Isles of the Blest
He reminisces about his village, and comes to the conclusion that it definitely has something rigged.
That, or it was just some sort of weird kind of fate that it'd turned out like that once per generation three times in a row.
After all, how many times in less than a century did you get the exact same kind of team? How many times would you get the loser, the genius, and the healer all in one fell swoop?
How many times did you get the team that broke, the team that always ended up with someone dead, the team that never held together, the team that was full of contradictions and death and all the things that people never seemed to think about when they put these things together?
He swirls the cup of sake and looks upwards.
His team hadn't fallen apart at any specific time. That snake freak of an ex-teammate had never been one for teamwork and bonding, and his other teammate was jaded from the moment she saw her brother's mangled corpse.
The second team…well, that one had fallen apart faster than theirs, he had to admit. He often looked at the man who was in charge of the third generation and wondered what it was that could cause such a clearly open wound. And, quite frankly, once he considered it, he partially didn't want to know.
Team 7 had already broken. He knew that. He had known it from the moment that kid had stared straight at him and asked him if he could be trained, could get stronger so he could bring that "bastard of a best friend" back.
However, it wasn't irreparable. Unlike his team, the Uchiha still had his ties to his team, and they still had their ties to him. Unlike Team Yondaime, nobody was gone for good; nobody was beyond human reach. Maybe, they are somehow reaching out and trying to mend everything without even knowing it.
He downs the sake in one go.
Maybe they'll get it right the third time around.
There are days when he wondered why he was chosen as their sensei.
He is not the right choice. He's sure. After all, he's learned from the Sannins and his own genin days that a team like theirs will end in tragedy.
Someone will die. Someone will disappear. And someone will be left to mourn.
He wishes it were different. Though wishes are for children, he still does so—because he knows that they will need all the luck and favor they can get. They are doomed and he knows it, so he prays even harder that their lot in life will not befall them.
One will leave and never come back. One will cry and never stop hurting. One will burn up and never stop blaming themselves.
It is as old as the ages. Perhaps they are just continuing an ancient tradition; that these three will be thrown together over and over, time and time again. It's old and awful, how they cry and break and die, but it happens anyways. They allow it to happen, as if they cannot see the disaster brewing under their noses when they pit the ice-block and the loudmouth and the sweet innocent together. It is a time bomb just waiting to blow, and yet, as if they cannot see the signs, they continue onwards.
And it will continue, he knows it. The three will come together and break apart. His three have come together and he knows that soon, too soon, they will be broken into miniscule sharp shards of a friendship that used to be.
But when he looks at the photograph, and remembers, when he is swept back to how it is, how they jostle each other and eat ramen and wait for him to arrive so they can train already, he thinks that things are changing.
They are a team. The others were not.
And the knowledge comforts him, because they are already deviating from that which was preordained.
Perhaps, they will do the unexpected, just like they always have done. They will live to elbow each other and eat way too many bowls of ramen and scream their lungs out while waiting for their permanently tardy sensei.
Maybe, in the long run, they will be able to put themselves back together—if not completely, then enough to prove the fates wrong.
Some people say that they are a triangle. That the team itself has three possible outcomes: the boy gets the girl, the other boy gets the girl, or the boy gets the boy. They've fantasized about it, wondering what it will be in the end.
When he hears those people talking about them like they're a geometric figure, he ignores them as best he can—and his best is akin to being a walking, talking block of unemotional ice—because their life will never be such smooth, straight lines.
Some people say they make up a golden trio. That they are such a team, such a grouping, that once they finish re-gluing the pieces of their friendship back together, that they will be a team forever and ever, never parting. They've determined that they are perfect, and will remain so for the rest of their lives.
When she hears elders talking about them like such, she realizes that they don't know how truly broken they are, and that the shards of their shattered lives will never fit together perfectly ever (she doesn't even think they ever did).
Some people say they are just the most recent incarnation of an old standard. That they are merely the genius, the kunoichi, and the loser, and will remain as such, with at least one of them dying or disappearing. They've compared them to teams of the past, and will compare them to teams of the future, sure that the three will never be whole again.
When he hears them such things, he smirks, just a little—because obviously, these people don't know that they are the team that never quite follows tradition to a "T".
Obviously, these people don't know them.
After all, they aren't the team for abiding by rules and believing in coincidence. Somehow, they have a way of screwing things up for those who try to find patterns and strange occurrences in fate. No, Team 7 definitely doesn't go by the book.
They rewrite it.
And in the end, it somehow turns out to be a little better than before.
-they have never gone by those who have gone before them-
A/N: This was interesting. Give Koko-chan fanon, and you get a one-shot that doesn't even flow in a linear fashion. Odd. Well, at least it's done.
The Isles of the Blest are, I believe, an archipelago in Elysium (the Greek equivalent of heaven). The Isles are the destination of souls that have been reincarnated and achieved Elysium three times. It was the reincarnation and three that struck me and gave me a title.
As for the whole viewpoint/time thing, it goes like this: Jiraiya after Sasuke leaves, Kakashi after Zabuza arc (though it could take place anywhere between the bell test and the Chuunin exam), and the team itself after Sasuke comes back to Konoha (fine, it isn't canon, I don't care. It's called my own little world, people).
Review. Because Team 7 wants you to so Koko-chan stops writing introspective oneshots about them and they get their peace. …And 'cause it's nice, dang it!