Out Of Our Control, Something Had to Give.
Sasuke had spent the last few weeks recovering with Tobi, rather, Madara. Madara had informed him of the truth behind the Uchiha Massacre, and the fact that Itachi was in fact a traitor but was working for the Hidden Leaf in his treachery, not himself. Sasuke had mused over this new revelation for quite some time, trying to figure out what the best response to this situation might be. He knows that Madara wasn't telling the whole truth, and Itachi certainly told none of the truth. He also knew that there was a good chance that Madara was in fact behind the Nine-Tails attack.
Right now, Sasuke understood that he needed to find out the truth. Is the Hidden Leaf Village truly behind the Uchiha massacre? Did they really order every man woman and child to die? The kids he played with when he was young, the sleepovers with friends, the traditions, the aspirations for Sharingan and the Police Force, the Uchiha festivals. All of that reduced to nothing in one night because of tensions between his clan and the village? He needed to know the truth, but he needed to find out from a reliable source which meant getting a hold of a Hidden Leaf Elder. The odds of the Hidden Leaf keeping documents of such an operation were nil to none, so he would have to squeeze it out of a reliable source.
He would sort that all out as soon as his eyes were ready.
Sasuke was now lying on a bed in Elephant's Graveyard, recovering from the transplant of Itachi's eyes. At first he perceived having Itachi's eyes as some sort of path of viewing the world through Itachi's eyes, but when he had decided on continuing on with his quest to avenge the Uchiha Clan he realized that he would need all the power he would get. How was gaining the Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan any different from getting the curse mark? Sacrificing a part of his psyche for power wasn't anything he wasn't already familiar with. He'd get there when he got there.
The Hidden Leaf Village
Tsunade sent a team of some of her best ninja to retrieve Sasuke Uchiha and Itachi Uchiha if possible and the mission failed, again. This time the squad wasn't made up of Genin, all Chunnin and Jonin level ninja were the caliber shinobi she sent on this mission and yet it still failed. She had to admit, this Sasuke Uchiha wasn't going to get caught unless he wanted to. Itachi Uchiha's body wasn't able to be recovered, however the intel her team received from a masked man with the Sharingan leads her to believe that Sasuke and Itachi must be in the custody of whoever this person is.
"And you're sure Sasuke Uchiha killed him?" Tsunade asked.
In front of her stood, Kakashi, Sai, Sakura, Naruto, Kiba, Hinata, Shino, and Kurenai. Tsunade wondered to herself what more did it take to catch this Uchiha child? He was nothing special, sure he killed Orochimaru but he was severely wounded from his battle with the Third Hokage and she never got any intel that this kid could be this slithery when being pursued.
"This odd creature came out of the tree that the masked man was standing on and gave his account. He declared Itachi dead and Sasuke the winner, but also claimed that Sasuke was unconscious and he was unsure if Sasuke himself was going to survive either." Kakashi replied.
Tsunade gritted her teeth. First Orochimaru, now Itachi? Jiraiya informed her about Orochimaru leaving Akatsuki because he couldn't defeat Itachi. Now Itachi's kid brother was capable of killing both Orochimaru and Itachi? This Sasuke...
"And you consider this source verifiable?" Tsunade asked.
"No, I don't but it's the best we're going to get. The source was an Akatsuki member, but wasn't a person so much so a creature." Kakashi replied.
Tsunade sighed. Well, at least that's one other Akatsuki down. Truth be told she's almost starting to like Sasuke Uchiha being a rogue ninja...he seemed to be cleaning up all of their messes for them, from Itachi to Orochimaru, maybe he should be free to roam a bit longer.
"Well...this mission is on pause for now. Itachi Uchiha's body being in possession of the Akatsuki is bad news, his eyes could be transplanted into someone else and his brain may contain secrets of the village considering he was ANBU. On the other hand, Sasuke Uchiha himself would be the last remaining Uchiha but apparently there's another one skulking about according to Kakashi. We need to recover those three if possible." Tsunade said.
She clicked her pen a few times.
"Until then I say we congratulate ourselves on another Akatsuki being killed. Two birds one stone, or rather two traitors one Sasuke. Sasuke's been a stellar rogue ninja while he's been away but this mission must continue. It's imperative that the other villages do not obtain the Sharingan." Tsunade said in finality.
