LiK: Chapter One
It was a Tuesday. It started out like any other Tuesday for Naruto in that he woke up. But on this particular Tuesday, that was where the normality stopped. The out of the ordinary began, Naruto thought, when he woke up to stare directly in to jet black eyes.
"Fucking hell," the jet black eyes said. "You sleep like the goddamn dead, Naruto."
And so, like any normal person would upon waking to find a stranger in their bedroom hovering over them, Naruto yelled and lashed out sending what appeared to be, on closer inspection, a boy his age sprawling. Uzumaki armed himself with his table lamp before easing slowly toward the intruder, his adrenaline spreading around his body as the boy sat up, wiping a trickle of blood from his mouth with a slight grimace.
"You know, that really wasn't necessary."
Naruto blanched as the other spat blood on to his floor rug.
"Man, don't be flinging your blood around! You have any idea how bad that's gonna stain?!"
The intruder stared at Naruto for a moment before frowning, pulling himself to his feet with the help of the bedside table. "What the hell are you yelling at me for? You're the one who punched me, Uzumaki."
Naruto narrowed his eyes, glaring at the boy as he brandished his table lamp. "Who the hell are you, what are you doing in my dorm room, how the fuck did you get in and why do you know my name?!"
"You…don't know who I am?"
A flicker of confusion and a hint of worry crossed the other's face, causing Naruto to lower his weapon slightly. "Uh no. Look, you should definitely leave. Are you drunk or something? I can take you back to your own dorm if you tell me the number. Still, I'm pretty sure I locked my-"
"I don't live here," the intruder interrupted suddenly, his eyes darting around the room. "This doesn't seem right at all. I don't understand."
Naruto backed away somewhat, rather unsettled by the other teen's troubled expression. "Look man, you're sorta freaking me out. Is there someone you can call to come get you or something?"
"You're freaked out?!" the boy with the jet black eyes demanded, taking a step forward, his attention solely on Naruto. "You're asking me questions that I should be able to answer. I don't know where we are. I certainly don't know why I'm here. I don't recognise anything except you, and you don't know who the fuck I am!"
"Whoa, whoa, chill out, mate," Naruto returned his lamp to its rightful place, figuring he could hold his own against the other teen. "Don't work yourself up."
"Right, right," the intruder muttered, sitting on the edge of Naruto's bed distractedly. "There has to be a logical explanation."
"Fuck, make yourself at home why don'tcha," Naruto mumbled under his breath, crossing his arms as he glared.
The stranger seemed to be thinking deeply; elbows on knees with his hands clasped in front of his face, eyes closed in a pose that appeared rather practiced.
Naruto took the opportunity to finally look at the other boy, noticing that his attire was a tad peculiar. Perhaps more than a tad. For one, Uzumaki thought, ain't no one in their right mind would wear a puffy green vest over what looked to be an almost skin-tight dark blue body suit. This weird get up was accompanied by matching sandals. Sandals! Naruto stared at the odd footwear, wondering if they could really be classed as sandals; and yet they weren't quite shoes either. They're like…peep toes for men, he sniggered inwardly.
His gaze flicked to the bandages that appeared to be strapping some sort of container to the boy's upper right leg…and Naruto wondered why the hell the guy didn't use a backpack like a normal person, or the many pockets in the horrifying puffy vest. The finishing touch to the peculiar outfit was the black bandana with a metal plate attached to the front somehow, a strange mostly circular symbol etched carefully in the centre.
The boy himself was a bit of an oddity as well in Naruto's opinion. The lean and muscular frame revealed the teen was much fitter than average, and yet he apparently exercised in the dark if his almost unnatural paleness was anything to go by. His fair skin was made all the more obvious due to the contrasting pitch black hair that defied all sorts of gravity laws.
Upon completing his quick and thorough inspection of the intruder, Naruto really wished he hadn't put his table lamp down. He couldn't help but feel that this teen was capable of kicking his ass, and would likely have no qualms about carrying out said ass-kicking. Naruto was slowly edging toward his dorm phone when black eyes shot open and pinned him.
