Chapter Four

Reunited with a Purpose

The dreams had started when he was about eight just before the Massacre. He would have strange dreams that end in a rather odd fashion. Like how now he was being held in someone's arms. He always found it ironic in the dream considering he'd held the man he considered his brother and father at the same time even more so then Itachi in that same manner in his thoughts. Always begging him to stay with him and not to leave. But left he did as all things would in death. Now he did the same with only his son standing vigil over him. It was more then what he deserved.

"Now go," he whispered to him as the explosions all around him started to fade away. Was this how Obi-Wan felt? Was that why he looked so at peace even as his own heart rent itself in two at the sight? "Leave me."

"No," his son protested holding him hard and close to him...He was so much like him it hurt. He'd missed him growing up and teaching him. All for what? A foolish idea, a ruinous ideal that had eaten him away until there was almost nothing left. He'd recovered himself now but... "I'm not leaving you. I came to save you."

"You already have Luke," he breathed to his flesh and blood the one of last remaining bonds to this world now being severed by his death but it was okay he was ready to go he was going to be Master and Padmé along with the others. He'd be at peace with them and he'd tell them time and time again how sorry he was for pain and suffering he'd caused in life. "You, you were right about me. Tell your sister that you were right."

He used the last of his strength to smile at Luke to reassure him as Obi-Wan had done before him. He was redeemed, all was well now and he could sleep with his family once more, he'd wait for his children. Hopefully they'd have a happy and long life with the stains of his sins weighting upon them. It was then that he surrendered in way he hadn't in a long time to the currents of the Force. He knew that he was welcomed here but...

Master wasn't there waiting for him and neither was Padmé. This was unforgivable. He had to find them! If they weren't here then where? Were they in the land of the living? He needed to be with them if that was the case!

After all who'd save them were he not there? He would not be at peace unless he could protect those that he loved once more. So where were they if not one with the Force? He felt a metaphorical window open and his Master's presence poured through like the twin suns of his long forgotten home planet filling him with warmth, strength and a love that he'd missed and yearned for so long. He also felt the passionate love his wife also waiting for him there. He didn't hesitate and threw himself through to where it was coming from. Hang on Master I'm coming! I'm coming Angel! Hang on!

Sasuke opened his eyes and rubbed the sleep out of them as the last vestiges of his dream left him leaving with only a vague sense of urgency. He shook his head and walked over the bathroom. He went to the sink wash his face, readying himself for the day. As he washed his face he looked down at his burn scars on his hands namely his right that he'd put there himself to remind himself of the promise he'd made the night after the Massacre had happened.

No vengeance. If Itachi wanted vengeance then he could stuff it. He'd achieve his measure of justice without losing himself. He wasn't going to fall for that, he'd been down that dark road and had no intention of returning to the murky depths of anger and hatred. He dried off his face with a raggedy towel and then looked at his reflection steadily said a saying that he'd heard in his dreams that had served him well in the times he needed the teachings in his other life: "There is no emotions. Only peace. There is no ignorance only knowledge. There is no passion, only peace. There is no death only the Force."

Those words beforehand in another reality had meant nothing to him. Just confusing platitudes that his Master was fond of spouting. Now they meant more to him. He know the truth of those words. He nodded an affirmation to this as he gathered up his supplies in preparation for another day at the Academy. He would endure the girls and the stares once more with now a new sense of peace and purpose. When he had first remembered after being put through that genjutsu he thought it was a second chance to defend others as he should've been doing before without the taint of selfishness or pride or being lead astray by an evil man.

That was still true but now he knew that his first assumption upon remembering his past life was correct. Master was here and like before he'd protect him. Same went for his Angel. He had been a rotten husband and lover. Now? He could do it better. He would cherish her and care and help not push her away and treat her poorly. He wasn't going to be a jealous lover like he was with Clovis Rush incident. No. He wouldn't do that. He would be better. This time he would do right, he'd be the man that he was supposed to be. Wait for me Master and Padmé I'm coming and this time I'll protect you. I won't fall. Not this time. This time I'll do better. That's a promise.

