The Past That Repeats Itself Chapter One
The rain pelted down relentlessly. I guess it was to be expected when you were walking by the hidden rain village. Sasuke walked as he always did; in silence, without stopping or looking back. Sometimes, it was like he wasn't even there at all. He was often off in his own world, walking slightly ahead of his team. There was always something though, something that would break him out of his thoughts and send him crashing back to reality. Deep in the back of his mind, Sasuke knew they would be trouble. He also figured that with their talents and abilities, it would pay off and he would finally able to best Itachi. But at this moment, they seemed to be more trouble than help to him.
"We've been walking for EVER! Aren't you guys getting tired yet? I'm exhausted!" Suigetsu flopped down and sat, right where he had been walking. The small boy pulled his drink out, and as usual, began sipping at the straw.
"We've only been walking for a few hours Suigetsu!" To Sasuke, Karin's voice was like somebody hitting two rocks together. It always reminded him of the girls back in Konoha.
"I don't care. You know I get dehydrated easily!" Suigetsu retorted still sitting in the middle of the path. Juugo and Karin had both stopped and were looking at him. Sasuke stopped as well, but didn't turn around.
"How could you get dehydrated in this weather? You're just lazy!" Karin half yelled, shaking a finger at him before putting her hands back on her hips and glaring at him. Juugo looked over at the raven haired leader of team, Hebi, with worry in his eyes. After traveling for a while, Juugo was getting better at controlling his urges, and was actually a pretty sweet guy. But Sasuke didn't need sweet. What bothered Sasuke most about Juugo was that he cared too much for the team. He never seemed to understand that they were just pawns to Sasuke and that he didn't care about befriending them and if it wasn't for them maybe standing between his life and death, he wouldn't care if they were tired or injured. They were all expendable to him. Or at least that's what he told himself. He motioned for Juugo to come over to where the he stood.
"Well at least I DO something to help! Unlike you who always has to be rescued!"
"All you do is throw water at people! How is that any help at all! You're nothing but a child! You're weak!" Juugo sighed and walked over to Sasuke. He was used to the two fighting but was always worried about them. Suigetsu was a friend of his and he didn't like him fighting, even though he wasn't too fond of Karin himself, he didn't dislike her either. He wanted them to get along. This whole thing would go much smoother if Sasuke wasn't so out of it and if those two could just focus on who was really the enemy.
"You we any leads on Itachi at this point?" Sasuke asked, sounding eerily calm.
"Umm, the rain seems to have washed away what ever was left of the trail we had. I'm sorry Sasuke, but we have no leads left to follow. I can keep looking, but it might take a while before something good enough turns up. Maybe we should rest for a few days or something to pass the time..." Juugo wished Sasuke would just give it up. This wasn't the first time they had lost a trail, but Sasuke already knew they were farther off than they had ever been.
"That sounds like a good idea. Tell those two to wrap it up. You guys are no good to me if you can't fight. There is a small village ahead. I'll get us a place to stay." Sasuke bounded up silently into the trees and disappeared, leaving Juugo behind still absorbing the words.
Juugo was left dumbfounded. Never had Sasuke actually let them stay at an inn, or even rest for that matter. He figured he must have been tired too, but he never let it show. Whether it was Orochimaru's relentless training, Sasuke's unshakable drive to kill his brother, or just his natural demeanor, Sasuke was unshakeable, and always unfazed. He shook off the suspicion that harbored in the back of his mind and turned his attention towards the other two.
"And I suppose you think you can do it!" Karin through her head back and laughed. "Oh you are so on! I can't wait to see the look on your face when I win!"
"There is no way you could win this! You may as well just call it off now and save yourself the embarrassment!" Suigetsu said grinning widely.
"There is no way I would ever lose to you! Plus, this is my area of expertise." Suigetsu laughed at Karin's words. "I already have the upper hand and you know it!" She added.
"What!" They yelled in unison. Juugo stumbled back. 'That was weird
* * *
Sasuke opened his eyes at the sound of bustling in the hall. He sat up just as the door to his room was slid open. In came Suigetsu and Karin arguing about god knows what, followed by the lumbering Juugo. Sasuke narrowed his eyes and glared at Juugo.
