DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the ideas or characters from Naruto
(A/N): Hello everyone. First of all, I want to apologize for the extremely long wait. It has been over a year since I've last updated. I've been sick on a constant basis and real life's been ridiculously hectic. Anyway, if anyone knows how to keep someone with a pretty lousy immune system (coughmecough) from getting sick so often, I would really appreciate it.
On another note: For more Obito/Naruto reincarnation goodness, please check out Nanikato's fanfic From Wish to Nightmare. It's a real treat!
Reflections Across Time
Chapter 5: Impressions
It was a chilly morning, cold and wet, which was unusual for Konoha. A light mist had settled around the village and the grass was covered in dew. It was the sort of morning in which most people couldn't help but snuggle further into their blankets and pray for just a few more minutes of sleep.
Casually walking down the quiet streets, Itachi was stopped by the sound of yelling. A quick glance over his shoulder revealed several clearly irate medic-nin searching for someone.
"Excuse me," a stern looking man asked, "have you seen Hatake Kakashi-san?"
"No, I haven't," Itachi answered politely, "Why do you ask?"
With a frustrated sigh the doctor answered, "Last night he came back from a mission severely injured. After treating his wounds, we placed him in one of the wards for recovery and discovered him missing this morning."
With a slight nod, Itachi replied, "Perhaps you should check with my parents. Hatake-san usually offers to watch Sasuke for them."
"Thank you, Uchiha-san." The worn old man bowed before heading towards the Clan's Compound.
With a barely perceptible shrug, Itachi turned around and continued his trek towards the Memorial Stone.
As he came closer to the Memorial, Itachi sensed another's presence. His eyes narrowed as he recognized the other chakra signature. Hatake-san? He's just arrived… What is he doing here?
"Hey," Kakashi greeted the stone, "Sorry I'm late, Obito. I had a mission last week. I got back last night, but the doctors held me up."
Itachi's eyes narrowed as he concealed himself in the tree.
"Anyway, I checked up on Sasuke on the way here. He was still sleeping, of course. From what Mikoto-san told me, he's picked up shuriken throwing rather quickly. His form's a bit sloppy, but he's surprisingly accurate. You'd be proud." Kakashi reported as he stretched into a more comfortable stance. With a small wince and a grimace, he held his side.
"Hmmm? This is from the mission. I wasn't paying attention… Heh, it kind of sounds like something you'd do, ne?" the jounin chuckled softly, wiping away a small tear, "You know, I… I thought I was going to die this time, and I was so happy that I'd get to see you again… You and Sensei and Rin… But then, I remembered, you made me promise to take care of your 'baby cousin' for you… "
Itachi's eyes widened.
Unaware of his watcher, Kakashi continued his one-sided conversation with the Memorial Stone, "It was your dying wish. I promised you, swore on my life and honor. I'd never be able to face you again if I broke that promise. So I got up, not just for you, but for Sasuke as well. I didn't realize until then that the kid grew on me."
For a split second, his expression softened.
"It still hurts sometimes… Looking at him and remembering you," he paused, his pale, bandaged hand brushing against the memorial, his thin bony fingers slowly, tenderly tracing over Obito's name.
Itachi could only stare in stunned fascination at the older man.
With a trembling sigh, Kakashi murmured, "I know you're probably sick of hearing this every day, but… It should've been me under that boulder. You know, I… I didn't realize it before, but… I never did thank you for saving me… Well, I'd better go before that crazy old doctor finds me here. I'm sorry and… Thank you."
After the limping jounin hobbled away, Itachi jumped down from the tree, walked up to the memorial, and slowly placed a small lacquered bowl of miso soup in front of it. After a deep bow, he gazed at the Memorial and quietly acknowledged, "Obito-Nii, he took you away from me… But he is repentant. It seems I've misjudged Hatake-san."
As he walked away, Itachi gave a final glance at the memorial over his shoulder. I may have forgiven him for taking you from me, but I doubt I will ever genuinely like Hatake-san.
Walking around Konoha, Naruto found himself internally cringing at every glare and cold stare thrown at him.
Quickly sneaking into a narrow alley way, he nervously glanced around and once sure he was not being watched, shifted. Carefully checking his reflection in a broken mirror laying against the wall of the alley, he was satisfied to find the familiar dark-haired, blue-eyed form he had decided to deem 'Yuichi'.
Ducking behind a large old dumpster, he shed his bright orange outfit and changed into a worn set of baggy black clothes. As he crept out of the alley, Yuichi smiled. Maybe now I won't have to worry about angry parents shooing me away when I want to play... Kami-sama, how old am I supposed to be? Twenty? Or seven?
