Disclaimer: Don't own Naruto
Um.. first story so cheers?
Obito is not the smartest or the strongest, not genius like Kakashi or book-smart like Rin. He's just Obito. Too emotional, too stubborn and too reckless to be a good shinobi, much less Hokage.
But he's also passionate, earnest and loyal.
So when Kakashi comes back ("he came back," Obito thinks disbelieving) to save Rin despite what happened to his father. When Kakashi comes back, throwing away the rules, to help him save Rin. Obito knows that Kakashi has become someone he'd die for.
It's for that reason when he sees that rock hit Kakashi in his blind spot, he does not hesitate. He recklessly pushes the bastard aside. It's for that reason when he finds himself in a cave, half his body replaced, he stubbornly trains. It's the reason that when he finds himself cradling Rin ("Rin's corpse," a traitorous voice whispers) in a field littered with the fallen bodies of Kiri-nin, he in his grief, his agonised mourning, in his fit of emotion forgets Kakashi. He forgets Kakashi.
He. Forgot. Kakashi.
"KAKASHI!" he starts, ignoring Madara's ramblings.
Kakashi, his arrogant, callous, silver-haired bastard of a teammate. Kakashi, his talented, genius teammate, who was unconscious in enemy territory.
What do dreams matter when Kakashi is lying prone in a battlefield? When he's vulnerable and alone because Obito forgot? Dreams can wait. Kakashi needs him now and Obito won't be late. Not this time.
So Obito runs, faster than ever, his chakra pumping through his coils. Well, he tries to run but the sentient armour refuses to move.
"Zetsu, what are you doing? Kakashi's in trouble, we have to go back!"
Why isn't Zetsu letting him move? Doesn't he understand? Kakashi is in danger. They have to go back.
"It seems as if you've miscalculated Madara," Zetsu says, "the boy isn't broken yet."
Obito struggles again the plant armour, their words are a stream of nonsense because he can't focus on anything but Kakashi. He later regrets not listening, because if he did maybe, just maybe he would have struggled harder, fought harder… did something better.
Instead, he feels a sharp pain at the back of his head and blacks out.
It's warm. He can feel the gentle summer breeze rustling through the grass, blowing gently at his hair. The rays of sunlight warm his face and he feels content. Comfortable. Like he's soaking in a warm tub of water, his body limp as a noodle.
"Obito," he shifts more focused on relaxing.
Reluctantly, he cracks open an eye. ("Oh, it's Rin," he thinks, "How nice.") Before falling back to sleep.
"Rin!" he bolts up.
"Finally awake, sleepyhead?" she teases gently.
Obito stares in shock, Rin, she's there… with her beautiful smile and kind words. She looks happy, safe… alive. Immediately, Obito frowns. Why wouldn't Rin be alive? Obito tries to think but the warm, fuzzy feeling washes over him again. He's comfortable.
"Obito?" Rin asks and Obito can't stop a goofy grin from creeping onto his face, she has always been so considerate.
"Maa, maybe you should give him a kiss to help wake him up," he feels his face burn up and Rin looks absolutely scandalised. "Kakashi!" she splutters at the silver-haired jounin and Obito has to fight a strange feeling.
"SHUT UP, BAKASHI!" he cries, red-faced, at the snickering genius. There's that feeling again.
"Now, now kids," Minato-sensei calls from across the clearing, "less teasing, more training."
Minato-sensei leads them to the lake and Obito has to force himself to look from his reflection. There's something wrong but he doesn't know what. The same spiky short black hair, the same aristocratic features common to all Uchiha. Sure, he's slightly more built than the average Uchiha, but it's still him. Noticing how the two tomoe in his Sharingan spin lazily, he frowns.
"Hey, when did I get the Sharingan?"
"Kannabi Bridge, we were fighting two Iwa-nin remember?"
Obito remembers. They were in a bamboo forest and one of the jounin had a camouflaging jutsu. He managed to activate his Sharingan before the shinobi could take Rin. Obito stops. Wait, no… he didn't. The jounin did get Rin… and then… and then. Another wave of contentment fills his body and he relaxes. What was he thinking about again? Obito ponders. Hm... it must have not been important.
