Chapter 1: Breaking the Veil
They were running, or more specifically, much to the his ire, Sasuke was running and dragging the other’s body on his back. Naruto would come in and out of consciousness, muttering words too soft for Sasuke to hear over the barrage of shuriken following their backs. It really was just their luck, assuming most of the blame fell on Naruto’s head, but right now wasn’t the time to be berating the man strapped to his back. Right now they had a group of Jounin screaming KI on their tails.
When they first woke up in an unknown field far from home Sasuke had a full blown panic attack, not that he’d ever tell the Dobe that. His body had shrunk, along with Naruto’s, age back to their genin days. Or at least, that’s what he assumed, not knowing any medical ninjutsu to do a full body scan to tell otherwise. Naruto was the worst of the two when it came to injuries, body looking like it was put through a shredder, bleeding more than necessary, healing ability sluggish as Sasuke scoped out the field.
Just when he was about to have another panic attack a group of Iwa nin stumbled upon them, immediately taking one look at Naruto and screaming ‘ Namikaze child ’ before they started to attack. Sasuke was cursing Kami for his luck as he stumbled in his lack of power. Barley able to reach Naruto in time before his throat was slit he made a fast escape, running as fast as his small body would allow. His feet destroyed tree branches as he leap across the unknown terrain, body shaking from exhaustion, lungs burning and aching.
Sasuke was in no way slow, cataloging their reactions for further review later, when they were safe. His chakra wasn’t as much as it was in his older body, but it was still more than he ever had as a genin. He could guess the same could be said about Naruto, who was still out like a burnt light; body burning in fever, scorching Sasuke’s skin. As far as he knew Naruto was friends with Iwa, making their reactions out of character. If anyone deserved their hate it was Sasuke, but again their emotions became another anomaly against their current predicament.
Just when he was about to make a break through a clearing Sasuke tripped. The great and powerful Sasuke Uchiha tripped over a damn twig he failed to see when he turned left. Much to his embarrassment he rolled, causing Naruto to fly somewhere behind him in a dull thud. Naruto groaned, eyes fluttering open briefly, eyes un-focusing.
“Dammit.” Sasuke cursed, running to stand in front of the man, no boy.
Because he had woken up before the other, Sasuke had to make quick adjustments to their clothing, ninja wire securing on what he could, but to someone else it looked ridiculous on both their parts. Clothes bunched up and knotted, some hanging off their bodies in a mocking fashion. Sasuke quickly countered the shuriken thrown their way, eyes blazing red. He couldn’t tell what stage he had unlocked, or even if he had access to what he had when he was an adult. All he knew was that it was draining his chakra faster than he expected.
“Step away from the boy and you will live Uchiha.” The leader shouted.
Sasuke was panting, eyes glancing back and forth between all the men and women. He was outnumbered, and out classed.
“ Fuck you .” Sasuke growled, body lowering into position of defence. He would rather die than let them get to Naruto, not when the Dobe was still out and unable to defend himself.
“Very well, little raven.”
Sasuke’s blood rushed as he faced the first two Jonin who jumped into action. His body screamed as he was stabbed in the arm, twice, twirling to give a chakra infused kick. The head he caught in the kick gave a sickening crack, head swirling all the way around, body dropping to the ground in a graceless fall. The other caught the round house leg, body sliding across the grass as they tried to stop the power flowing through the child’s foot. The hand gripped his ankle, twisting it at an odd angle, but Sasuke let his body twist with it, other leg up and angling down towards the other’s head.
The man let go, jumping back to gain distance to escape the kick. The ground below the foot cracked, sending debris flying around the child’s body, but Sasuke paid no mind, already moving to the other closing in on Naruto. Time moved slowly, and by the time Sasuke ran out of chakra there was only a man and woman left.
Breathing harshly Sasuke’s eyes began to swim, body shaking, no longer able to defend. He found himself pinned to the ground, muscles screaming as the woman gripped his hair, jerking his head up to stare at the leader lowering a katana to Naruto’s neck.
