I swear that not all of this series is angst. It just looks that way now, but it really isn't. (That's a lie, it totally is.) Each chapter is going to be only loosely connected to the one before it and is going to consist of a single scene; this is, after all, a collection of "moments." This particular moment mostly serves as exposition...and angst, because what do I write, if not angsty AUs?

xxxxxx

What Remains

"Hey, Rin. I brought you some flowers. I...wasn't sure what kind you liked, but the guy at the flower shop said these were good and I couldn't really afford anything else, so...yeah. They're for you. I hope you like them.

"Have you seen Kakashi? Probably not, I guess- that's so like him. He's been really upset lately, and he won't talk to me- not that he ever did, but he's even worse now. I think he feels responsible, but it wasn't his fault. He really cared about you, you know? He didn't show it, but I think he really did. He wouldn't have gone back for you, otherwise.

"I don't want you to blame yourself, though. So don't feel guilty. One of us needs to not feel guilty, and you did your best. I'm going to be fine, and Kakashi...you know how he is. But he'll get better. Don't worry about him, because I'll take care of him, I promise. It's the least I can do, after everything...and I'll make sure he visits you, too. I think he wants to, but he's just being Kakashi. You know. Just- don't worry. I don't want you to worry about anything.

"The war is over now, did sensei tell you? He said he came by to see you a few times while I was in the hospital. He's Hokage now- the third retired when the other hidden villages signed the treaty that ended the fighting. He's still not used to it; he gets this funny look on his face when you call him 'Yondaime-sama.' And he sneaks out of meetings and things to visit me in the hospital, sometimes. Those visits are the only things keeping me alive, I swear- he brings food with him. The stuff they serve at the hospital sucks.

"Oh, hey- the medics say I'll be able to walk again! They said you did a good job, and everything will heal okay, and they'll give me a prosthetic in a few months. I won't be able to fight, but sensei says I could teach, once I heal. I'd get to stay a shinobi, that way- I'd have to retire, otherwise. I won't be the greatest ninja ever, but I can still be the best teacher in Konoha!

"...Yeah, I know, it's funny, right? Me, a teacher. Sensei says I'll have to come up with better excuses for being late to class, but he knows I always told the truth. Things are going to be different now, but that's okay. I can live with that, thanks to you. You saved my life, and I'm grateful, I really am.

"I want you to have these. I don't think I'm going to worry about things getting in my eyes, anymore. I hope you like the flowers. I'll bring you more, next time.

"Goodbye, Rin."

Obito leaned forward in his wheelchair and placed a large bouquet of daisies on top of the memorial stone. He placed his goggles beside them and sat back, eyes tracing the names carved into the stone.

"Are you done here, Uchiha-kun?" The nurse who'd accompanied him to the memorial approached and paused a respectful distance away.

"Yeah. We can go back now." He managed a smile, but couldn't keep it up for long; there was something in his eye.