Warning: Spoilers from the Kakashi Gaiden arc nn;
Everybody fails at least once

There's no shame in that

Two pictures fitted neatly into plain, wooden frames, stood next to each other on a windowsill. The somber rays cast off half-heartedly by the sun, sinking into the horizon, lit the pictures up. In each stood four people.

One could easily see the similarities between both groups. Well, obviously Kakashi was easy to spot in both pictures, though if you took expressions alone, they looked like completely different people. Had it been a complete stranger, it would've seemed odd to them that it was the child version who looked more mature – annoyed, perhaps, but still mature – and the adult version…well, less adult.

But child Kakashi and adult Kakashi, that didn't really count as a similarity…kind of, anyway.

The children and teachers of the pictures were what looked similar. The child Kakashi wore an expression very much like the black-haired Uchiha, Sasuke. Kakashi and Sasuke were both the geniuses of their teams. And both had very similar attitudes at the time.

And then you had Rin and Sakura. Both the only girls, both the only truly happy-looking people in the picture, aside from the teachers, of course. And they were both positioned directly in front of their teachers, and between the two boys.

The teachers both looked happy enough. Closed eyes, hands resting on the heads of the two boys in both photos, wide smiles – well, in the Fourth Hokage's case, anyway. Couldn't exactly see Kakashi's mouth behind his mask. Still, judging from the what you could see of the silver-haired jounin's face, it seemed that he was probably grinning underneath his mask.

And then…

Spiky hair. Different colors, black and yellow, but very similar in shape. Glares directed towards the 'geniuses' of both groups. Large, wide collars.

So very similar.



Dead lasts.


So very painfully similar.

Time and time again, Kakashi had to look hard at Naruto, very hard. Concentrate on the outlandish orange outfit. The vivid yellow hair. The absence of goggles. The blue eyes. Everything that made Naruto different from Obito. Time and time again, Kakashi had to stare hard at the boy and remind himself over and over again…

He's not Obito.

He's not Obito.

But, oh, they were so painfully similar.

And then back to the subject of Uchiha Obito.

Kakashi had realized that over the years, he'd developed little habits. Well…kind of little. Habits that Obito had. He'd adopted those habits as his own, as if to tell himself that yes, there once was a Uchiha Obito, although it seemed that by now, the name entered no mind other than Kakashi's own.

Little habits. Like always being late. Coming up with lame excuses and uttering them anyway, although it was obvious that they wouldn't be believed.

And then there was the one big thing that Obito had drilled into Kakashi's mind. Teamwork. Friendship.

Although perhaps the rules did state otherwise, friends were more important than missions. Kakashi had learned that too late, and now, he wasn't going to make the same mistake again. He was going to make sure that Team 7 knew that friends took number one importance.

"Kakashi! Kakashi!"

Kakashi purposely ignored the very eager and enthusiastic and slightly annoyingly hyper orange-clad genin. He did, however, notice that in his state of eagerness that Naruto had left out the 'sensei'.

There was silence, which was slightly unnerving. Naruto was almost never silent. Of course, the silence didn't last very long.

"KAKASHIKAKASHIKAKASHIKAKASHI–" Naruto paused a moment, drawing in breath. Then, almost as an afterthought, "-SENSEI!"

The jounin finally responded. Pulling himself away from Icha Icha Paradise, he looked up at Naruto and asked, "Yes?"

"Guess what?"

Kakashi stayed silent, waiting for Naruto to go on. However, Naruto obviously expected some sort of reply so he stayed silent too, though it was obvious from all the jumping up-and-down he was doing that he was about to explode and blurt out what he'd wanted to say.

Amused, Kakashi watched Naruto hop impatiently, and when it seemed that the boy was about to erupt, he asked, "What?"

Naruto broke into a large grin. He leaned closer and put on a solemn, ominous looking face. "I saw…" He leaned in even closer so that his mouth was about an inch away from Kakashi's ear and didn't go on.

Patiently, Kakashi waited.

"…A GHOST!" Naruto screeched gleefully right into Kakashi's ear, jumping back afterwards and grinning triumphantly.

What was the meaning of that? Kakashi vaguely wondered as he waited for his brain to stop vibrating. Geez, Naruto was loud.

"Ah, really?" Kakashi asked not sounding interested at all. He'd just reached an extremely…interesting…chapter of Icha Icha Paradise and wanted the genin to go away so he could continue enjoying his book.

"Are you listening?" Naruto demanded, squinting and scowling at his teacher.

"Yeah," Kakashi automatically responded.

"No you're not!" Naruto observed, scowling even more. He finally noticed the book and realizing that Kakashi's mind was probably still on that, snatched at it. At exactly the right moment, Kakashi pulled the book away which caused Naruto to wildly flail his arms around in order to gain balance. He quickly pulled himself upright, crossing his arms and attempting to look nonchalant…and failing quite miserably. But he couldn't see himself, so he probably didn't know that.

As if nothing had happened, Naruto said, "So, like I said, I saw a ghost."

"Ah, really?" Kakashi repeated again, impatiently flipping back and forth through the pages of Icha Icha Paradise.

"You're not listening!"

Sighing, Kakashi came to the conclusion that unless he actually did listen and respond accordingly and with thought, Naruto would never go away. "Okay, now I am," he said patiently.

This satisfied his student, and Naruto continued on. "And…like I said, I saw a ghost," he said again. However, he continued on quickly. "At the memorial stone."

"Uh-huh," Kakashi said. The tone of voice that he used made Naruto squint at him again, apparently trying to figure out whether Kakashi was only answering to make it sound like he was listening or if he was actually listening. Unable to decipher anything from Kakashi's blank stare, Naruto gave up.

"It's true!" Naruto exclaimed. "I saw a ghost at the memorial stone! You believe me, right, sensei?"

Kakashi shrugged. "I dunno. You know whose ghost it was?"

"No, but I think it was a Uchiha! I mean, they had the black hair and Sharingan and everything!" The subject of Uchiha caused Naruto to go off topic and chatter on endlessly about Sasuke and what a useless idiot he was, which allowed time for Kakashi's mind to think.

Okay, Kakashi. Don't start dreaming and hoping. Not every Uchiha is Obito. And it was possible that another Uchiha had died fighting for Konoha, so there could possibly be another Uchiha on that memorial stone.

Besides, ghosts didn't exist.

"…so I really hate Sasuke. Anyway, the ghost!" Naruto finally got his mind back on track. "It was really weird, didn't look like a Uchiha at all! I mean, we have Itachi and Sasuke, who both look like they never smile and are always really serious and too cool for this world and everything. But this guy, he was weird. Not like a Uchiha at all. He's not part of the Uchiha clan but he has Sharingan anyway! He had one, too, except it was in his right eye. Maybe he was like you, Kakashi-sensei, and not actually part of the Uchiha clan! Though, he was wearing the Uchiha symbol. His left eye was closed. It looked kinda…empty, though, under the eyelid."

Kakashi, ever calm, asked, "So, what'd this Uchiha ghost look like? I mean, the rest of him, not just his expression and eyes."

"Weird!" was all Naruto said, but he quickly realized that probably wasn't the answer Kakashi was looking for and went on to describe his ghost. "Black hair, like the other Uchihas, and Sharingan…said that already. Oh, his hair was short and…well, it was like mine. A lot like mine, actually, except it was black. He was also my age…

"And he wore goggles!"

Omigar, the suspense:D

-mauled with bricks-

Okay, I'm done now. ;