"Maa, why are you staring blankly like that? Scared you'll lose?"
Obito yells indignantly, "Like hell I'll lose to you!" before charging at Bakashi.
They fight and it's like a dance. Dodge, deflect… look for an opening and jab. They're evenly matched. Obito with his Sharingan and Kakashi with… with… what on earth is that? The sound of a thousand chirping birds fill the air… and Obito slams up a wall, "DOTON: DORYUHEKI!" Before dashing away. Kakashi slices through the wall like it's nothing but soft butter.
"What the hell is that?" he yells because he's heard that before. ("RIN!" his very soul screams.)
"Maa, like it? I just finished it. Chidori."
"That's amazing, Kakashi!" Minato-sensei enthuses stopping the match. Rin also steps up to congratulate the genius, "You finally finished it!"
Obito stands still. There's something wrong, something really really wrong. "Good job, Kakashi" he finds himself robotically saying. Hopefully, in the midst of Kakashi's accomplishment no one will find his less than enthusiastic tone odd. Minato-sensei calls it a day, determined on making it to Ichiraku's so he can hound Kakashi on the inner workings of the new jutsu and Obito follows them troubled.
Rin… there is something wrong with Rin. Is something wrong with Rin? He scrutinises Rin. Taking no note of the faint blush her face takes on when she notices his stare, Obito catalogues her. There's nothing wrong with her… she's completely normal… and happy. In fact, everyone here has been happy… really really happy. Suspiciously happy.
Isn't there a war going on? Why is everyone so smiley? Not that he has anything against being happy. He loves being happy but where is the weary glint in Minato-sensei's eyes? The slight solemn air Rin takes on when she drifts to thoughts of dying patients? Why is Kakashi so… relaxed? In fact, he hasn't mentioned his damned rules once today. ("Those who abandon the rules are trash, but those who… But those who what?")
Normally, after a training session Kakashi would try to opt out on group lunch for solitary training but he's here, not training. And since when did Kakashi joke? Obito is confused. Kakashi is also a genius, so when did they start fighting on par? Worry bubbles in him, overpowering that warm, odd, feeling of contentment. There has been something very strange about today. He digs into his ramen before moaning at the utter deliciousness of the dish. He hasn't eaten in months, not since he was stuck in that cave. Obito stills. Cave? What cave?
Worry mounts. "Rin-chan? When did I get my Sharingan again?"
"Kannabi Bridge," he disregards her questioning look.
Kannabi Bridge… Kannabi Bridge… ("Sakumo," a voice whispers.) Wait, who's Sakumo?
"My dad," Kakashi answers, meaning that Obito must have spoken aloud, "He's my hero, he sacrificed the mission for the sake of his comrades. Where did you hear about him?"
Worry becomes panic because, because that is not something his Kakashi would admit. That is not his Kakashi, his Kakashi is a bastard who followed the rules religiously to the point he literally had to beat it out of him. ("Those that break the rules and regulations are scum. But those who abandon their comrades are even worse than scum. If I'm going to be called scum either way, I'd rather break the rules! And if that's not being a proper shinobi, then I'll destroy that idea!") His Kakashi almost left them because of his stupid rules. ("Rule #04 A shinobi must always put the mission first.")
This is not his Kakashi. The world starts to fracture. These people are not his team. The cracks deepen. This is not his Konoha which that means that… this world is a lie. The world shatters breaking the illusion.
He is in a cave. One hand is pale but peachy, the other is chalk white. He can feel his body ache still somewhat unused to the foreign Senju cells. Which means… that it was not a nightmare. He's broken and battered. Rin is gone (dead) and Kakashi… oh kami, Kakashi! He forgot Kakashi.
He struggles to get up because he has to get to Kakashi. He has to go back because Kakashi needs him. Kakashi needs him because they are comrades, friends, a team. And Obito will be damned if he becomes a hypocrite. ("Obito-kun," his Baa-chan croons, "There are two people who I hate most in this world; traitors and hypocrites.")
