Wanderers

BY : MidnightHorrorShow
Category: Naruto > Het - Male/Female
Dragon prints: 1399
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, nor the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Note: This takes place after The Last

For the first time in months, he saw the sunlight.

Sasuke Uchiha closed his Rinnegan eye as he stepped out of a purple portal, slowly looking around before he began to relax. He had arrived in the right world, after jumping around a few dimensions for what seemed like weeks. He felt drained, something he wasn't used to having too often. After all, he had more power than anyone else other than Naruto. Being tired wasn't something he was used to anymore. Looking around, Sasuke noticed that he was a few hours away from Konoha. It had been months since the last time he had come home, seeing no real reason to come back that often. Or at least that's what he told himself.

Sasuke placed his hand on the hilt of his katana as he began to walk, letting himself get lost in thought as he looked to the sky. He had been, other than the rare return to Konoha, gone from the village on his journey of redemption. The Uchiha knew he had a lot to pay for: Letting himself be consumed with his desire for revenge, leaving the village, and even trying to become a dictator after the war had ended. He understood the weight of his actions now. At times, Sasuke thought he'd never be able to find redemption after all the bad he did, but in the end he always kept trying. He had to. It would take time, but he felt that eventually things would work out.

"I'll only stay for the night, then leave first thing in the morning," Sasuke decided with a small nod. "The less time I stay, the better."

Sasuke's focus returned as he heard a crashing sound in the distance. His left eye still closed, the Sharingan flashed into his open eye, scanning the area as he stopped walking. Sasuke remained silent for a moment before he let out a soft sigh, shaking his head as he began walking once more.

"MAR!"

Sasuke froze once more as he heard the name. This time, the Uchiha rushed towards the noise, unsheathing his katana as he ran. When Sasuke came to a clearing, he quickly scanned the area with his Sharingan. No sign of anybody being there. Sasuke was about to turn to leave with his Sharingan spotted blood in the grass nearby. Going over, Sasuke kneeled and touched the blood, frowning. "Still warm," he murmured. The Uchiha stood and followed the blood for a few feet until it suddenly stopped. Kneeling again, Sasuke only found a small note where the blood trail ended.

"Dear Brahma: Please come back soon, brother. I'm scared. It hurts. With you gone, he hurts me even more. Please save me." Sasuke read the small note a few times with an uneasy feeling, the edges of the paper wet with blood. Sasuke put the note away in his pocket before he checked the blood once more. It was thinner than he thought it should be.

"Blood, a note, but no body. Nobody here," Sasuke muttered to himself as he stood back up. Something felt out of place.

Deciding to check the area more closely, Sasuke began walking around the area, checking the places where the grass had blood on it. After checking for a while, Sasuke found only one more item. Seeing something shine in the grass a few feet away, Sasuke quickly moved over and kneeled once more. In the grass he found a small silver necklace, the pendent being the Uchiha symbol. Seeing his clan's symbol confused Sasuke. Despite this, it also piqued his curiosity. The uneasy feeling sank deeper within him. Like the note, he decided to keep the necklace, slipping it into his pocket before deciding there was nothing else to be found in the clearing. He'd examine the necklace more closely when he got home.

Home. For the longest time, Sasuke didn't consider Konoha his home. After all, how could he? His family was dead, the Uchiha compound empty. He had, in the past, tried to push his friends away, thinking it'd make him stronger. In the end, now that he could admit it to himself, it only left him feeling empty. So why was he going back to a place that had such painful memories?

Sakura Haruno.

While Sasuke was away on his journey, he had recieved a letter from the pink haired woman. It talked about his childhood dream and how she never really gave up on him. When Sasuke had first read the letter, it gave a painful ache in his chest. After everything Sasuke had done, all the shit he put Sakura through, and she still never gave up on him. Sasuke had Sakura on his mind a lot, even before the letter. But now he felt he had to return to Konoha to see her. And yet, he felt an odd nervousness. What would he even say to her if he saw her during his quick visit? He had been away again for a few months. Had she finally moved on? Stopped waiting for him? The thought made Sasuke feel very weird. The thought of Sakura no longer waiting for him...

"Don't be an idiot. You read her letter, many times," the Uchiha quickly reminded himself, shaking the thoughts away.

Reaching into his pocket, Sasuke pulled out the letter and looked at it. He had read the letter many times. Despite having memorized every word in the letter, he still kept it, reading it almost daily at this point as he made his way home. Staring at the letter for a moment, Sasuke couldn't help but smile, if only a little.

"I suppose we'll see each other soon, Sakura."

