Echoes of the Past

1. Their first official meeting had been on a sunny October morning, beneath the shade of a large tree in one of the empty training fields. The first member to arrive merely nodded his greeting, while staring rather sulkily at a spot that wasn't really there. The second member to arrive was as bright and sunny as the day itself, but she'd sobered up considerably upon laying eyes on the first. The last member to arrive had been late, but he had an excuse for that, and a pretty good one too, if it hadn't been for his terribly poor poker face.

2. Their sensei's first thought was, I love them already—but his first words were, "Kakashi-kun, get your foot off Obito-kun's head."

3. They were 'Team 13' til their sensei decided it sounded too boring and unhappy, and declared they be called 'Team Good Guys' til they came up with something more suitable. Obito liked it, and Rin didn't really mind, and all Kakashi did was twitch slightly, so the name stuck for a good long while.
('Team Ichiraku' had been their sensei's first choice, but three identical glares made him stop mid-proposal.)

4. Contrary to popular belief (well, the belief of her team, anyway), Rin didn't mind being the only girl. In fact, she rather enjoyed it. She'd never been very particular to her own side of the human gender, mostly because the girls she knew had a tendency to think more than what they say.

Not her boys, though. Obito said exactly what he thought, when he thought it was right; it didn't matter that some of them were stupid, or most of them came at the wrong time. He never lied, never really thought about lying, and Rin appreciated it more than he knew.

Kakashi had been more of a puzzle to Rin, but she didn't become a medic-nin without knowing how to solve a problem or ten. It was all just a matter of reading between the lines and seeing beneath the gestures. Kakashi almost rarely spoke, so when he did it was because he had something important to say. They were usually hidden beneath snide comments of off-handed remarks, but they were there, all the same.

5. Their first official mission as a team consisted of a complex, three-man assassination that left them all feeling more than a little shaky. By no means had it been any of the children's first kill, because, let's face it, there was a war going on, but at the same time, they were only 10. Their sensei treated them to Ichiraku after, and proposed to spend the night under the stars. Neither of them really slept that night, but that was fine.

Their sensei would have been extremely worried if they did.

6. Of the three of them, Obito's got the largest family. But that doesn't really count for anything, because half of them don't even realize he's there.

7. Which is the true reason Obito keeps that clan symbol so large on his jacket—not to be arrogant, but to be recognized.

8. Technically, Kakashi's the youngest. Though age isn't really anything to a ninja, which Kakashi makes very clear every time he slits an enemy's throat without so much as an eye-blink.

9. Obito thought this was weird, and was even bold enough to say it aloud after one of their missions. Kakashi merely gave him the same look he gives his enemies—cold, blank, and piercing.

10. It was Rin who told him he and Kakashi were two very different people, but Obito, being Obito, couldn't see anything more than a boy fighting the same war he was.

"We're both still human," stated Obito obviously, but the look Rin had given him was enough to make him doubt his words.

11. Being the girl, Rin was well aware of her feelings for her boys way before either of them even found a name for it. To Rin, it had never been a contest: she loved them both equally, and needed them just as much.

Obito was her support and her safety. He was the little burst of sunshine she needed in the morning, and the helping hand to walk her through should she lose sight of her own light.

Kakashi was her touchstone. He was the force that pushed her to become the best that she is, to put her fears away and just try, and to not settle for anything less.

She loved them dearly but differently, and blamed that as part of the reason the two never got along so well.

12. Obito's epiphany of love came a little after hers, when she'd just finished treating a wound Kakashi had given him in an earlier training session. She didn't scold him for his carelessness or degrade him for his failure. She smiled at him and asked him to be a little more careful the next time, and he felt he could have married her right then and there.

13. Kakashi's came more slowly for obvious reasons. Although he'd always known Rin harbored some sort of affection towards him, he never really paid it much mind til the day he nearly died on a mission, and Rin had cried all over his shirt. She scolded him, called him stupid and reckless, all the while pouring her healing power into his body with more energy than he'd given her credit for. She told him if he got himself killed, she'd bring him back to life just so she could kick his ass. And Kakashi believed her.

14. Unsurprisingly, their sensei found this all very amusing. He's pretty nice about it most of the time, but every once in a while he couldn't help but make that sly little comment or give that knowing little look. It was one of the rare times his children actually acted like children, not soldiers, and he would've be a fool not to take advantage of it.

15. They're all more than a little conflicted about what they are to each other.

Rin likes to think they're friends, because a group of people who've spent as much time together and shared as many memories as they had couldn't be anything less.

Obito likes to think they're family, because sometimes he imagines that's what a real family would be like, annoying younger brother and all.

Kakashi can't help but think they're more like a pack of wolves; they have their rough times here and there, but disloyalty is never a question.

16. They became Team Yondaime a few days after their sensei was given the title. They all agreed it didn't quite hold as much as Team Good Guys, but they managed to live with it. Though the kids secretly thought they should have been named that years ago, and their sensei was apt to agree.

17. More often than not the Fourth Hokage found himself wishing he was just a little bit stronger, a little smidge braver. He was truly a leader, in that he blamed almost everything on his own inadequacies.

It's really the only time his kids ever regretted his receiving the title.

18. They found that a nice bottle of sake or five usually rid their sensei of those thoughts. Or any thoughts at all, actually. They'd never admit it, but they all thought it was worth the morning-after clean up just to see their sensei's blinding smile again.

19. Sometimes they didn't like to think about the war going on, or the lives that they took. They felt it was the only way to retain what little sanity they had left.

Though there were nights when even that wasn't enough.

20. Those were the nights they spent the closest together, whether they liked it or not. Their sensei would always find some new and rather interesting way to 'accidentally' lose their sleeping bags, so they're forced to sleep on the only available patch of land that was even remotely comfortable. Those nights always seemed to be one of the coldest, so they find themselves constantly huddled together to try and escape the chill. The cold never really leaves, but they somehow managed to fall asleep anyway.