“You little bastard killed my comrades so we will kill yours.” The woman growled. “You’ll watch the boy die before we end your life.”
Sasuke struggled, of course he did. After everything, after all the heartache he caused the blond, after everything that had happened he could do nothing but watch as the sword swung low. Sasuke’s eyes were bleeding, or crying, he couldn’t tell, but he was helpless like he had been the day at the bridge. In a yellow flash the man and woman were down, too quickly for Sasuke to follow.
Whether it was a blessing or a curse from Kami that helped them now, Sasuke wasted no time forcing his body to move. He needed to get to Naruto. Someone yelled at him, another tried to pin him down, but with a swift punch the arm let him go in a startled cry as Sasuke threw his body on top of Naruto.
His eyes blurred as four people came upon them, one with blond hair like his Dobe. Sasuke bared his teeth, growling something feral that made them stop. The leader walked slowly then, hands up in surrender as a sign of goodwill.
“Look we’re here to help.” The man stated, lowering to the ground to make it easier for Sasuke to see. “We heard a battle near by and decided to check it out. Lucky for you we did, or else you two would be dead.”
Sasuke was panting, shaking as he eyed them warningly.
“Who are you?” Sasuke grunted.
He was tired and aching, and by sheer force of will he was still awake. Naruto could yell at him later, later when he knew what the fuck was going on. The unknown nin were wearing Konohagakure bands, and Sasuke swears he’s never seen any of them before.
“My name is Namikaze Minato, that girl is Norah Rin, she’s a medic.” Minato said evenly. Minato had no idea how the boy was still awake as he glanced towards the wounds the boy was sprouting. The wild look in the boy’s eyes did nothing to settle the unease he felt looking at these two children; bloody and torn apart. A flash of red nearly startled Minato enough to make him flinch. The boy had the Sharingan, a fully developed one from what he could catch.
“Hey! H-he’s an Uchiha! What the hell, I’ve never seen you before!” A black haired teen cried. Sasuke shot him a glare.
“Obito now isn’t the time.” Minato scolded. The boy seemed to sulk, but backed down nonetheless. The silver haired kid next to him scoffed. “That’s Uchiha Obito, and lastly Hatake Kakashi. Please let my medic help, it’s the least we can do.”
Sasuke was ready to call the lie. There was no way that kid was his sensei and no way in the pits of hell was that kid an Uchiha. Mouth opening to reply a hand shot out and gripped his shirt, startling him. Snapping his eyes down Sasuke met the eyes of Naruto who was looking paler by the second.
“S-sasuke?” Naruto whispered. Naruto couldn’t see, but he could smell Sasuke. He could smell blood, both his and theirs and others.
“Shut up Dobe, we’re lost .” Sasuke prayed Naruto got the hidden meaning, prayed to Kami that he wouldn’t over react in any way until Sasuke could figure out what the hell was happening.
“How lost?” Naruto asked. Hint taken.
“I lost track.” Sasuke whispered.
“Ah.” Naruto sighed, eyes closing before he was out again.
“Not to be rude, but your friend really needs to be seen. He’s losing blood quickly, I don’t even know how he’s still alive .” The girl, the medic, said hesitantly.
“Hn.” Sasuke grunted, finally moving to the other side of the blond. He watched them all as she began to work, taking note of her paling face as she scanned Naruto.
“H-how is he still alive?” She whispered, eyes looking to his briefly.
“None of your business .” Sasuke hissed.
“Oi! She’s just trying to help! There’s no reason for you to be such a bastard to her!” Obito exclaimed, taking a few steps forward them.
“Fuck off.” Sasuke growled, trying to stand, kunai in hand.
“Now, now, there’s no need for that.” Minato said, quickly disarming Sasuke, much to his pride. Sasuke didn’t even see him move. “He’s just worried about his comrade, and you.” Minato hissed, turning to Obito. “That’s the second time I’ve had to warn you today Obito.”