"Do you think Sasuke might come back now that Itachi's dead?" Hinata asked.
"It's a possibility, but I doubt it. Sasuke is more than likely being held prisoner right now by whoever that masked man was that confronted us." Kakashi replied.
Sakura covered her face with her hand frustruated.
"Why is everything surrounding Sasuke such a big mess?" Sakura asked.
"It's been like that with Sasuke since that day." Kakashi replied.
"What do you mean Kakashi?" Tsunade asked, butting in.
Kakashi took a deep breathe and then exhaled. He then put his hands in his pockets.
"When the massacre happened, I was in the ANBU Black-Ops. I was the only ninja in the village after the massacre who could use Sharingan after the massacre so I was tasked with guarding Sasuke in the event that Itachi came back to finish the job. It was a pointless order considering that if Itachi could kill that many real Sharingan users then I'd stand no chance." Kakashi replied.
"And...what happened?" Tsunade asked.
"Sasuke was and is obviously suffering from PTSD. He was put under a genjutsu by Itachi when we found him, but we don't know what kind. We also know that Sasuke was present at the end of the massacre and saw the bodies. Long story short, when guarding Sasuke we noticed he would have these random fits of rage where he'd destroy things, leave the house and not come back for weeks at a time during the summer, hunting and fishing in the wild. He'd have nightmares where he was reliving the entire massacre as well. Long story short, this mess was bound to happen." Kakashi replied, shrugging his shoulders.
"Do you think Sasuke could be a threat to the village if he were to return?" Tsunade asked, narrowing her eyes.
Sakura looked at Naruto, expecting a loud and boisterous reaction, not realizing Naruto was more silent than he had ever been in the history of well..ever.
"I don't know Lady Tsunade." Kakashi replied.
A silence took over the room for a while before Kurenai spoke up.
"If anything is a threat, it's that third Uchiha, this masked guy with the Sharingan. When he teleported away he used a genjutsu to mask his teleportation technique." Kurenai said.
Tsunade turned her head to Kurenai along with everyone else.
"Were you able to see through the genjutsu?" Tsunade asked.
"Yes, I broke it immediately. It was a vortex of some sort's coming from his eye and his eye took a different shape from the usual Sharingan too." Kurenai said.
"Mangekyo Sharingan." Kakashi muttered.
"Wait, what's Mangekyo Sharingan?" Naruto asked.
"It's a type of Sharingan, the stage after the standard Sharingan. The Mangekyo is what Itachi used on Sasuke and I years ago, it's the reason we were both out of commission and unable to wake up despite both of us having Sharingan." Kakashi replied.
"Kurenai, can you describe the shape his Sharingan took?" Kakashi asked.
She shook her head in response.
"No, it was too far away and hard to fully make out in that mask, but it definitely morphed into a different shape." Kurenai replied.
"Kakashi-sensei, doesn't your Mangkeyo or whatever usually use a vortex too? Like when we fought that Akatsuki guy with the explosives?" Naruto asked.
Kakashi took his hands out of his pockets and narrowed his eyes.
"Yes, it does...and his Sharingan is in his right eye only." Kakashi muttered.
"Well? Does that mean anything special, anything specific?" Tsunade asked.
"It does, but this information should remain between you and I, Lady Tsunade I request that you dismiss the others. I have a theory about that third Sharingan user, and I don't think he's an Uchiha." Kakashi replied.
Silence took over the room again.
"Fine. Team dismissed, everyone get some rest. At the middle of the month I will have my next step of the plan ready for a team briefing and then you all will be sent back out on this mission to retrieve Sasuke Uchiha, Itachi Uchiha, and this third possible Uchiha. Operation Flaming Fan is official and still underway." Tsunade replied, knocking a thick stack of papers agains her desk twice.
The team left the room, leaving Kakashi and Tsunade alone to discuss the third Sharingan user.
As the team descended down the stairs, Kiba spoke his mind.
"I think we should get ready to write Sasuke off, completely." Kiba said with his hands behind his head.
Akamaru whined as though his master speaking was a bad idea.
"Kiba I don't believe it's appropriate to say such things in front of Sasuke's classmates and teammates, I read that statements such as that are inappropriate." Sai replied.
"It's fine...Naruto and I don't expect people to care about Sasuke as much as we do anyways." Sakura snarked back, glaring at Kiba.
