved his chopsticks, hoping that a good meal would help him clarify his thoughts.

Things were quiet in Ichiraku Ramen, the only sounds that of Ayame cooking with the occasional snippet of conversation from passersby. Before Shino could ponder on this too much, Teuchi spoke to him once again, his voice soft as he addressed the other.

"Would you like a job?" the bald man offered.

Shino blinked behind dark shades. He stared blankly at his elder as he processed this offer; was he really... being offered a job...?

Should he take it? Should he not? If Shino couldn't get back to the future, he would need an income if he were to survive here, right?

It was better to be here – somewhere he was familiar with – than elsewhere, not knowing anything or anyone.

With little reluctance, the brunet nodded, accepting the offer. "Thank you."

"Great." The large man clapped his hands together once, a large grin taking over his face. "For the record, how old are you?"


"Really?" Teuchi's frown returned once again as he surveyed his new worker. "You don't look any older than fourteen."

With a blink, Shino looked down, confused by this statement; surely he had still retained his physical appearance...

"What the...?"

Shino couldn't have been more surprised to find himself in the body he had donned at only thirteen years of age. Was this part of the time travel...? What was going on? This couldn't have gotten weirder if it wanted to.

Sighing inwardly, Shino shrugged, not wanting to address Teuchi's confusion. "I guess that's true."

Teuchi was a happy man, and he was quick to regain his joy as he dropped the subject of Shino's age. "You can start work tomorrow. Be here bright and early and Ayame will get you started."

Shino nodded as he got to his feet, wanting to get away from here and just be by himself; he needed time to adjust to everything that had happened, and being questioned about things he had no answer to was not helping.

However, just as Shino walked out of the stand, he bumped into a smaller boy walking in. Uttering a quiet apology, he kept walking, not glancing back at the boy he had accidently knocked to the ground.

The only thing Shino heard from the two as he left them was a cool voice calling the other a baby for tearing up, the other retaliating angrily.

Silver hair disappeared into Ichiraku Ramen, a head of raven following soon after.