Obito snapped his mouth shut, looking away in embarrassment. Kakashi took it upon himself to step in front of Obito, distracting the unknown Uchiha with his blank face. Their eyes locked, Sasuke frowning in thought. The kid did look like a younger Kakashi, and now that he took a moment to collect his raging emotions, the other kid did have the classic Uchiha look, minus the attitude. Huffing in frustration Sasuke decided to sit back and watch the medic instead of giving into his usual competitiveness with Hatake.
“Would you mind if I wrapped your wounds?” Minato asked, startling Sasuke, again . Not letting his emotions show Sasuke gave a sharp nod, eyes straining, and failing to see anything past a blurr. All three acted like leaf nin; caring, sappy, always playing the hero, much to Sasuke’s irritation. A silence fell upon the group, like the calm before a storm. Sasuke didn’t realize he had closed his eyes until the leader, Minato, spoke up.
“So, what are your names?” Minato asked.
Sasuke blinked, frown deepening as he tried to think of alises. He immediately threw that idea away, knowing that Naruto already spoke his name earlier. He could lie about Naruto’s name, but even he didn’t know if he could keep up the act right now. Insead he chose the lesser of two evils, first names only.
“Sasuke, that’s Naruto.” Sasuke muttered.
“I see, tell me Sasuke, where are you two headed?” Minato calmly asked.
Sasuke knew this was standard when helping unknown nin. Neither he nor Naruto had their headbands, and thus, they were unknown. Maybe it was for the best that they didn’t have a village tying them down; these nin didn’t seem to recognize them either. Sasuke was fairly sure they were both well know, Naruto the hero, Sasuke the betrayer, yet these three didn’t seem to react when they came upon them. Thinking back the rules of finding unknown nin where to find out as much information as they could and see whether or not they are an enemy or friend. They were also trained to detect deception, and thus trying to figure out if they were spies or not. Sasuke lost track of how many times Naruto and he had to do just the same. Sighing Sasuke looked towards Naruto.
“I don’t know.” Sasuke spoke truthfully. “We woke up in a field before we were attacked. We are lost, and I have no idea how this happened. We are looking for our family.”
As a child Sasuke did indeed try to look for his so called ‘family’. In the past when nothing but blood and revenge fueled his entire being, Naruto chased after him as he chased after Itachi. Being as young as they looked it was easy for the strangers to see two kids looking for a home, for a family. Sasuke was already creating a cover story, mind racing with possible outcomes. He remembered a tale Naruto told him of Tobi sending him into an unknown, parallel world, and by some luck they seemed to be in a situation similar.
Sasuke was running along the lines of a parallel universe, or something time related because the last thing he remembered doing with the Dobe was watching him try the harashin as he himself tried to do the kamui, and become intalengable like Tobi did during the war. Two space-time ninjutsus didn’t seem like a bad idea at the time, but now he regretted it. Now he was alone with a knocked out Naruto, and Kurama was who knows where . Wherever they were, they were not home. Shikamaru is going to kill us if we make it back. He was supposed to pick us up last night around- Sasuke flinched, looking around as a chill ran down his spine. He got some sort of foreboding feeling as he looked to Minato, chest aching at the notion. If that man was there when we-
“Freaking, stupid , pieces of shit, where the fuck , lack of brains, how the fuck , I’m going to kill them both -”
Speak of the devil , Sasuke gasped, trying not to laugh as he forced his body to move through the hysteria breaking through his paling skin. Shikamaru, according to Naruto, was just beginning to like Sasuke. Sasuke was no fool, no one in their graduating class liked him, much to Naruto’s dismay. (Unless you counted the fangirls than Sasuke would rather die than let them get too close. Comrades or not Sasuke wasn't looking for a….female partner at the moment.) Shikamaru was the only one in their class willing to listen to Naruto as he tried to explain Sasuke’s lack of emotions, or faith, or lack of something , as some of the other’s put it. He was just beginning to get close to Sasuke, and Naruto, even when they fought most of the time during their ‘meetings’ . Shika was really starting to get along with them both, even dragging them home when they did something stupid .
