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Doubles (Freestyle)

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Kakashi saw doubles in summer skies, in his comrades' smiles, in whispered words and absent gestures.

The shimmer of a parallel world- persuasive, deceptively delicate-straining at the edges of the gossamer fabric of reality and seeping doubts like pearls caught in spider webs. The straining of web, the dip of another gleaming alterverse caught—a girl's flirting smile became double-edged, her desire twisted into something ugly and greedy with beady eyes tearing him apart till he politely excused himself from yet another what-if date. The next day he would find her cold and hurt, and feign oblivion to her anger as he wondered how he could something so sweet could have repulsed him before.

But then again, Obito had probably only seen the sharingan's advantages when he sacrificed his clan's protocol and birthright to him. It'd saved his life countless times and others' thousands more, after all, till even his reputation as copy-master overshadowed his previously infamous Chidori. It was easy to forget the bloodlimit's high price in the face of death and Obito, for all his ideals- because of all his ideals- always listened to his heart rather than his head first. Kakashi fingered the battered steel covering his theft of a gift and thought with dark humor that he might understand why Uchiha Itachi played his mind games. His protégé never really had double layers weaving in and out of his face when almost every ugly and hateful thought was barely kept under the impassive mask which was really more embarrassingly transparent then he'll ever tell the boy. Sometimes, Kakashi thought that made him almost bearable for his callous honesty, in a world where the sharingan whispered double-dealers and measured power in every face it saw.

Underneath dark cloth, the gift/curse/legacy quieted and Kakashi learnt to see better than most with one eye. But occasionally, when the world was sane and even he craved nostalgia on quiet afternoons in too-familiar woods with the air thick with memories, he'd set his team some insignificant task and disappear in the brush to remember again.

The haitai would be freed for once, and after the brief dizzying experience of seeing the world with mismatched eyes- he breathed in the magnificence of just seeing so much with two eyes-, he'd crotch above his rookie team and watch his own teammates, his first teammates come back to life.

And he'd pretend the ache in his chest was from holding his breath too long.

Because like the blood-eye tore through genjutsus, it also weaved its own special kind of illusion- one so tangible and surreal it could be even more real than reality itself. The pearls would tear through the web, and in the creamy mass split there would be a glimpse of Rin, the dark-headed flash of Obito and that identical fox smile.

Maybe, probably, most saw the next generation of Sanin- his own lone eye did. The irony and dark reminder of history repeating was almost grating for its lack of subtlety. But then Obito's eyes would remember itself in Sasuke's stubborn pride, would see only the memory of another determined medic in Sakura's healing, would watch that fox smile and blindingly blue eyes.

It would make him feel old.

It would make him remember.

Indulgent, foolish whimsical feelings of yet another veteran of course; of old aches and half-hearted dreams and more angst than he could be bothered with. He'd liked to believe he was just a simple, clinically efficient ninja with your typical weakness in adult books.

He'd like to believe that he could save Sasuke-- him, him save Sasuke; of all the stupid, grand management decisions to set him as the sensei as if there was some sort of misguided bond through family tragedies and acid pasts--, that they would learn and grow gloriously as a family-the three of them, that there weren't be another war, that he was still young and mattered enough in this generation, that the cliché wouldn't happen. Not to this team; but that was a cliché too.

Kakashi Hatake would like to believe a lot of things, but his imagination was too well trained for that.

Under the trees, his sensei scrabbled with an irritable Obito and teased Rin for an eternity and nothing. Kakashi closed one eye, masked his past, and watched the future play out below him.

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but there are no souls in body parts

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Allyluv! I'm gratified by your comments, but I'm a little confused-- you mentioned my TsuOro drabble in the Fluff Lovers' Dreams review, and then you asked for a drabble. To clarify, does this mean you want a TsuOro FLUFF drabble? ;P No probs there of course (but it always pays to check with crack-pairings first, esp when the request apparent is vague.)