"Well!" Juugo dropped his bag and backed out the door. "I'mgoingtothehotspringsnow IguessI'llseeyouguyslaterthen bye!" Juugo bolted, narrowly missing the door frame that was not built to accommodate someone of his height. Sasuke smirked. He was glad to have chosen Juugo to come along with him.
"You don't even know what you are talking about, you idiot!" Karin yelled
"Well I sure as hell know more than you Whore!" Suigetsu retorted. Karin gasped and threw a punch towards the small boys face, causing it to dissipate into water. The two of them constantly reminded him of his old team mates that he had left behind.
"What are you two doing in my room?" Sasuke's voice was cold. There was no emotion in the question.
"Well this idiot is so cheap he figured we could all stay in a single room. I told him we should at least give you your own room since you are the leader but he wouldn't listen." Karin pouted and glared at Suigetsu.
"No, this is good. It will be better in case of attack and we are short on money." Sasuke got up and walked across the room to look out the window. Suigetsu grinned and stuck his tongue out at Karin who was gawking at Sasuke. Karin threw another punch at Suigetsu but he dodged and ran out the door.
Karin's anger dissipated almost instantly as she realized she was alone with Sasuke. She grinned and fixed her hair, removing her glasses. She walked over to the raven haired beauty who was leaning against the balcony ledge. His hair swayed slightly in the breeze making his lack of movement even more prominent. She almost stopped, remembering all the times that he scared her with his intensity and abilities, but then remembered she would not loose to Suigetsu. She didn't even want to give him a chance to win this.
"Hey there." Karin walked up beside him and mimicked his relaxed posture against the railing. The view was actually really nice. It was a small village, set apart from the main rain villages. There was no real noise around except a few children darting between the trees.
"What is it Karin?" Sasuke looked at her. Her lip was pouted out again making her look a bit like it was numb and she couldn't control it.
"Do I have to have a reason to come talk to a friend?" She advanced on him, but he held his ground, not moving his gaze from her.
"Well I'm glad you see me as a friend so I can stop worrying about you assassinating me in the middle of the night." Karin laughed a soft innocent type laugh, that confused Sasuke because she was hardly soft or innocent, for that matter; and he was also being completely serious. Sasuke's brows furrowed when she rested a hand on his that was on the railing. He looked down at his hand then back to her. Karin had her lip still pouted out and peeked up at him through her eye lashes. She stepped forward, almost completely closing the space between the two. She trailed her other hand along his arm and looked up into his eyes.
"I'm really glad to have gotten out of that prison. I'm very grateful to you, you know that right. So now, I want to thank you." Sasuke looked at her. The way she had a small blush on her cheeks, the way she peeked through her eyelashes and just about everything else she did all reminded her of his past life. She reminded him of Sakura. Her picture flashed in his mind. Sasuke felt his eyes go wide at the painful image of what he had left behind.
Sasuke had managed not to think about them since he left but now, all the hurt hit him hard. He felt his walls crumble in front of him and wondered how this was possible. Uchiha Sasuke did not let his emotions control him. Uchiha Sasuke would not let these people, or any other people for that matter, break him! He backed up and Sakura, no, Karin pressed herself against him and leaned up to kiss him. He returned to his icy glare as he dodged out of her arms and walked away from her quickly, into the room keeping his back to her.
Karin grabbed her glasses and left the room. He knew her 'assault' was over for now. She did this every time they ended up alone, but had never moved so fast before. Why was he so weak today? Sasuke had been struggling to suppress the memories of his former team mates all day. He had never been broken out of his hard manner before, but now he was shaken. Was all this really because of him? Sasuke punched the wall. "Damn it."
* * *
Juugo walked down the hall and focused all his energy on the floor pattern to drive out the drivel coming from behind him.
"Oh really?" Suigetsu strolled down the hall sipping at his drink between arguments with Karin who strolled beside him wringing her hair out.
"Yea really! Not like you could do anything about it! You can't even lift your own sword!" Karin laughed and hung her towel over her shoulder.
"At least I have a weapon! You probably don't even know which way to hold a kunai!" Suigetsu's retort sounded a bit like a growl.
"I have talents other than just flinging pieces of metal around and hoping I hit my enemy!" Juugo sighed as he opened the door to their room. He walked in and heard a shout. Sasuke turned and looked at the noise as well and saw both Suigetsu and Karin had tried to enter the door at the same time and had gotten themselves stuck. Karin punched Suigetsu in the stomach and he turned to water, flying backwards and freeing her. She strode forward and flipped her hair over her shoulder as Suigetsu rematerialized in the hallway.
