Chapter 36: Again

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Naruto woke up to the sound of an alarm clock. The sound of his old alarm clock, to be exact. He opened his eyes to the familiar blue ceiling of his old apartment, before everything turned to shit. He sat up and saw that he was still the same height as he was before waking up, what was this? 

Did he travel back in time again? The thought caused his stomach to plunge even further down. It was too much for him to handle, too much. . .

Sasuke wasn't dead, but was in fact the masked man who organized the very same thing Obito had done and had carried on Madara's will. That fact alone weighed heavily down in his mind. 

"Naruto Uzumaki was a boy filled with hope!" 

Those words burned into Naruto's brain. He stood up and walked through the familiar apartment before opening the door, the smell of fresh air reaching his nose. He didn't bother to idle in the serenity and pushed forward. Leaping off of the third story his apartment was located on, the blond landed gracefully on the dirt roads of Konoha.

Was it the same situation? Had he been teleported after his graduation? What was different? 

As he walked forward, his thoughts began branching out. 'I still have the same amount of chakra as I did before the Totsuka Blade,'  He thought, ignoring the memory that it had been Sasuke to stab him. 'And I'm the same size and as far as I can tell, my strength wasn't reset like last time.'

The last two words of that thought caused Naruto's permanent impassive face to turn sour. It shouldn't have been like this. He should be dead, not here. 

Unless. . .

Naruto threw his head back up, his hood falling off as he began laughing hysterically. "Ahahahahahahahaaha!" He got out as he fell to his knees, his fingers digging into the dirt as tears began leaving his eyes. "Hahahahaha! I knew it! I can't die!" The mad grin on his face turned into a snarl as he bared his teeth. "It was so simple," He let out another fit of laughter and began to bring his head up. "I'm in hell." He finished, a broken smile on his tear-stained face.

He saw a pair of emerald green eyes looking at him curiously and watched as the owner of the said eyes flushed red and immediately backed up, her hands waving furiously in the air. "I'm sorry! I didn't mean to get in your bubble!" She said quickly.

It was Sakura, he realized, from when she was a Genin. On her left was a younger version of Sasuke, who was looking at him as if he had grown another head. On her right, was the younger version of himself, a concerned but curious look on his face. 

And behind them was. . .

"You know," Kakashi began, looking at the stranger. "I usually mind my own business, but after seeing you laugh like a madman while crying your eyes, I don't think I'd be able to sleep too much." 

"Kakashi. . ." Naruto said, seeing the silver-haired ninja for the first time since he died. His eyes trailed to Sasuke, who had his arms crossed over his chest with a scowl on his face. "What's different about this one, huh?" 

"Huh?" The younger version of himself spoke rather loudly. "Are you talking about the bastard?!" He began laughing loudly, a laughter filled with pure happiness and amusement. He pointed at the Uchiha, who was glaring at his teammate with his eye twitching slightly. "Hahahahaha! I knew people thought you were weird!" 

"Don't call Sasuke-kun weird!" Sakura shouted as she punched Naruto in the face, sending him flying into one of the walls of the shops, making a crack appear. 

"You should be a bit nicer to him," Naruto said as he stood up, wiping the dust off of his clothes as he met Kakashi's eyes. "You never know who they'll become." As if to demonstrate his point, his lone blue eye transformed into a vermillion red as his Rinnegan glowed in sync. The children may not know the eyes of the Nine-Tails, but Kakashi would.

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