It doesn't matter that Kakashi killed Rin because Obito is loyal, he is stubborn, he is passionate, he is reckless, he is emotional, he is earnest. When Obito said Kakashi would make a great jounin, he meant it because Kakashi came back and that doesn't just mean that Obito would die for Kakashi. It means that Obito will live for Kakashi.
Because sometimes, just sometimes, on lonely cold nights. Obito wishes that his parents had lived for him. ("Obito-kun, your parents were great shinobi who died for Konoha. Who died for you.")
It does not matter that Kakashi killed Rin ("She's dead, she's dead, dead, dead, dead," he screams) because Obito stubbornly refuses that fact.
Because he doesn't understand, Kakashi came back. Why would he kill Rin? Why?
Obito tries not to ponder on it because if he does (angerpainragedespairWhyRinWHYRIN?), he just tries not to. The only thing that matters is that he forgot Kakashi which means he has to go back.
And the only thing stopping him is Uchiha Madara.
So he listens, ("This world is full of things that don't go as you wish… The longer you live the more you realise reality is just made of pain, suffering and emptiness") he trains, ("you must learn to 'Look underneath the underneath'") and he dreams… ("Obito, you sleepyhead" Don't forget. It's a lie. They're all lies, lies, lies.)
And he fools himself into thinking he has tricked one of the most feared shinobi in all of history. He has always been good at lying to himself.
He knows this because inflicting pain on himself, flaring his chakra, activating his Mangekyo Sharingan. Just. Does. Not. Work. It's terrifying just how talented this cripple of a man is. To be able to fool the Mangekyo Sharingan. Even if Obito's ability is not linked with genjutsu.
Still he plays the obedient disciple despite both shinobi knowing it's just an act because there's only so long you can act before it stops being an act. If he can just fool Madara into thinking he stopped acting before he actually does. If he can just keep going. ("Remember Kakashi," he chants to himself, "he came back, so you have to come back too. Remember Kakashi.")
So Madara ups his game, he teaches Obito more of what he knows. He becomes the sensei Obito always wished Minato-sensei was. ("Why didn't you see me? Just because I'm not genius like Kakashi or smart like Rin. Just because I'm not as talented as my clansmen. Why wasn't I good enough for you?")
Zetsu becomes someone Obito calls friend. The only form of non-creepy, as in less creepy than the Honoured Ancestor over there, human (plant) contact for what seems like months, years, decades… ("Oh Kami, How long have I been stuck here?" Obito thinks hysterically.)
The genjutsu become more elaborate, varied, plausible. Obito escapes and a group of Konoha shinobi find him. Obito wakes up from a nightmare. Obito was in a coma due to a fear-based genjutsu.
However, the thing Obito realises is that… each genjutsu is based on his happiness. Each genjutsu leads to a perfect world where he can be utterly, completely, undeniably happy and how can he be happy, how can he be truly and utterly happy without grief or misery or sadness altogether if Rin isn't alive?
The answer is that he can't. He will never be happy if Rin is dead, maybe he could be content but never happy. So every genjutsu has a Rin, and every Rin helps him realise that his Rin is dead. ("Isn't it sad?" he smiles bitterly, "Isn't it so sad and twisted and just fucked up? That I'm glad Kakashi killed Rin?" His inner Baa-chan scolds him for the expletive.)
So when the genjutsu gets so strong that he starts having to use the Mangekyo every time he's trapped in it, Obito does something horrible. Something absolutely, inexcusably wretched.
He kills Rin.
The world shatters and he feels his heart, the heart he thought died with her, shatter with it and he stares at his milky white (redredbloodred) hand in shock. He killed Rin. ("It's not my fault," he screams alone in the cave, "It's not my fault!") It wasn't his Rin but it was still Rin.
The next ten, hundred, thousand times he kills Rin, ("It's just a genjutsu, Rin's dead, this isn't Rin. It is not Rin." "Obito, what are you doing? Obito, stop. This isn't funny. Stop, Obito, STOP!") his heart somehow crawls back from the grave each and every time just to die all over again and again and again. But he can't stop because while Rin may be dead, Kakashi isn't so he has to stay alive, stay lucid, stay sane so he can go back.