As the last Uchiha began to walk once more, he allowed his thoughts to wander, thinking over how things ended up. Naruto had fought him after the war, refusing to let Sasuke just fall into the darkness. Sasuke, before the fight, had even used a genjutsu on Sakura to make her think he stabbed her through the chest. At the time, despite his talk of cutting ties, he couldn't make himself kill the pink haired woman. He claimed it was because it wasn't worth the chakra to really kill her, and so just shut her up with a genjutsu. Thinking back on it, Sasuke knew that this was a weak excuse. No matter how far Sasuke fell or how much he claimed their bonds meant nothing, in the end Sasuke hadn't been able to kill Sakura. And even though Sasuke had been going all out in his fight with Naruto, even that hadn't been enough to break the ties he had.

Through the years, Sasuke had been a terrible friend to Naruto and Sakura. He knew it, and knew there was no point in denying it. He had been obsessed with getting his revenge to the point of being willing to do whatever it took. He had almost killed Naruto after leaving the village, and then when they met each other again he attacked with no hesitation. He would have, yet again, tried to kill his old team. If Orochimaru hadn't stopped him, he likely would have tried.

After Sasuke had left the village, things really only got worse. The Uchiha only had revenge on his mind, wanting to kill Itachi to avenge his clan. And when he finally did kill his brother? Sasuke learned the truth that Itachi wasn't as big of a monster as he had thought. Once having learned the truth, Sasuke's heart only grew darker and he had a new goal in mind: Destroy Konoha to make them pay for what they made Itachi do. Sasuke attacked the Kages and even killed Danzo. And, when Sakura and the rest of Team Seven showed up, he had wanted to kill them too. They meant nothing to him at the moment, his mind so consumed by pain and rage. He wanted to kill his old team. The entire village would go down in flames as they felt Sasuke's rage. How could the villagers act so happy, laugh and smile, after what happened? The Uchiha clan was dead thanks to Konoha, and Sasuke would make them regret letting him live.

Shortly after this, Sasuke had taken Itachi's eyes to unlock the Eternal Mangekyou Sharingan. The power made Sasuke feel untouchable. With the power of the Eternal Mangekyou Sharingan, Sasuke felt that he'd be able to destroy anybody that got in his way. In the end though, Sasuke ended up helping during the war. Of course, as soon as the war was over, Sasuke wanted to destroy all the Kage and the tailed beasts. With the power of the Rinnesharingan, and his Eternal Mangekyou, Sasuke was sure that not even Naruto would be able to stop him.

Looking down at his fake arm, Sasuke smiled only a little, knowing how well THAT plan had worked out.

But, really, it did work well. Naruto and Sakura, in the end, had saved him from becoming a true monster. If he had won the fight against Naruto, he knew things would have only gotten worse. Naruto and Sakura, never giving up on him. No matter how dark he got. No matter how many times he told them he didn't care about them, or threatened to kill them. He repeated this in his mind over and over.

Sasuke let out a breath as he looked to the sky, the clouds blocking the sun from sight. The more he thought about it, the more he felt his life was complicated to say the least.

Even as a child, Sasuke wasn't sure if he had been happy. His father always praised Itachi and treated him like he was the favorited son. Sasuke always tried his best, and yet no matter what he did, he always seemed to fall short, never getting the praise he so desperately wanted from his father. Whether it was shuriken throwing or trying to do the Uchiha clan's signature fireball jutsu, Sasuke never seemed to do anything right in his father's eyes. When Sasuke finally did manage to use the jutsu, the small praise that he got was the greatest thing he had ever heard in his life.

"You are my son, after all."

It had meant the world to Sasuke, hearing those words from his father. And then not too long after came the day that everything fell apart.

Sasuke asked himself, are there only painful memories? Sasuke's thoughts drifted to Sakura as they did so often lately. Even though at the time he acted like he hated it, now that his mind and heart weren't clouded by a bloodthirsty rage, Sasuke knew he had been foolish. Sakura had done nothing but show she cared about him, and what did he do? Ignored her. Insulted her. Attempted to murder her more than once. She too tried to kill him but it only fueled the feelings of pain in his heart.

Sasuke's ached as memories rushed through his thoughts.

Sakura crying over his body when she thought he was dead after his fight with Haku.

Sakura, when Sasuke went on a rampage with the curse seal, begging Sasuke to stop, the feeling of her arms around him as she cried.

The night that Sasuke left the village, Sakura begged him to stay, telling him she loved him. She told him that if he would stay with her, then every day they spent together would be full of fun and happiness. That being without him was like being all alone— being just like him.

Another memory, more recent, came to Sasuke's mind, making his heart ache with regret.