"Bitch," Suigetsu mumbled as he stood up and shook the water off himself.
"Fish," Karin shot back with a look over her shoulder. Suigetsu opened his mouth with a comeback but Sasuke cut him off.
"Eat. Then get to sleep. I can't afford you all lagging when we get our next lead." There was a spread set out on a small table in the middle of the room.
"Thank god! I'm starving!" Suigetsu strode into the room and dove straight into the spread before he was sitting down.
"That's disgusting Suigetsu! If you keep eating like that you'll get fat!" Karin said.
"You mean fat like you! That would take a lot of pounds you know!" Suigetsu managed to grin at her before she drove another punch into his face. Sasuke felt his stomach turn and strode out of the room leaving only Juugo to notice him leave.
* * *
Sasuke undid the tie on his yukata and shivered at the night air touched his body. There was no one else in the spring as it was getting late. The sky had turned a deep purple blue as the sun was gone. The only light came from the small, dim lanterns that lined the paths and the moon. Sasuke slid himself slowly into the hot water and marveled at how much it relaxed him. He walked over to the side of the small pool and sat down on the ledge. He ran his fingers through his hair and relaxed, allowing himself to close his eyes and drift back into his memories that he had fought so hard to bury in his subconscious.
He was shocked to see how well he remembered them. It was after one of their missions and Kakashi and Sakura had already gone to bed. They each had their own tent but since there were only three tents, Sasuke was stuck sharing a tent with Naruto. Although they fought often, Sasuke had to admit that Naruto had grown on him. He was still annoying and an immature brat, but Sasuke respected him for always managing to stay positive and he did have some impressive skills.
It was late and both boys were too tired to bother to fight, and fell asleep almost immediately. Sasuke awoke later on in the evening, sweating and breathing heavily. He the nightmares were almost always the same, but they still shook him to his very core. He calmed his breath and lay back down only to have his mind clouded by muffled sobs. Sasuke touched his cheek, but it was dry. The sounds came from next to him.
Naruto's body shook with the quiet sobs that came from his parted lips. Sasuke looked over at the boy to see he was still asleep. A thin sheen of sweat covered his face. The young Uchiha was not used to having to comfort somebody, but he drew on the last remnants of his mother's memory and shook the blond boy's shoulder.
Naruto awoke with a start and stared at the raven haired boy in front of him. Sasuke's eyes were wide and he was biting his bottom lip. Bits and pieces of Naruto's nightmare lingered in his mind as he hastily wiped away the tear streaks on his cheeks.
"Umm, I know I'm probably the last person you want to talk to," Naruto looked up at
Sasuke as he spoke. His voice was soft and full of worry. "But I want you to know that you're not alone anymore." Sasuke gave him the best smile he could manage, but it still turned out more like a grimace. Sasuke put his hand on his teammates shoulder. "I hope you'll feel better." Naruto's eyes were wide with shock and amazement. All of a sudden, Naruto leapt forward and tackle hugged his dark haired teammate, knocking them both down on the ground. "Be careful Usuratonkachi! Or else you're going to knock the tent down!" Sasuke tried to sound mad but it came out with a chuckle as he hugged his friend back.
"Thank you." Sasuke flinched and opened his eyes, realizing that the voice wasn't in his mind and didn't match his missing blond teammate. Sasuke's eyes met with Suigetsu's calming purple ones. "I really was hungry and that totally hit the spot." Suigetsu flashed him a wide smile. Sasuke smiled back. He knew what ramen was best.
"No problem Usuraton
" He cut himself off when he saw that Suigetsu was looking at him funny. Sasuke blushed slightly. "Sorry, I was thinking about something else
" He couldn't believe it; first seeing Sakura in Karin, now Naruto in Suigetsu. He had to get a hold of himself.
"Wanna talk about it? Or just wanna talk?" Suigetsu looked at him earnestly. Sasuke began to wonder if his subconscious made him choose people that reminded him of his lost team.
"That actually doesn't sound like a bad idea." Suigetsu grinned and started talking about all the ways he had come up with to shut Karin up. Sasuke found himself honestly laughing; and it felt really good.