Maa, I'm not sure that talking to voices in your head is something people would consider sane.
Shut up Bakashi, if you haven't got something useful to say then don't say anything.
Madara is very good at what he preaches ("To manipulate others you must be able to manipulate and feed the darkness in them, if there is no darkness in them put darkness in them") and even if it's twisted and messed up, it makes sense. Plus it gives Obito a look into how the creeper thinks.
If you know how an enemy thinks you will be able to predict how he moves.
I don't understand.
Obito you moron, "manipulate and feed the darkness in them" and "if there is no darkness... put darkness in them."
Don't you think it was odd how Zetsu coincidently called you and that you reached the graveyard at the moment I kille-... Rin died? And even if we have no idea where we were don't you think that it was suspicious how many Kiri ANBU there were? Rin and I would never be sent to the frontlines just based on how old we were and if we were sent, it would not have been a border with Kiri.
Obito's blood runs cold. What are you implying, Kakashi?
Obito forces his face not to change, forces himself to keep calm, to keep relaxed as if he doesn't want to kill Madara, as if he's some naive, little kid that Madara can just play around with.
Obito smiles, he's very good at smiling, because if he doesn't smile someone will die and for all his bravado ("I'm going to be Hokage!") he knows that he has no chance against Madara and Zetsu. So he'll keep smiling at Rin's murderer as if the epiphany he has just had is about the cruelties of the world, because, to be honest, it really is. This world must be a cruel, miserable, dark place if he's forced to make nice with the man (monster) who killed Rin.
He. Killed. RIN.
He's angry, furious. He's just so upset that he can't think, can't speak. He just wants to hurt something, to scream, to yell, to do anything. But he can't. He can't because if he does, it'd be for nothing. Madara would win and he'd lose Kakashi. So he won't do anything because while he is emotional and reckless, he's also stubborn and loyal. So he'll stubbornly resist the anger, the rage, the darkness Madara has put in him because he's loyal to Konoha, loyal to his team, loyal to Kakashi.
And if he decides to take to strength training with more vigour, smashing rocks into smithereens, then it's just because he needs to be in good shape if he's going to create a perfect world.
He's alone and he revels in it. Sure, Zetsu is probably hiding somewhere close by but to all his senses he's alone and it feels a little bit like freedom.
Madara likes to use a variety of emotional techniques. He sympathises with Obito, gives Obito attention and treats Obito like he's worth something. He isolates Obito for minutes, hours, days on end with only darkness as his company so that when Obito is moved back to Madara's cave, he's starved for human contact. Desperate for human contact. He gives Obito nice (perfect) dreams and is there to comfort Obito after nightmares (dead, dead, dead, everyone is dead). Madara tells stories, weaves tales of the grandeur of this perfect world, the happiness this perfect world will bring. Madara makes it so for that for Obito, Madara (and Zetsu) is Obito's world.
And it would work, would have worked if Obito did not give Kakashi his eye.
At first, Obito thought it was a new version of the genjutsu. It was unnaturally vivid much like all the first few genjutsu Madara had cast, back before Madara realised Obito would not have his Sharingan on twenty four-seven in day-to-day life, but it's soundless. He sees himself running through the forest (Training Ground 44) with a masked partner being pursued by ANBU.
Everyone stops and an ANBU appears out from the shadows.
Obito is pretty sure that he/she's saying something but the mask covers his/her mouth and even it didn't, Obito cannot lipread. The androgynous ANBU commands attention and the some of the recruits (he thinks this is an ANBU entrance test) visibly groan. He can actually see them groan, since… he can't hear anything.
He sees himself following an ANBU to the hidden barracks. How curious, this genjutsu isn't like the others, people don't interact with him. It is more like looking through a glass screen.
The genjutsu breaks leaving Obito confused and wary.