Running around in the playground, Yuichi felt relaxed and free without the angry and suspicious leering of the villagers. Paying little attention to his surroundings, he ran right into another kid.
Groaning, Yuichi shook himself out of his stupor and looked over at the person he bumped into.
"Sorry, I wasn't paying attention," he apologized, frowning when the other boy did not respond.
Leaning closer, Yuichi attempted to decipher the other's expression through the dark sunglasses covering the boy's face. His eyes wandered, widening as he noticed the other child's knee.
"You're bleeding! Here, let me see," Yuichi exclaimed, pulling the boy's leg closer and lifting the hem of his pants.
He was further shocked to see what looked like a swarm of insects crawling about the boy.
"Woah!" Yuichi murmured as he gazed at the boy's leg, "An Aburame, huh? Cool, but... Uh, could you ask them to clear the area? I can't exactly heal your knee if they're crawling all over it and I don't want to hurt them on accident or something if I use jutsu."
"You are not disgusted?" The boy finally spoke up, his voice quiet and slightly raspy.
"Huh? You mean the blood? Nah, I'm not really squeemish or anything," Yuichi replied, as he watched the bugs move away from the knee for him to inspect.
"Not the blood, my bugs," the boy corrected.
"The Kikkai? Why would they disgust me?" Yuichi asked distractedly, gently prodding the Aburame's knee.
"All of the other kids stay away from me because of them," the boy answered softly.
"That's stupid, they haven't even tried to get to know you. Besides, those bugs are awesome." Yuichi commented, earning a puzzled look from the injured boy.
"Hmm, it's not sprained or broken or anything," Yuichi muttered, "I think it's just a scrape. Here, stay still."
"What are you--" the boy gasped as Yuichi's hands glowed green and the stinging in his knee subsided then disappeared.
"There! Are you alright now?" Yuichi asked as he stood and offered his hand to the boy.
Nodding the boy took his hand and pulled himself up.
"Well, I've got to go now. I'm really sorry for bumping into you." Yuichi said as he turned to run off.
"Wait," the boy called, causing Yuichi to stop and turn around, "Who are you?"
"I'm Yuichi. What's your name?" he replied.
"Aburame Shino." the boy responded.
Noticing an older man approaching them from a distance, Yuichi hurriedly said, "Nice to meet you. Maybe we can play together sometime, okay? Uh, well, got to go, see you later!"
"Shino," the man called as he kneeled next to the boy, "Where were you injured?"
"Father," he acknowledged, "My knee was scraped, but... Yuichi-kun helped me."
"Yuichi-kun?" the older Aburame questioned.
"The boy that bumped into me," Shino replied, "it was an accident. He apologized and helped me. He was... very kind. Yuichi-kun was not disgusted with the kikai like the others and... He healed my knee with a jutsu," Shino answered slowly.
"A healing jutsu? I see," Shibi remarked, "That child is not much older than you. Did you get his family name?"
Tilting his head at his father's question, Shino answered, "No… Why?"
"I believe he would be a very good friend for you," Shibi explained, "If I can find his family, I can speak to them and perhaps you will be allowed to play together on a regular basis."
Shino smiled softly, "I would like that."
Yuichi ran. With a surreptitious glance, he slipped into an abandoned alley, the same alley where he had changed earlier. Quickly, he changed back into his orange jumpsuit and shifted to the blond haired, blue-eyed form everyone knew as 'Naruto'.
'That boy, Shino… He sort of reminds me of… Itachi.' Obito thought fondly, 'I miss training him… Then again, there's probably not much left for me to teach him now…'
Turning to the broken mirror, he frowned as he saw the sharingan lazily spinning about. Concentrating, he cut the chakra and deactivated the blood-limit before slowly letting the dark eyes bleed into a familiar sky blue.
With a soft sigh, the boy turned away and began to trudge home, unaware of the careless mistake that would further complicate his already difficult life.
From the shadows of the alley, the figure that had been following Yuichi since the boy's encounter with the Aburame emerged. With narrowed eyes and lips pressed thin in grim contemplation, Itachi began the long, slow trek back to the Uchiha compound.
(A/N): Well, how was it? Anyway, this is just a reminder that I've made a forum specifically for my fan-fics. There, we can discuss certain aspects of the plot and I can answers questions or publicly respond to reviews.
Please check it out: The link can be found in my profile under forums as Amaya no Shiori's fics. Please remember, that this does not in any way replace reviews. It's only there for more in depth discussion of the fics. Thank you.
Thank you, to everyone who has supported me with their suggestions and reviews, I truly appreciate it.