Sasuke would have cried, if he was a lesser man, at that moment. A disheveled child(Sasuke’s had to snuffed a giggle in his fit of madness)burst behind them, eyes assessing the situation as he stumbled towards them, legs seeming to shake as he recognized the man in front of him.
“Stand down flash. These two are my...they’re mine.” Shika muttered, unsure what to answer as the Yellow Flash eyed him with intent. He looked to Sasuke, trying to read him, but Sasuke nodded, seeming to flood with relief, much to Minato’s dark humor.
“Yours you say, how so?” Minato huffed, catching Sasuke as he tried, and failed to stand.
Gritting his teeth Sasuke moved to try and push Minato back, but failed, falling on his ass beside Naruto.
“These two idiots , ran from home. Our Kaa-san died a few months ago.” Shika turned away, closing his eyes, swallowing to give the illusion of sorrow. If he was anything but distraught, Shika would have failed to fool the Flash, but he was desperate. Funnily enough there were plans for situations such as these.
These ideas were supposed to be out of the box ideas for missions that none of them would ever receive due to their high profile cases. Well known individuals would fail at subterfuge missions, but when the night was late and two of the three individuals were fluffed up with warm sake and a cool grass plain to rest, well, tongues wagged at outrageous ideas.
Taking a deep breath, Shika let his mind drill through the past, calculating his clan’s past, Sasuke’s clan past, and even Naruto’s clan past. His boys, much to Shika’s irritation, and Naruto and Sasuke’s humor, (which made Temari fall into amusement) made him ground his teeth with aspiration. Temari was just beginning to help Shika figure out what he wanted to do with these two fools, but right now that was nothing but a problem neither of the groups could afford.
“Kaa-san, so you guys are family?” Minato asked, still holding Sasuke upright.
“No, we are…” Shika glanced at Sasuke and gave a small nod. After seeing his confidence, Shika allowed the idiot to fall asleep and let him take care of the issue. “We are all orphans of this stupid, troublesome war. Our Kaa-san isn’t really our blood, but she picked up strays when she could. A lot of people come and go, but when she died we didn’t really have a place to go….”
Gently Minato laid down Sasuke as the other members of his squad chose to stay quiet. Shikamaru already noted them, brain firing out information on where they were, even calculating the time line slightly.
“A man with a band like yours said Sasuke and I looked like people he knew. Our Kaa-san was helping him, but he didn’t make it. But he said Sasuke looked like a Uchiha, and I a Nara. Said it was scary how similar we looked like his friends. I don’t know who these Nara and Uchiha are, but he said to go to leaf or something like that if we wanted answers. These two idiots left the field without me. I mean I can’t really be that pissed, they were attacked. This whole situation is so troublesome.”
Shika muttered to himself as he began to pace.
“I thought they were dead when I ran to meet them. I mean those two idiots are strong, but fuck !” Shika gripped his hair in dismay. “You can learn a trick or two when your Kaa-san used to be a ninja, but even we aren’t Jonin level. All we can do is mess with chakra, even if it’s a basterize version of what you people use.”
“Hey why don’t you calm down a bit and have a seat? I’m sure we can talk more once you rest. You’re not injured as well, are you?” Minato asked as he watched Shikamaru stop his pacing.
It would have been cute, Minato mused, if not for the situation. Shika tilted his head and squinted his eyes. He was assessing them for danger, that much Minato could see as he looked between Minato’s squad and his family. Seeming to come to a conclusion Shikamaru shrugged before going beside a sleeping Sasuke and nearly throwing himself onto the ground beside him. Shikamaru knew if he used any chakra at the moment he’d be deemed a threat, so as he scooted closer to a passed out Sasuke he made a mental note to tease him later when they were safe. Their idea, which came from a drunken night where he may or maynot have let a drunk Sasuke give him a lap dance, (much to Naruto’s humor and blackmail since he could not get drunk unless Kurama stopped his healing factor, which was a different matter altogether) they had talked about what would happen if they ever ended up in their genin days.