The same genjutsu is applied several times later, each showing snippets of the ANBU recruit's experiences. The genjutsu aren't happy (perfect) or sad or even normal. Just monotonous. Hours upon hours of training or just running. He learns quite a few cool chakra tricks and training exercises but sometimes it's like they are just randomly running around hoping that it would somehow make them cooler. Things would make a lot more sense with sound.
Boring as they are, Obito hangs onto these visions because they're not perfect. They have nothing to do with Madara, nor some whacked up scheme to resurrect the moon or something. But as much as Obito clings onto these visions, Obito takes the reprieves with a pinch of salt. Madara is one tricky bastard and it would not surprise Obito if this was all just the beginning of some really messed up torture method.
It isn't until the twelfth or thirteenth vision he knows what these illusions, these strange soundless genjutsu are. Because when he (they) look into the mirror it is not some twisted older version of Obito in the reflection. It's Kakashi.
Kakashi. (I'll become your eye… and see the future with you.") He's taller than Obito remembers, one eye steel grey and the other… the other. Three tomoe lazily swirl around. A fully evolved Sharingan. Obito thinks in awe. He did it.
Pride swells up inside Obito. There were elders who did not have Sharingan as matured as Kakashi's but then again Bakashi was a genius, so of course, not being an Uchiha would not stop him.
Following pride is relief because Kakashi was alive. Kakashi. IS. Alive. Madara did not get to him. If the ancient Uchiha knew how strong Obito's attachment the bastard was, Obito does not doubt that Kakashi's death would have been arranged as well and Obito. Will. Not. Let. That. Happen.
So Obito revels in these times alone, lives for them. Because Madara always leaves him for a long enough time that once, at least once, Kakashi will uncover Obito's eye letting Obito see a world, remember a world outside these cavern walls. ("Just wait a little longer, Kakashi, I'm coming home.") It keeps him sane.
He's alone and he focuses. Kakashi is fighting an enemy-nin. Kakashi is injured and fighting an enemy-nin. Kakashi is injured and fighting a high jounin level enemy-nin. Kakashi is, Kakashi is… it goes black. Dread pools in Obito's stomach. Maybe he's just resting his eye. Maybe he doesn't need the Sharingan right now.
Kakashi is strong. Kakashi is capable. He would not let some loser nin beat (kill) him and Obito believes that because Obito hasn't been able to see anything since then. Obito has to believe that because if he doesn't, if Kakashi is dead. Everything has been for nothing.
It has been five perfect world genjutsu and one isolation period since Obito has seen anything. It makes him angsty and off-game and Obito can't be off-game because he's stuck in a cave with one of the most formidable shinobi in history and a plant-man with frightening information gathering abilities and he cannot get out.
Obito freezes. Maybe he can. Maybe he can get out. Madara has taught him numerous high level katon ninjutsu, his taijutsu is good, really good (he can tell from comparing to the visions) and by now if Obito is not the master of dispelling genjutsu, then no one is. His tactical skills have skyrocketed as well as his analytical skills.
(He can now tell the androgynous ANBU is a woman aged 24 whose birthday is most likely on the 2nd of April, that or someone close to her was born on that date. She favours taijutsu over ninjutsu and has no talent for genjutsu due to a minor injury in a minor chakra coil, possibly due to the combination of a Hyuuga who missed, lack of training, and the use of chakra absorbant weapon, most likely a tanto, whilst suffering chakra exhaustion. She's good at aerial attacks and is in ANBU more for her tactical and stealth skills more than her frontline skills, which is fair because ANBU are assassins not warriors.)
Obito can escape, his easy mastery of the Kamui is evidence of that and he knows outside the cave are trees. While chakra intensive and hard to control, he is proficient with Mokuton. The question is can he stay escaped?
Obito may not be smart, not the way his peers seem to be but he isn't stupid. So Obito knows that Madara must have some kind of back up plan for this but no matter how much Madara has hammered in tactics and shadowy chessmaster maneuvering into Obito. Obito has always been better at doing things on the fly so he keeps the plan simple.