"Your appearance is different."
"Huh?" Naruto replied eloquently, too relieved that the boy hadn't noticed his movement to really process the statement.
"The marks on your cheeks, they're gone."
Naruto frowned, remembering he was dealing with a crazy person. "What the hell are you talking about?"
"The marks!" the other teen barked, a hand pushing through his hair in frustration. "The fucking whisker scars that you've always had!"
Uzumaki shook his head slowly, again moving toward his phone. "I've never had marks on my face. Well I lie; I had a couple of pimples during high school but that's it. Ah, well, I guess I'm still lying…I'm pretty sure I've got a couple of freckles on my nose. But, er, that's it."
The intruder tugged at his hair for a moment, clearly aggravated. "It's at least comforting to know that you're still an idiotic retard."
Naruto halted immediately, eyes blazing as he spun toward the other teen. "What the hell did you just call me, bastard?! You break in to my room and think it's a good idea to insult me?! How about you leave right this goddamn second!"
Naruto got the impression that his shouting at the guy seemed to calm and relax the intruder, which didn't make an awful lot of sense. He was more distracted by the two knives the teen seemed to pull out of nowhere and launch in his direction. Naruto only just managed to dodge one while the other lodged itself rather securely in his left bicep. He stared at it for a second before the pain kicked his shock out of the way.
"Holy shit!" he screamed, eyes wide as they darted between the knife and the crazy person. "You just tried to kill me!"
The black-eyed teen raised an eyebrow and looked a little concerned. "You…aren't a shinobi?"
"A…a…shinobi?! What the absolute fuck are you talking about?!"
Naruto didn't know what sort of steps you ought to take when faced with a homicidal insane bastard, and it was a little hard to think with the way blood seeped down his arm to drip on his carpet. He winced when he touched the knife tentatively, immediately dismissing the idea of yanking it out.
"Ah…" said the homicidal insane bastard. "Sorry. Though I don't know why you're fussing so much. Kyuubi will heal you in minutes."
Naruto snapped, gritting his teeth through the pain of having a knife embedded in his arm. "Oh. My. God. Get the fuck out of my room. I have no idea what the hell you’ve been yammering about but it's infinitely obvious that you are a total complete fucked up psycho. I'm calling the police."
Something in his expression must have registered through the craziness since the intruder took a step backward. Naruto took the opportunity to leap for his dorm phone, but before he could punch in the emergency number the phone's shrill ring made him jump.
"Yes? Hello?" Uzumaki hollered down the line. "There's a goddamn crazy in my room trying to kill me!"
He ignored the apparently amused snort of said crazy, though became increasingly wary as the kooky teen moved closer.
"Naruto? What the hell are you yelling about?" yawned the caller. "Did you know your screaming woke me up? I can hear you through the wall."
"Nara!" he replied, irritated, relieved…and concerned as the intruder inspected the phone piece with a great deal of intrigue. "Did it occur to you that I might be under attack to be screaming so much? There's a dude in my room. Fucking weirdo! And he knifed me!"
"He knifed you?" Shikamaru repeated, sounding a little more awake and rather concerned. "He's still there and letting you use the phone? Do you know who he is? Did you know it's four o'clock in the morning? I should still be asleep, you know."
Naruto floundered with too many questions and a crazy person leaning too close asking what the thing he was talking in to was called. "Yeah. Knife…in my arm. Still here. It's a fucking phone you psycho! Take a step back…you're freaking me out! Never seen him before in my life…dressed real strange too. I think he's gonna beat me to death with my phone."
Shikamaru sighed. "I'll be right over with my golf club."
"What! Don't you have something more lethal like a gun or something?! I'd feel much safer if you said you were coming with an actual weapon."
"Naruto, my follow through is so awesome it is a weapon. See you in a moment."