"Look, I just don't understand the big idea behind the guy, I mean he almost killed Naruto the last time we got a hold of Sasuke, which was three years ago." Kiba replied.
Lee looked at Naruto.
"Yes Naruto, I also am curious as to why you and Sakura still fight so hard for Sasuke. This is obviously more than just a mission to the two of you. But Sasuke is still a rogue ninja and someone who tried to hurt you." Lee asked, devoid of judgement and simply curious.
Naruto put his hands in his pockets and simply smiled, almost for the first time since Jiraiya's recent death.
"You know, before I became the ninja I am now, when Sasuke and I were both on Team 7, he was always cleaning up my messes or sorting me out. I remember us cleaning water out of a dirty river that lead to a waterfall. The river was deep and I fell into it and the current swept me away...right when I thought I was gonna fall off the edge Sasuke somehow saved me. It was hilarious looking back...the amount of times he had to do stuff like that." Naruto said, reminiscing.
Kurenai smiled at Naruto's story. It was pretty funny. She could already see the Sasuke of back then somehow saving Naruto from a funny situation.
Everyone waited for him to continue.
"Of course it's deeper than that. Sasuke treated me like a clumsy fool, which I kinda sorta was at the time, but he also acknowledged me. He didn't acknowledge me verbally but when we went on missions, it showed. He was the only other person besides Iruka-sensei who risked his life for me in a village full of people who absolutely hated my guts ya' know." Naruto said, shrugging his shoulders.
"He showed me a sorta silent kindness that no one else was willing to show ya' know, especially when the guy had nothing to gain from it." Naruto finished.
"Yeah but he also changed and went crazy on us, remember?" Kiba asked.
They reached the bottom of the stairs and exited the Hokage mansion.
Naruto held the door open or everyone.
"Yeah I remember...and I'll definitely clobber him upside the head for that next time I see'em. But Sasuke didn't just do that out of the blue, after Itachi hit Sasuke with that crazy genjutsu, Sasuke was way off after that. He stopped showing up to missions with his ninja gear and just wore his ninja clothes, no arm warmers. You could slowly see him breaking away. It was like when the massacre happened, you guys remember how he was, don't you?" Naruto replied.
Kiba simply sighed and looked at the ground.
"Look man, all I want is for you to not be disappointed when the guy isn't the same person we thought he was. Just be ready for that." Kiba replied.
Sakura folded her arms in annoyance.
"Both Kiba and Naruto are right...Sasuke is a victim of bad circumstances and needs help, but Naruto, you should be careful not to fall into the pit that Sasuke was thrown into, should he try to pull you down with him." Shino interjected.
"I agree with Shino." Hinata said.
Kiba groaned in annoyance, and Kurenai already knew what he was going to do.
"Kurenai-sensei get a load of these guys, do you agree with them too?" Kiba asked.
Kurenai did in fact agree with them.
"Kiba, didn't you hear Shino, both you and Naruto are right. Sasuke needs the help of his comrades, but we will also have to draw a line at some point with Sasuke no matter how much we might care about him as Leaf Shinobi. If Sasuke one day turns his sword against us, we'll have to be ready to write him off, but until then we will follow Lady Hokage's orders and help bring back all three of our targets, including Sasuke, Kiba." Kurenai replied with a smile.
Kiba crossed his arms and pouted, not satisfied but content with the answer for now.
Naruto and Sakura said their goodbye's and went to Ichiraku.
Kiba, Hinata, and Shino went back to their respective clan compounds.
Kurenai went home.
The Hidden Leaf Village
"Kakashi, you specifically said you thought this person wasn't an Uchiha?" Tsunade asked.
After the rest of the group left, Kakashi decided to brief the Hokage about his musings and where they should go next, seeing that as the leader of the team and the only Sharingan user in the entire village.
"I know..but my theory sounds insane and I also didn't want rumors going around in the village. This information should remain classified until further notice, Lady Hokage." Kakashi replied.
Tsunade sighed and turned her chair around to the glass to see the full view of the village.
"You believe that person is Obito Uchiha?" Tsunade said.
"It's...a possibility Lady Tsunade. A possibility we can't ignore." Kakashi replied.
