The Reincarnation

Disclaimer: Naruto and its characters belong to Kishimoto-dono-sama-sensei-san-senpai-kun.

sagiso on its surface, higanbana in its depths; a shinkai of sinners drowning in war

let love reign, though hell may rise; let justice be done, though heavens may fall


He gently caressed the sore eyelid that covered up the hole where his right eye was supposed to be.

"Why?" he rasped out.

She gave him an expression that he did not like, an expression that he could not decipher – somewhere between pain and guilt, or perhaps a cross of self-hate and disappointment. It was everything he had always felt. It was everything he had never expected her to have. So why, of all times, of all things...

"Because I love you."

It was almost a whisper, like it physically hurt her to say it. As he recalled her past actions, his face slowly shifted from one of shock, dismay and disbelief into one of ruefulness. Just the fact that he had questioned her motives had wounded her. He should have known. How could he be so blind?

"You don't have to do this," he choked out, fists clenched. "You shouldn't be doing this."

She nodded, sullen gaze drifting to her blood-stained hands. "They shouldn't be doing this."

He winced. When had she become so accustomed to the abyss that he had tried to protect her from?


Blood crimson red spider lilies lined the wide stone path up to the door. They surrounded the bed of white egret flowers that she had planted by the raised veranda of the traditional home. The flowers swayed with the gentle breeze of autumn, uncaring of the meanings that they held. He frowned.

The graves, he could understand, but the house?

"They're not for them. They're for me."

He craned his neck to peer at the source of the voice. She stood by the corner in a simple pale blue yukata, a watering can in one hand. He snorted. As if that was supposed to explain anything to him.

"I come back from an assignment to this," he turned to face her, gesturing over to the offending red flowers with a thumb. "So excuse me for being surprised. They're not particularly good omens, hn?"

She tilted her head in the way she always did whenever she was confused. "But they're not for you."

He grimaced at her. "And why are they for you? Are you trying to tell me something here?"

A ghost of a smile laced her lips. "No. Nothing. I just think they're beautiful."

There was such a thing as tact, but she did not seem to have any of it.


"Are you gonna be alright being alone?"

He picked up the rolled omelette from the pan with a pair of chospsticks, dropping it to his own plate. Depositing the used cooking tools in the basin of the kitchen, he turned back to the table.

She had not touched her food yet. "I won't be alone. I'll have Sasu-bo with me."

He took a seat opposite her. "Yeah, but you're babysitting him. And you're eight."

"I'll be fine," she firmly said, to which her older sibling scoffed incredulously in reply.

She waited until he started digging in to start with her own meal, now not quite so warm anymore. "If you keep being a worrywart like this," she said in a pause between bites. "I'll eat all the mo—"

"Hey!" he whined childishly. "Don't hold Mikoto-sama's delicious mochi daifuku against me!"

"But you keep asking every time I do anything," she mumbled. "Don't worry. It'll be fine."

A flash of pain slipped by him and emerged on his face. He wondered if she knew what she had done. His scars had yet to close – and she had just forcibly reopened the largest one of them all.

"How can I not be worried about you?" he asked, the hurt he had felt already masked under the normal layer of nonchalance. "You're a walking trouble-magnet. Even Ita-koi said so, and that's something."

She paused. "How is he, anyway?"

He gave her a sleazy grin. "Oh, your crush is fine, princess."

"I don't have a crush on anyone," she flatly stated. "And besides, aren't you two gay for each other?"

He sputtered. "For the last time—"


"Happy sixth birthday."

She had not heard his footsteps crunch the snow, but she did not need to. The familiar mellow hum of warmth she felt within her core was enough of an indication. She ceased to shiver in her red jacket.

A red umbrella intruded in the periphery of her vision, right above her. She turned to look up at him, only to be presented with a small box, messily wrapped in red wrapping and tied with a blue ribbon.

She took it and placed it onto her lap. "Thank you," she murmured, turning back to face the gates.

He simply stood by her side, holding the umbrella up. She had done this on her birthday the last year as well; sitting on the stone steps leading to the shrine, alone in the cold blankets of winter.

He gently brushed away the snow that had piled on top of her head. "It's getting late, princess."

She did not take her eyes off of the gate in the distance. "Not yet... I still want to remember..."


He stood between the toddler and his old comrade; to most people present, his stance was relaxed, indicating a level of trust and familiarity. But neither neither men were most people. Not anymore.

"If this is about her," he started, voice a steady bulwark of indifference. "This is not the time—"

"Nor the place. I know."

His eyes narrowed minutely.

"Technically, she's obliged to agree. Considering what transpired in the Valley of Sugitani—"

"Careful," he lowly warned. "None of that has anything to do with her. She's just... unfortunate."

The man walked away. "If you can't be held accountable for your failures, then your daughter will."