The conversation went from regrouping to deciding what to do when they were there, like seeing if it was possible to save the Uchihas, or if it was possible to get Jiraiya or Tsunade to come home sooner rather than later. A lot of their planning went into what they knew of their T.I department, which lead to Shikamaru knowing the proper protocol due to being Ino’s teammate.
They knew what to do, and what not to do to in order to not gain the attention of said department or the Hokage at the time. Due to this curious thought, the following day when both parties suffered from the dreaded hangover, (Tsunade refused to give her secret remedy unless they explained what had happened, which Shika and Sasuke refused to due unless they were dying, but even then they probably would take it to the grave. Even a snickering Naruto would not move them to beg for said cure.) Shikamaru spent the rest of the day suffering from a migraine as he researched the past and possible protocols of their T.I department. It would do them good if he kept up to date with their methods, even if Shika would never lead the department like his father had in his hay days.
Shika, before he realized, spent nearly a week researching and brainstorming until he couldn’t keep his thoughts to himself. After going nearly three days with no sleep he ended up in team 7’s training field. Marching up to a fighting Naruto and Sasuke, who were cursing up a storm that would put their mother’s to shame, he all but dragged them to the nearest shaded area and began to tell him his theories. He ignored the fact that both of the boys would have impaled him if he had not ducked when he had, but they all but stopped their bickering in order to listen into his theories and plans.
Shikamaru spent a long time telling them the impossibilities of time travel in general, saying they could cause a black hole if two of the same individuals existed at the same time. Sasuke all but calmed down and listened intently to Shikamaru while Naruto argued with Kurama if it was possible or not to accomplish said theory with fuinjutsu or if he knew any demon magic (Kurama stopped healing Naruto for a week for this comment, which led to the following few days with a drunk and in pain Naruto) that he was not aware of.
The plan, once they got past the impossibilities, as well as how improbable the whole situations was, and a lot of beggin on Naruto’s part as he all but sat on Shikamaru in order for him to just humor the idea; they finally ended up with a blank slate that, if something happened for them to end up in an unknown area, beyond their actual timeline, then what they could say and do in order to be accepted into Konohagakure.
Their main goal was to end up back home. Whether they were in their older bodies in their genin days, or like now, which Shikamaru all but had a heart attack, well, their goal was, and will always be to get back home. The NaruShikaSasu Plan of the Past was number 17. Seventeen for how many months the three of them had become close...friends. Again something troublesome scratched at the back of Shikamaru’s mind, but he threw it to hell as he finally glanced back at Minato and answered his annoying question.
“No, I’m fine . Just tired. And no, don’t ask, I’m probably going to stay awake until these two idiots wake up.” Shika sighed. “I’m Shikamaru, that’s Sasuke and Naruto. They probably told you their names, knowing the two fools.”
“I see.” Minato said, deciding that Sasuke’s wounds were properly dressed. Really if Shikamaru’s mind was any slower at analysing the entire situation he might have given Minato a glimpse under their masks. Shika pretended to fret and gripped Sasuke’s hand, all but clenching it until his bones creaked. Sasuke woke up a bit and looked at Shikamaru, and as quickly as Shika muttered a ‘sorry’ his traced the number 17 upon Sasuke’s palm. Shikamaru released a bit of tension as the emotionally stunted boy gave a small scoff and all but passed the fuck out again. Sasuke turned a bit and all but laid upon Shikamaru’s lap, hands gripping his sides as Shikamaru tried, and failed to throw him off.
Shikamaru was about to stab the boy with his fist, but Naruto began to stir then. Shika gripped his hand as well and began to trace the number 17 over and over until Naruto’s eyes fell upon his. Slouching a bit Shikamaru used his small hands to frame his face, and Naruto flashed his eyes red, telling him the message was received before he all but passed out in Shika’s weak hold. Sighing so loudly that Minato’s team looked at him with worry Shikamaru laid Naruto back down and leaned back until he rested on his forearms.