Naruto squirmed in his seat uncharacteristically nervous. This was the first day with a real and true friend. What should he do? Let her sit where she wanted to? Would she sit next to him? So many questions buzzed around in his mind demanding his attention that he missed Sakura sliding into the seat next to him so when she tapped him he jumped.

"Ah Sakura-dono!" He quickly shouted before he realized what he'd said and did a mental double take. She was his first friend true but calling her dono might a bit much. Although for some reason it felt appropriate.

"Good morning Naruto," she greeted back sniggering slight as she pulled out her writing and reading materials. She was...? She was staying! That was amazing! Yes she was staying!


Naruto and Sakura turned and stared at the owner of the voice and to their collective shock it was Sasuke looking sheepish and afraid. It was early enough that most of those at the Academy were the serious students. All the others had yet to arrive. Kiba would be late as would Shikamaru, Ino and Chōji. Hinata would be escorted into the classroom later. So really it was just three of them now.

"Can I..." his voice trailed off and suddenly a young boy with golden hair and deep tan sprang to his mind who was rubbing his arm looking lost, scared and he was before he met Sandaime, Teuchi, Ayame and now Sakura-dono.

"Sure," he replied his earlier in-trepidation lessening. His aura felt clear to him and felt like he was welcoming a troubled but beloved brother back into the fold.

Sasuke's face lit up with a dazzling smile of happiness and slide into the semi-gracefully until he slammed into Sakura-dono who bumped into him slamming into the window. It didn't hurt but it was jarring. Naruto shot a glare over to Sasuke who cheekily waved back at him which made Sakura-dono giggle. Naruto resisted an urge to snort at his sheer cheek and instead settled for a slight reproving look. Sasuke's grin became more daring. Naruto glared back with a raised eyebrow. Something about this seemed familiar.

Finally, Sakura-dono intervened giving an amused but exasperated look that made the two back down. Satisfied she went to reading a book she'd brought. After a second the other two joined and soon they all settled into a calm state. Naruto while little miffed at the spat still felt better then he'd even felt before. He felt like he'd found his precious people now. And he'd protect them no matter what.

Iruka-sensei hadn't a been a teacher for that long and he could tell that Naruto was going to be a challenge. He was an immensely talented child, his academic record spoke for itself. He wasn't that good at taijutsu or genjutsu which were the only things keeping him back from graduating early. Also it was Sandaime's will that he didn't graduate which given what'd happened to Uchiha Itachi was understandable.

But still he contained the Kyūbi within his body. So he couldn't let his guard down. But he was a rather introverted and studious child not anything like a demon that he'd imagined especially for an eight year old. Very soft spoken and very reserved. He was the picture of politeness and decorum. The a few times he engaged in pranks tended to be puerile in nature and abruptly stopped when he'd hit eight years of age.

That was when his silence began. It used to be that he was loud and rambunctious to a point as children are wanton to be but then. Nothing. It was as if he'd grown up over night. He was often found reading and daydreaming in class and yet his grades never faltered. He was an odd child indeed but there were two others that were odd by his standards as well.

Uchiha Sasuke was another odd one. He was quiet and studious boy that constantly followed his brother around with a hopeful if sad look. It was almost like he was looking for something that his brother couldn't provide to him. He was also very cold and distant with his father. Also for all his fangirls tried he never was interested and in fact looked at them with disgust. When the massacre occurred he was prepared for a scared and damaged boy. But he didn't get that. Sure there was some anger but he more or less was the same.

The last odd child was Haruno Sakura. She too was quiet and studious (He was noticing a pattern) but her formal manner of speaking made it a interesting thing to talk her. Now? He walked into the classroom to see the three sitting next to each other all reading in companionable silence. Naruto and Sasuke's head shot up and looked over at Iruka with that unnerving knowing look that made him shudder slightly. Iruka ended up going to his desk to wait for the rest of the class so he could make some last minute preparations for the class. It was going to be interesting day to say the least.