With that, the councillor disappeared into the rowdy throngs of festivalgoers. Under the dim orange lights of the lanterns hanging overhead, the messy-haired man clenched and unclenched his jaw in an excruciating exercise to try to ease off the murderous intent building up within him. He sighed. Danzo was right. It was his own fault. But that did not mean someone else had to bear his burden.

Feeling a tiny hand rest on his calf, he looked down and gave the girl by his feet a small smile. He did not doubt for a second that it came out a lot stronger and more positive than what he felt inside. But the man truly appreciated her silence, even though he knew she never bought his lies.


He caught her perusing his collection of ancient books and trinkets on a mild spring morning. He watched from the doorway, his chakra signature seamlessly diffused and masked to blend into the surroundings. She seemed to be looking for something in particular, he noted. She looked harried.

Childish curiosity, perhaps. Though there was something in her eyes...

He abandoned that thought. Though children like her were rare, they were not that uncommon of a sight within his clan. Admittedly, she was one of the strangest ones, but she was his all the same.

He slowly approached her. "What are you looking for, sweetheart?"

She stilled, glanced down towards the leather-bound book in her small hands, and held it out to him.

He took it, giving her a sheepish smile. "I just like to collect things. I don't really know... how to..."

A pout formed on her usually neutral face, and he relished in the sight of it. "I'll tell you a bit more about my collection when you're older, okay?" he asked, sorting the books carelessly strewn about the floor back into their rightful places on the cabinet. When he turned back to her, she was gone.

He sighed. He had felt her leave, but had not had the heart to stop her. Why was it always like this?


A flash – and she was gone from the world. In hindsight, perhaps the tremendous speed at which it had happened was a small mercy, though she had not thought her situation as particularly kind to her in that moment; in fact, she had not been able to think much about anything at all when it took place. The harsh grip of overwhelming pain aside, the shock had caused her mind to fail to register reality.

But as quickly as it had gone, the world faded into view again. An unfamiliar blurred landscape of harsh off-white met her eyes, a rhythmic mechanical beeping echoed like a distant siren in her ears and the air that reeked of a sharp bitterness of something synthetic and sterile wafted into her nose. Of all the plausible afterlives she had expected to see, a cold hospital room had not been one of them.

Then she quickly realised that her body felt far too numb and weak and uncoordinated to be normal. The morbid conclusion that she had survived that incident – with a myriad of permanent scars – left her yearning death. She was not sure if she wanted to live trapped in a rotting sarcophagus of a body.

Shutting her eyes tightly, she breathed deeply to ward off the familiar stinging of tears behind them.

What had she done to deserve this? She had spent her life being neither good nor bad, being smart but not outstanding, being healthy but not athletic, being decent but not beautiful. She had never, ever done anything drastic – and so what if people thought her boring, she liked the peace and quiet!

Which really did make the whole situation amazingly ironic. The universe must have it out for her.

In deep contemplation, she soon became aware of a raw emptiness within her, a dull numbing ache that pulsed in the very core of her being in tandem with the beats of her heart. And there was that strange mellow, tingling sensation flowing through her veins and crawling under her skin th—

A soft gust of distinctly warm air on her face caused her eyes to flutter open. She froze.

Dark pools set upon pale skin, framed by thick, messy waves of black loomed over her.

The man seemed taken aback at first, but the expression on his face soon shifted from mild suprise to something wistful and pained. With a paternal gentleness that was so beyond sincere and with a hint of reluctance, he scooped the girl up and cradled her in his arms, her head resting on his neck.

The girl in question was shocked still as her mind struggled to process this odd situation.

Was she... always this small? Was everyone always this gigantic? 'Spirits, what the hell—'

Something warm and wet fell onto her face. It took her a moment to realise that the man was crying; his hands trembled and his shoulders shook, and he seemed to be choking back sobs. The girl curled in onto herself, feeling awkwardly out of place. Who was this stranger? Why was he there with her?

He brought her close, nuzzling his nose against her hair in an embrace she had not experienced for a decade; and despite her frayed mind's valiant protests, she could not help but relax and lean into the warmth that this stranger was providing. It seemed like a lifetime ago that she had last felt so safe.

When he finally spoke, the man's voice was a rumbling, deep stream of kindness to her ears.

"Hello, Shinkai," he lovingly said to her. "I'm your father, Kagami. I'm sorry it took so long for us to finally meet. But... it's okay now. You're fine. Just fine. You're here. With us. We'll... g-go... home..."

'Father? My father's dead, what is he talk—'

And then she realised it. All the puzzle pieces fit.

Her heart sank. So did the man, who sank to his knees.

"Thank you so much," he whispered. "Thank you for living."

She tried her best. She really did. But she ended up wailing like the infant she was, anyway.