“Look, we’re lost, and if you’re planning to leave us out here to die, the least you can do is tell us what direction is Konoha. I don’t know why we were attacked, where not even part of this stupid, pointless war-” Minato flinched and looked a bit guilty. He was a guiness in his own right, and Naruto’s shade of blonde hair looked too familiar for him to ignore. Minato was coming up with his own theories on the boys, all of which revolved around bastard children or scientific experiments because there was no way he wasn’t faithful to Kushina. “-But we really need to get going. It would be troublesome to carry these two by myself, but I can. Just tell us where to go...Please.”
Shikamaru was no fool, he knew how he looked as a child. Really he remembered how they all looked when they were young. They were cute , and Naruto was the worst of them all. Shika knew he had the Puppy Eyes Ninjutsu, but he was hesitant to use it. It was when he saw the Flash falter that he all but put on the act of hurt and frail. His eyes even watered as he pretended to sniffle, looking away and at his two teammate with shrinking faith.
“I can’t leave them behind. I’d go look ahead, but we’re...we stick together no matter what!” Shika all but yelled, sniffling and rubbing his eyes, pretending to play the tough guy.
Shikamaru was well aware of Minato’s and Obito’s view when it came to teammates. Nothing was more telling than how a person treated their family. Shikamaru looked at the ground, determined for them not to see how his eyes lit with mischief as he went to move Sasuke’s head onto Naruto’s stomach. He slowly began to stand, mouth opening to respond to the quiet that followed his wake, but Minato all put knelt beside him, hands on his shoulder as Shikamaru let his lose hair cover his eyes.
“Hey, none of that. I’m sure we can...I’m sure we can talk to the Hokage and get this all figured out. We were on our way home ourselves, we’ll….We’ll help you take your friends to our village. You will all be put through processing, this is war after all.” Minato stated firmly. He was trying to say it in the lightest of mood, and Shikamaru nodded, smiling slightly.
Shikamaru was well aware that they would be put into a hospital room together, given how young they were. From there they would be interviewed individually, and thus coming to a conclusion on what to do with the three orphaned children. Shikamaru was nervous, there was a tight timeframe when he could ask Naruto to ask Karuma to delude their dna, at least to make it seem like they were a third or fourth generation of their respected clans. Naruto was the only one who would get second generation. It was too unlikely that Namikaze would have a third or fourth generation, unlike the Uzumakis. It seemed like it was more likely that Naruto was born a second generation Namikaze, and a third Uzumaki. Shikamaru didn’t like to make Minato’s father look like a cheater, but he needed some room to work with, and that was all he could get.
“I understand, I just want to make sure they’re okay. I’ll answer all questions you might have.” Shikamaru said as he used his peripheral to look at Kakashi. He was another genius among the group. Shikamaru was well aware that the rule bound idiot would be on their case, but Shikamaru was more worried about Minato then Kakashi. Kakashi was still a child, one that didn’t hold any real weight at the moment. Kakashi did look at them oddly, but Shikamaru ruled it unimportant.
“Good, I do apologize for this-” Shika felt a sharp prick of a needle in his neck. His eyes swam as he looked at Minato with slight betrayal, but beyond that he understood. He had to play the character, no matter what. “But when you wake up, hopefully you’ll be feeling better.”
Shikamaru let the shadows at the edge of his vision swim and consume him. He wasn’t that surprised, even if he played the part. He had to play and react in the way he assumed they would expect of him. Shikamaru gripped onto Naruto and Sasuke as he fell unconscious, praying that he would wake up with them in the T.I hospital room, eyes blurring as team Minato rushed their way. As Shikamaru fell into a fitful slumber each member of team Minato gripped a child and lifted them to carrying them home.
“Are you sure about this sensei?” Kakashi asked, eyes looking over the children in haste.
“Yes. We will talk more when we reach Konoha.”