"And how is that possible? The records my assistant just brought in claim that Obito Uchiha of the Uchiha Clan, Delta Company 1st Battalion - 5th Uchiha regiment, Alpha Company 3rd Battalion - 1st Hidden Leaf regiment, Squad 7 of Jonin-sensei Minato Namikaze, is dead." Tsunade replied, turning around to face Kakashi.
"Deductive reasoning is my means of coming to that conclusion, Lady Hokage. This man only has a Sharingan in one eye, a Mangekyo Sharingan that can use the same ability as mine. Itachi could use different abilities with his Mangekyo, and so could Shisui Uchiha but each of their abilities were unique to them. This person has an ability in his right eye that I also share in my left eye or rather his left eye." Kakashi responds cooly.
"But the means of death say he was smothered by boulders, neither us nor the Uchiha found his body, and the records show that they searched for his body three years straight after his death." Tsunade replied, flipping through her files.
"The only people alive after the Kannabi Bridge Operation that knew of Obito's final resting place was Team Minato. We gave the Uchiha Clan the coordinates to his body and they said they couldn't even find him, just dried blood left over from his body. No signs of his body even being moved from the site were there either, almost as if he had just decomposed into the ground, but they went looking for him a week after he died so that isn't even possible." Kakashi replied.
"Kakashi...still." Tsunade said.
Kakashi sighed, giving his last piece of reasoning.
"Take my eye patch for example. I don't need it because I lack an eye, I need it because the eye that's there takes up too much of my chakra. This masked man doesn't have an eye patch. He simply wears a mask that leaves an eye hole for him to see through, meaning that he has the physical strength necessary to use a Sharingan without covering it up. Only someone with Uchiha blood can do that." Kakashi replied.
Tsunade narrowed her eyes.
"Have your assistant bring in the records for any rogue Uchiha that abandoned the village after Obito's death and all the way up to Sasuke's defection." Kakashi said.
"Why would I do that? The answer is zero, that much I know for sure." Tsunade asked, narrowing her eyes and then flipping through her files again as though she's missing something.
"Exactly, no one from the Uchiha Clan went missing or went rogue between Obito's death and Sasuke's defection besides Itachi and Itachi and Sasuke were fighting when we met the masked man. I know myself that for a fact because I was in ANBU and I would have known about any rogue Uchiha's. This means that the only Uchiha who could possibly be outside of the village, whether a corpse or alive would be..." Kakashi trailed off, he was interrupted before he could answer.
"Obito Uchiha, in theory, Kakashi." Tsunade replied.
Kakashi nodded slowly.
"So why was it that you wanted all of them gone, including Kurenai, especially for information like this?" Tsunade asked.
"Kurenai would take my head clean off if I even mentioned Obito in this manner around her. She was close with him back before our final mission as Team 7 at Kannabi Bridge. He had gotten over his crush on Rin and wised up to Kurenai having a crush on him after one of his cousins spoke some sense into him maybe a year and a half before the final mission." Kakashi replied.
"For the sake of psychological security and the effectiveness of the team, it's imperative that Kurenai already knows of your suspicions should this character truly be this Uchiha person you're claiming him to be...because if he is and she has to deal with the recent death of Asuma, the early miscarriage of their child, and her childhood boyfriend being an Akatsuki member, she might not be mission effective when it counts the most." Tsunade replied, resting her chin on her knuckles.
Kakashi's face showed that he was surprised for a moment but he quickly covered it up.
"You're right Lady Tsunade..I'll find an appropriate way to break this down to her. You have my word." Kakashi replied.
"Alright, dismissed Kakashi, as if this isn't as much of a shit show as it already is. Jeeze, I wish the actual Uchiha Clan was here so I'd have to do half the paperwork on these three psycho Uchiha brats." Tsunade said, waving him off.
Kakashi chuckled as he left the room.
Some of you might not like the Obito "reveal" being this early, but to be honest, in canon the show gave the cast multiple clues that the masked man might be a little suspicious and no one ever really takes it into account. I made this easier by having Kurenai on the mission so that she could break through Obito's genjutsu and see his real Mangekyo ability.
No one is one hundred percent positive of Obito's identity and this show won't be full of early reveals so don't be too intimidated by the first chapter.
Obito loved both Rin and Kurenai in this story.
Asuma is already dead.
Jiraiya is still in the Hidden Rain on his mission.
Kurenai had a very early miscarriage.
Sasuke acquires the EMS before he even encounters Killer Bee.