He remained in that room until his eyes ceased to bleed sorrow and regret, until his precious little girl found her peace again. It had surprised him. She had been so quiet and still at first, then all of a sudden she had burst out into desperate tears. He liked to think that she knew of his pain, somehow.

When Kagami finally found the strength to stand up and step outside the room, he was immediately greeted by the sight of a messy-haired boy seated on a chair, swinging his dangling feet in boredom.

The boy stilled. His gaze flitted to the girl cradled in his father's arms.

"Tou-san," he murmured, sitting up straighter. "Is... Is that her?"

Years of mental conditioning kicked in and Kagami managed a small, fond smile. Closing the gap between them in several paces, he gently dropped to one knee, holding his daughter up to his son.

The boy's eyes widened in wonderment as he ingrained her image into his mind in pensive silence; but when he realised that his new sibling bore far too many similarities to another person, he had to quickly blink away the hot, stinging wetness that threatened to surface and spill from his dark pools.

Upon seeing his son's conflicted expression, Kagami urged, "Go on. Introduce yourself to her."

"Uh," the boy stammered, the tips of his ears already flushed. "Hi. I'm Shisui. Your big brother."

Kagami let out a sincere chuckle. "Now, don't be shy. Why don't you try patting her on the head?"

Shisui seemed to light up as if he had just seen the sun for the first time in years, but soon deflated. "Can I?" he reluctantly asked, concern creasing his visage. "Isn't she fragile? What if I... y'know...?"

"Don't worry," Kagami reassured with a pleasant smile. "It'll be fine."

Shisui hesitated, but dipped his head in understanding nevertheless. Gingerly, the boy reached out to gently rub the crown of his sibling's head; his lips slowly curled into a wide smile when she did not seem to resist his affections. He had to admit – she was a cute little thing that he could boast about.

"Tou-san, is she gonna be a ninja too?"

Kagami arched an eyebrow at the question. He was grim when he replied.

"I don't know. Her chakra is... unique. I don't know if she'll be able to—"

Shisui abruptly pulled back and stilled.

"B-But she's fine, right? She's healthy, right? She's not gonna die or a—"

"Oh, no no! She's fine, Shisui. She's fine. Just fine! She's here. With us."

The boy nodded, and silence took over.



"Don't ever leave us, 'kay?"

"I won't."

"Promise me?"


"No, swear it on your heart."

Kagami gave a wistful smile. Framing the boy's jaw and cheek with a firm but gentle hand, the man gazed into his eyes and poured every reassurance of love and comfort that he could into the contact.

"I, Uchiha Kagami, vow on my heart to never leave my son Shisui and my daughter Shinkai."

And so with a little finger he traced a cross on his chest and over his heart. Kagami decided that this was the promise of his lifetime; now, not even death itself could ever be an excuse to separate them.

His daughter suddenly burst into tears once more. And just like that, the magic was gone.

Kagami sighed, rocking her. He had a feeling she was going to be a strange child.

The universe must hate her. No other reason could sufficiently explain why she had died like that and was now like this; and instead of being there she was now here and where was here anyway?

'Reincarnation. What a kick in the nads.'

There were theories that purported the existence of infinite dimensions. That every action and every word, every change in every world, no matter how small, caused timelines to split into infinity. She rather liked the idea that somewhere out there, another version of her had become a cat whisperer.

But that was conjecture. This was reality.

She would have to be insane to believe that she had been reborn into a world that was the fictional product of a manga author's imagination, where superhuman flying ninjas ruled the world, murder was a mundane affair and concepts like individual liberty, freedom and peace were suspect at best.

That was impossible. That could never happen.

'Kagami' and 'Shisui' were live-action roleplayers who were obsessed with Nerudo. It made sense. But thinking back to the hospital, Uchiha Shinkai had to wonder if they were insane, or if she was.

The answer came as a rude awakening, in more ways than one.

The last thing she could remember was being tucked into bed by a thoroughly exhausted Kagami whom she had worked to the bone with her wailing pity-party throughout her first day in her second life. She had half a mind to feel apologetic. But she digressed.

She had woken up to find an armor-clad stranger standing over her crib. The palm he held over her immediately lost its green glow and he flinched at her sudden awakening. In the pale light of the moon that filtered in through the windows, his ceramic falcon mask shone with a ghostly gleam.

A/N: Should I be sorry that my first story is an SI/OC? Well... here's an apology, just in case.

The first half of this part contains moments of Shinkai's life in a flashback format, going back in time and numbered according to the how old she was in each moment. I apologise for the confusion, but I thought it necessary to establish some of the setting. Many thanks to MerhppDerhpp for the tip.

Please leave a review and tell me what you think! ヽ(゚д゚; ≡ ;゚д゚)ノシ