"I...I know there's nothing much I can do to stop this...But I still loved you! I never thought you'd turn out this way! I couldn't be there for you when you needed help...Or even stop you from going down that path. All I could do was just sit there and cry. It's disgraceful! But...But, Sasuke-kun! If I still have a place in that heart of yours, even if it's just a little...Please, don't go! If we're together again...I'm sure we'd be able to go back to those days..."

Sasuke stopped walking. He frowned at the memories, staring at the clouds above with an unsure look in his eyes. How could he face Sakura? For so many years, all he had done is cause her pain. He had made Sakura cry more than he cared to admit. Tried to kill her, and had for years tried pushing her away. Could he really face Sakura? She forgave him, but could Sasuke face her when he returned home? If Sasuke really wanted to do what was best for her, he thought, he would stay away from the village, never return. If he stayed away, would Sakura finally move on and find happiness?

But she loves YOU, a voice in his head said. Sasuke thought it over and let out a weak sigh, closing his eyes as he shook his head.

"How could someone like Sakura love a criminal bastard like me?" he asked himself with an angry tone. Sasuke gripped his katana tightly.

"All I have ever done is hurt her...How could she possibly love me?!" the Uchiha screamed at himself, clenching his teeth tightly. Anger began to rise in him as he continued to yell at himself. "You don't deserve her love! How could you?! You've done nothing to earn it, and every time she tried being there, you pushed her away!" Pacing, Sasuke continued, clenching and relaxing his fist. "What could I even offer her other than a life of sorrow? She'd only continue to be sad if she was with me, wouldn't she?" His cries elicited no response from the empty path he walked alone.

It took several minutes, but eventually Sasuke managed to calm himself down from his breakdown, putting his katana back into its sheath as he let out a deep breath. "Pull it together, pull it together," he muttered as he let out a few more deep breaths. After thinking things over, Sasuke slowly nodded and looked ahead, slowly opening his Rinnesharingan eye. "She...She can make her own decisions. I can't stop how she feels, after all. I sure as hell would have scared her away by now if she was going to give up on me, right...? I...suppose I will have to face her. At least once, before I leave again. This time, I must."

When Sasuke Uchiha finally could see the gates of Konoha, the sun was starting to set. Putting on a calm facade, despite his earlier episode, Sasuke paused only briefly before letting out a final deep breath and stepping into the Hidden Leaf village.

At the gates sat a single guard in his booth, resting his head on his arms. When he felt the chakra of somebody entering the village, he instantly sat up, blinking at the sight of the last living Uchiha. Quickly wiping the drool off his chin, the man cleared his throat to get Sasuke's attention.

"Sasuke Uchiha. Will you be staying long this time?"

Sasuke glanced over at the guard, studying him with his Sharingan eye, giving the man a blank stare before looking into the village.

"No. Maybe. It depeneds, though that isn't any of your business," Sasuke finally replied in a tone that made him seem almost bored. "I'm here for...an important reason."

The guard watched Sasuke for a moment, scratching the back of his head before sighing and nodding. Since Sasuke's crimes had been forgiven after the war, the guard couldn't really stop Sasuke from coming into the village. As long as the Uchiha wasn't planning to cause any trouble, the guard saw no reason to ask any further questions and so gave the Uchiha a nod, watching for a moment as Sasuke walked away.

The first thing Sasuke noticed when he entered the village was how different things were since his last visit. There were many new shops, selling things like a few cell phones and computers. Sasuke himself wasn't sure why people found these new technologies so interesting, he himself usually sending his hawk when he kept contact at all. Free and easy. He himself didn't own a cell phone, finding them to be a little confusing and not worth the headache. Of course, he knew that eventually he'd have to give in and get one, but until it was needed he would simply stick to sending his hawk with letters.

The sounds of the village were different than he remembered, too. During his childhood, and even the last time he visited it seemed, things were usually quiet at night. But now, Sasuke heard voices from radios and televisions, people listening to music. Pointless noise to the Uchiha, who enjoyed the peace of quiet.

Already Sasuke couldn't wait to get to the abandoned Uchiha compound where he could be alone and away from everything. No sounds or lights. Simply silence.

Making his way through the village, Sasuke quickly made his way home. He felt tired and annoyed, and his head started to pound. He was drained much too quickly, and so he needed to recharge. In need of some quiet and a minute to relax, he found that it seemed impossible in the village these days, leaving him with only the creepy Uchiha compound to hide away in. When Sasuke finally made it home, he stepped up to his house and slid the key into the lock, resting his forehead against the door. Sasuke froze when he heard a familiar voice coming from behind him. Instinctively, the voice soothed his sharingan into fading away and his eyes lidded half way.

"Welcome home, Sasuke."



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