The teen set the phone back in its cradle, edging away as the black-eyed teen picked up the phone and held it against his ear.
He spoke in to the mouth piece. "Hello?"
Naruto stared. "…You've gotta key in the number of the person you want to call first."
"Ah, right," said the intruder, obviously confused and obviously trying to hide it. "So, do you know the number to call Kakashi?"
"I don't know who the hell you're talking about. I have a phone book if you want to look it up," Uzumaki offered, since he wanted the guy gone.
"Oi Naruto! Your door's locked!"
The teen jumped at Shikamaru's sudden yell, but leapt toward the door in a heartbeat. He was already shouting as he swung the door open.
"Look Nara! He fucking knifed me! I dodged one but he bloody threw two at me! Hell, just get him out of my-"
Naruto gaped at his friend, taking in his tousled hair and clothes as well as the promised golf club. "Huh?"
"Kunai," Shikamaru repeated firmly, staring at the knife in Uzumaki's arm. "How the hell did you get a kunai…"
Naruto didn't much like the peculiar expression on his friend's face, and he certainly didn't like the way Nara appeared somewhere between surprised and shocked as he stared over Naruto's shoulder.
Naruto stared at the pair. "You guys know each other?!"
Shikamaru pushed past the gobsmacked boy. "What are you doing here?"
Naruto looked on in dismay as the crazy known as Sasuke made himself comfortable on his bed again.
"I have close to no idea."
"You're even wearing the Leaf uniform," Shikamaru mused, his golf club hanging in his hand loosely. "So you were accepted back in to the village?"
"Yeah," Sasuke replied quietly. "The Elders were easily convinced. Others-"
He darted a glance so fast to Naruto that Shikamaru almost missed it.
"-Others not so."
"Oh, what, don't tell me you were surprised by that?" Nara snorted, having never warmed to Uchiha…with good reason. "You tried to kill him, what, two-three times? You thought he'd always be tolerant of your complete stupidity? He wanted to bring you back but I think you were very successful in severing your bond."
Naruto watched the exchange with as much interest as his bleeding arm allowed; his friend was getting worked up and he had never seen that happen. However, with what Shikamaru was saying, Naruto was becoming even more wary of the intruder.
Sasuke glared but Shikamaru lifted his chin, unaffected.
"I was young then," Uchiha dropped his glare to his clasped hands. "I made hasty decisions, and the curse seal…didn't help."
"Didn't help?" Nara repeated in disbelief. "From what I could see and the reports I read, it warped your mind."
Suddenly Sasuke was on his feet, fists clenched. "Then you might have an idea then of how it was so hard to remember that I didn't want him dead every time we met! Orochimaru's influence was stronger than I anticipated, stronger than Kakashi anticipated. I hadn't…I hadn't factored that in to my plans. It brings me only relief knowing that snake is dead."
"I'm sorta wondering," Naruto interrupted without preamble, his hand still trying to stem the blood seeping from his wound.
"I'm sorta wondering," he said again when he had the attention of the other two, "how you two know each other. And I'm wondering how Sasuke - is it? - got in to my room when the door was locked, and was still locked when Shikamaru got here. And I'm wondering why you're talking about weird things like seals and killing people and elders and bonds. And I'm wondering if I lost so much blood that I'm seeing things because that guy just appeared out of thin air."
Sasuke and Shikamaru's gaze followed Naruto's slightly shaky pointed finger to settle on a new addition to Naruto's dorm.
"And I'm sorta wondering," Naruto continued, "why the hell this guy looks exactly like me."
The two blonds obviously shared identical features, save for the strange whisker-like markings on the new Naruto's cheeks. Naruto v2.0 was also wearing a similar outfit to that of Sasuke, making it clear that Naruto's intruder had mistaken Naruto for this other Naruto. Uzumaki closed his eyes for a moment. This situation was really making his brain melt.
"Shikamaru!" exclaimed v2.0. "Kami-sama, where the hell have you been?! You were presumed dead since your disappearance two years ago!"