Wait for the perfect world rant. Kill Madara. If you can't kill Madara burn off his hands. Kamui the hell out and run. If Zetsu appears, katon Zetsu and run faster.
If push comes to shove he has a secret technique, whether he can actually use it is completely theoretical, but it could work.
The plan works for the most part. Until he feels his body seize with pain. He's only a metre outside of the cave and he can feel his chakra lock but that's okay. He doesn't need chakra for this, not really. Obito forces the milky white Senju cells to cover the other side of his body as he melds into the tree becoming virtually undetectable.
Well, theoretically. The Kagero technique, if Zetsu was being truthful, makes Obito impossible to sense and hopefully the fact that the Senju cells belong to Obito and thus, are not technically a clone of Zetsu will ensure even Zetsu cannot find him.
Obito smiles in triumph. Then the pain worsens. He has to bite back a scream, biting clean through his lip. Tears bead at the corner of his eye and if he wasn't in pain, he'd be wondering how it was possible to cry whilst being inside a tree but he is. There's nothing but white noise and he can't concentrate on anything except it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts.
The pain stops and all Obito can do is shudder, breathing in huge shuddering breaths as he sluggishly forces the chakra in his coils to circulate through his body. The pain eases slightly and after a few minutes he relaxes.
You have at most another ten minutes before he activates that seal again.
The worst of the tremors have stopped and he gives his assent. By now Zetsu will have already searched a four kilometre radius. If he hasn't left any clones, Madara will be alone. So he slowly withdraws from the tree and Kamui's back into the cave. Carefully weaving an area effect genjutsu Obito flies through the seals overpowering the technique with chakra.
"Mokuton: Sashiki no Jutsu," Obito launches the projectile watching emotionlessly as the wooden spikes multiply in Madara's body. "It's fitting that you die by Mokuton," he says.
There's no satisfaction, nothing is set to rest. He still feels anger, rage, pain. He has always been too emotional and that's probably why he doesn't notice that Madara is still alive. Doesn't realise that he has left a dying, but still alive enemy with functioning hands as he starts to Kamui out.
Obito, you moron! Turn back! He can still do hand se-
White hot pain runs through his body and he blacks out.
His head throbs and he feels like he's been crushed under a tonne of rocks… again. The sun is such an asshole that he thinks it takes lessons from Bakashi. It's harsh and unyielding and he knows that if he doesn't get up soon his face will burn a lobster red. So he stumbles up... only to fall again. Why is the world spinning?
Is this some kind of conspiracy? Did Bakashi make Hokage and declare it Ruin Obito's Life Day?
The birds are chirping obnoxiously, his head is pounding and his entire body aches. He can feel the beginning of chakra exhaustion chills and the blades of grass are itching his body. The wildflowers not only stink but their pollen is making his nose run.
He hates the world. It is obviously being a bastard. This world sucks. It literally ("metaphorically," Bakashi corrects, the Grammar Nazi*) sucks, this is a horrible world.
...This is a horrible world. Obito pauses.
This is a horrible world. This is a horrible world. This is a horrible world. This. Horrible. World.
Obito whoops, jumping up ecstatically... before collapsing again due to vertigo. Stupid vertigo.
After several moments, Obito slowly gets up, fistpumps, then does an entirely embarassing, highly undignified, entirely unUchiha-like dance.
Because this world sucks and Obito is free.
In the middle of nowhere, chakra exhausted, bone weary with not even the shirt on his back.
With no idea how he got here, no idea how he going to get to Konoha, no idea where Konoha even is.
This world really does suck.
But at least he's got his pants.
Somewhere in a cave, Uchiha Madara's apprentice dons a freshly painted and dried, garishly orange swirled mask and sets off the Ame to begin the Tsuki no Me Keikaku.
*Grammar Nazi: I know there have been no Nazi's in the Elemental Continent but seriously is there a better word for it? Okay, it's not grammar but terminology... however, the thought applies.
Please review... don't be afraid to give NICE constructive criticism. I need help with characterisation and stuff.
Also, whereabouts is the cave where Obito is stuck in?