For Adaon6, a big Kakashi fan, who requested an inner monologue for Kakashi. This was interesting to try out.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto and am making no profit form this fan fiction.

"Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's unpleasant." – Isaac Asimov

Transition

By Nessie

The first thing I remember about you is that you succeeded in everything I failed at. What I lacked in humanity, you had. At that time…I was just an arrogant kid that was lucky enough to become a Jounin early on. Skills were what I surrounded myself with then, with jutsus as the only things I knew about. Skills and jutsus. Rules and regulations. Those things made up my entire world.

Never mind that I had the great Fourth Hokage as my sensei, never mind that I was favored by higher Konoha officials and trusted to lead a team so early on. I didn't see that as a privilege or an honor. I saw it as my right for having suffered the shame of being the "White Fang's son." They owed me that after the embarrassment.

Maybe Kakashi will be different from Sakumo. That's what was thought. Maybe this will be the Hatake to actually do right by Konoha.

And you fueled that thought, Obito. I had the untalented Uchiha on my team, after all. What better chance for me to prove my worth than to train beside you, making the difference in potential clear? And yet I never understood how you and Rin received the same treatment I did from our sensei, how you got the same smiles and the same words of acknowledgement. I could not see the reason for why – despite my Jounin status, despite stepping out from under my father's suffocating shadow – I still found you to be happier than me.

But, after what you taught me, I can see everything now.

I remember that day differently than I do my father's death. The suicide of Hatake Sakumo is vivid in my mind, one swift kunai through the heart, red blood mixing with white hair.

But your death and all of the events surrounding it come in flashes: a boulder careening toward me, hitting the ground, finding you where I should have been…and then blood from my eye, blood from your eye, Rin's hands trembling…Chidori, your smile, and Rin's voice screaming your name over and over again –

Maybe I'm getting old while you stay young forever.

It wasn't so hard watching you die. It isn't as hard to see your name on this stone anymore. But there were a few years where every time I came here, I felt the most horrible energy as though being this near to your memory was too painful…like this eye of yours was crying out for you the way Rin did on that day.

And every now and then I wonder how the present would be had you lived. Would you, with your new-found Sharingan and your unrelenting climb to greatness, have changed the course of destiny for Konoha? Would you have stopped Itachi or taken Sasuke under your wing as only I can do now?

No, Sasuke is too much like who I was then. You would have taken to Naruto…mouth and passion, that's who he is. Just like you.

Funny how time produces an echo, isn't it, Obito?

And now, I'm going to be late for training again…but I don't mind. Even though Sakura will scold me and Naruto will mouth off and Sasuke will just stand there disapprovingly.

Yeah, that's what they'll do…

I can see the future, thanks to you.

The End