"Funny," said Naruto curiously, a little vague from his blood loss. "That's about how long I've known you Nara."
Identical blue eyes stared at each other.
"I only made one clone," one muttered, puzzled. "And you're not a genjutsu."
"I'm not a fucking clone!" the other scowled back. "I was here first! Take this psychotic maniac back with you to wherever the fuck you came from!"
He jerked his head at Sasuke, wincing as his wound began to throb.
"This is freaking messed up," Naruto said, mostly to himself. "I must be dreaming. No nightmaring. Yeah. Makes sense. Why can't I dream of nice things like naked babes and mountains of money? I wonder what time it really is. I have a pop quiz for History so I better wake up on time. What the hell am I talking about? I'm in college now…I don't even do History. I don't feel so good."
Shikamaru made to move beside his friend, but the other Naruto was faster.
"I think he's going in to shock. I'll try using that calming jutsu Sakura-chan taught me."
Naruto, however, didn't want his lookalike anywhere near him. He danced out of v2.0's clutches, eyes wide.
"No, no, no! Don't you be touching me! If you touch me and you're real, then I'll feel it, and I'd rather not since I would prefer this to be a dream!"
Shikamaru tried placating his freaked friend, a little exasperated. "It's okay, Naruto. He won't hurt you, he just wants to help."
Naruto might have listened to his friend, but what happened next happened really fast. He felt a slight tug and then Uzumaki was standing in a forest next to more people wearing the weird green-vest-skintight-blue outfit, his head spinning with disorientation. He was dismayed to spot another mirror image of himself, strange whisker marks and puffy vest outfit included.
"What the fuck?!" he yelled, gripping his injured arm.
The first person to move was a girl about his age with insanely pink hair, but other than that she was cute. Still, Naruto thought as she approached him, she was wearing the weird outfit and that equalled bad. What was worse, he decided, was the green glow around her hands as she made to touch his injury.
"What the hell do ya think you're doing?!" Uzumaki twisted away from the girl, eyes wide in alarm. "What the hell is wrong with your hands?! They're freakin' glowing!"
She stopped and stared at him with a frown before turning to Naruto v2.0. "Didn't you go after Sasuke yourself and leave a clone here?"
The mirror image nodded, his own brows drawn together as he stared at Naruto. "I'll dispel myself, though I seem to be acting strange."
Naruto watched, eyes impossibly wide, as his lookalike disappeared completely. He opened and closed his mouth a bit.
"W-where the hell did he go?" he managed eventually.
His comment seemed to bother the pink-haired girl, who turned to give some sort of meaningful glance to the two other people in the clearing. Naruto looked at them as well, deciding that he perhaps would rather deal with the girl than these two characters. Squinting a little, Uzumaki was one hundred percent positive that the man with the spiky silver hair (he and Sasuke must use the same gel) was rather engrossed in R rated book porn. The other person was staring at him intently, but Naruto's eyes were drawn to this boy's outfit. He was sure that not even the girl's at college would show that much stomach. Gay, supplied Uzumaki's brain, absolutely flaming. He decided that the vest and skintight getup wasn't too bad after seeing this boy's outfit. He also wondered if this guy and the crazy bastard Sasuke were related, considering their shared paleness and dark hair. Actually, compared to this boy, Sasuke had a rather nice tan.
"Hm," said a gruff voice at Naruto's ankles. "Definitely not a clone."
Uzumaki's eyes dropped to his feet to see a small pug dog sniffing him.
"It's not our Naruto but it's definitely a Naruto," continued the pug. "I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it seems like he isn't from our timeline."
"A…talking…dog..?" Naruto mumbled.
The porn-reading man snapped his book porn shut, clearly deciding to join the conversation. "A parallel world?"
"Possibly. I'd say that's where Sasuke and our Naruto are presently."
"A talking dog?" Naruto repeated, staring.
And then he fainted.