Besides the … unusual outfit changes, the mission started off much the same as last time. Sort of. Well. Not really. He thinks. Kakashi's going to be honest here, he can't actually remember it that well considering it was like a decade ago.

Anyway, so he's pretty sure it didn't go this way last time, although technically he can't say for certain. But from what he does remember of the beginning of the Wave mission … he remembers this:

Naruto, stupidly confident and recklessly fearless; a non-stop chatterbox. Sakura, careless and distracted and bouncing back and forth between vying for Sasuke's attention and arguing with Naruto. Sasuke, dangerously arrogant and dismissive of his teammates; a weird mix of angry and bored. All three of them more occupied with the excitement of their first excursion out of the village than with actually paying attention to their client—y'know, the guy they're supposedly supposed to be guarding?

But how are they behaving now?

Well.

Besides the looks they're all giving each other? Naruto is quiet—creepily quiet. And he keeps furtively glancing around. His shoulders are all hunched up to his ears. He looks paranoid. Was he this nervous about leaving the village last time? He didn't recall.

Sakura kept checking over her bandages—was she not used to them yet? Maybe it was a last second decision, but now that she finds it uncomfortable she's reluctant to give in and take them off. Speaking of, she definitely didn't have those last time? She looks determined, though. Determined to keep them on? Hm.

Sasuke… actually wasn't that much different—besides the hitai-ate thing, of course. What was the deal with that, anyway? Some sort of weird fashion statement? He would've expected that sort of thing from kid-Sakura, not angsty kid-Sasuke. But disregarding the out-of-character fashion choices, Sasuke was acting just as gloomy and apathetic as he would expect. And the arrogance? Definitely there, alright. Sasuke looked like he honestly expected he could handle anything that came his way.

But, oh boy if he knew … there's no way Sasuke was in any way expecting how this mission would turn out—who would? This was supposed to be an average, routine C-rank—a simple job just protecting a humble civilian from potential bandits. They weren't even supposed to face any shinobi at all, let alone an S-rank missing-nin from the Bloody Mist, holy fuck.

Speaking of missing-nin … there's that stupid, idiotic puddle hiding those pathetic chūnin "demon brothers" … what should he do?

Last time he faked his death (yes, he realizes that was kind of fucked up, okay, but he had his reasons, dammit) and let his little genin try facing off against them to, one, see what they'd do and how well they'd handle it, and two, to give them some experience to help them mature. But, what was the point in that now? He already knew how they'd react (roughly, probably, maybe) and what was the point in "experience" when he knew they'd be facing the Demon of the Bloody Mist soon enough. And it's not like he didn't know about what Tazuna was hiding! There's no point! Fuck it, he'll just deal with the bloody (no pun intended) mist chūnin himself.

actually … he just had an absolutely ridiculous idea.

What if he just … very casually … slid up his hitai-ate, and … kamui'd the shit outta that puddle? Would that be fucked up or what? Actually, no, wait

What exactly happened to the shit he kamui'd? It goes straight to Obito's dimension, right? Does that mean that time he kamui'd Deidara's arm out of existence …

If he kamui'd that puddle would it go to the dimension? Would they come out of the puddle and find themselves in that dimension? What if Obito—what if they stabbed Obito's

Oh dear. Okay, maybe ixnay on the kamui'ing of live shinobi, yeah? Yeah. Oh-kay.

Then—ah. What is Naruto … ?


"Sensei, sensei, sensei—!" Naruto screeched.

"Yes, Naruto," Kakashi responded patiently.

"Ne, ne, sensei, I was always really bad at science, you see—"

"O-kay … ?"

"—so I was just wondering, how come there can be a puddle then when it hasn't rained in like, weeks!"

" … "

" … sensei?"

"That's … actually a really good question, Naruto. See, because—"

Splash.

The nerve. They didn't even let him finish! Just for that, he'll let them bleed out, how rude


Sakura's scream was less a scream and more a battlecry. The other members of Team 7 were thrown completely off guard and didn't even have the chance to react to the two nukenin suddenly appearing from a shitty little puddle like a bad magic act before she had hurled two kunai with chakra enhanced arms and … well.

That's one thing taken care of.

Tazuna looked oddly shaken, Sage knows why.

Oh, well. That's not important right now. What is important—

"Ne, ne, Tazuna-san … I think there's something you forgot to mention to us … care to explain, Ta. Zu. Na. Sa. N?"

Tazuna gulped audibly.

"Ne?"