Disclaimer: I own nothing.

A/N: Second part of the In Retrospect Arc. To anyone who cares, this is the sorta kinda sequel to Orange Retrospect, and to clear this up for anyone—no these do not all follow the same plotline or timeline, they are different, they aren't really connected except for that they are all talking about the reflections of whichever character it is. Thank You.


Silver Retrospect

By Miranda Panda-chan


You've never wanted any responsibilities, and there's a reason you never got married and had a family of your own. Kids, who wants them? Who needs them? You don't. You dislike them, you hate the bratty, stupid, childish antics that make you just want to backhand them and be done with it. It's why you never had kids, it's why you take your relationships out of Icha Icha books and never have ever tried to get into a real relationship. You've always had a method to your madness, after all.

With this in mind, you're still not sure how you ever wound up playing sensei with three of the most spoiled, bratty, and obnoxious kids you've ever had the misfortune to meet. In retrospect, it would probably be one of the most important things you've ever done in your life, but right now it's just annoying. Boring. Irritating, and damn it, you just want to go home and finish reading that book because tomorrow you won't have time because of that mission you've been assigned.

But you can't. Because you're stuck playing sensei to three genin, your team, Team 7. The team that never had a chance. The team that would become famous and almost infamous at the same time. The team that would be spoken of nearly fifty years after they'd left this world because they finally found the peace they'd been searching for since you found them at the training grounds that first day.

You understand it's now your obligation, you're still a shinobi, but you don't have the heart to continue being ANBU. You knew the only way you could feel as if you weren't being completely worthless is if you took on this job, if you sent in a request for a genin team. You've seen far too much death from genin thrown into being a chunin simply for the sake of war. You knew you had to help stop the death or else your conscience would tear you apart.

You still regret it.

And it's no longer out of selfishness. No. Not anymore.

You regret it because you've seen the pain and the horror and the heartache and the family they all needed so damn much be torn apart at the seams all happen to your genin team. The three dumb kids you thought would never amount to anything.

No, you never wanted responsibility. You've never wanted kids. You've merely wanted time, time to read, time to think, time to regret, time to grieve, time to plan, time to act, and time to live. But now you've got so, so much more, and you can't take it back. And although you regret not teaching Sakura, and you regret not having enough influence over Sasuke to stop him from repeating your mistakes, and you regret that you never had a whole lot of faith in Naruto, and you regret that you regretted getting this job in the first place. Because in retrospect of it all, without you, these kids probably wouldn't have ever gotten along as well as they do. It was your test, after all, and you take pride in that fact.

They had the perfect dynamics to become the invincible team. But that's not what makes them special to you. It's why you regret being their genin teacher. It was your teachings that would help harden them to become the shinobi of steel that they you were afraid they'd become later on in their lives, but thankfully they don't while they're still all genin and blissfully ignorant. In retrospect, you're so thankful for this small blessing you could probably cry. But at the time it's frustrating and irritating that they're just a bunch of bumbling kids playing ninja and failing miserably.

But then the Uchiha leaves, and you're feeling ashamed and guilty and wallowing in self-pity because that's just another person you've failed, and three others to add to the list as well. The two left bond like you've never seen before, as if something has finally clicked. And the dynamics are back at their best, emotions in contact, pure will and adrenaline rushing through their veins, making them move in sync, as they fight like two people with the same mind—each attack complimenting the other's.

That's how they won against him the second time with his own test.

And then it all goes down hill. You wish there was another way it could've gone, you wish desperately that it would finish with a fairytale ending like they've all so badly wanted. But it doesn't, and you knew it wouldn't, and there's nothing you could've done. You see that now, while reflecting on all your mistakes that you've ever made, listing off each and every single crime ever committed against humanity that you've ever done, under orders or otherwise.

It's then that Sound attacks your precious village, and you can't help but feel angry with your almost-son that he has led this traitorous band of rogues to his own village to fight against his own almost-family that would still accept even after this atrocity, but he won't accept them. You feel compassion as your other two almost-children race to get to him, fighting tooth and nail to reach him. Confrontation is unavoidable, and it leaves the two that were bonded so close and were happy even though one of their own defected, left them for the enemy that had tried to kill them, cold, and unapproachable. A wall has been built. A wall that builds because he's crossed the line. He's killed one of their own. Several, but one they knew personally. Lee is dead. And they cannot forgive him anymore. The forgiveness and compassion are gone. They are dead inwardly. They are true shinobi now having experienced it all: ignorance, battle, hate, love, betrayal, and death.

You regret it more than anyone will ever know for letting that boy go. You should've kept him tied to that tree when he was twelve. He might've stayed if you'd kept him there long enough, showed him that people cared. That he was major player in your own as well as his two teammates' hearts and lives. But you didn't. And in retrospect- that's probably where you lost him. Right after the Chunin exams, after you'd given him your greatest technique to use as he pleased. And you regret not seeing it. But you couldn't have known, but you should've.

But by the end of their story, they are tired of this life. They are tired of the fighting, of the constant hate, of the unforgiving rage that eats away at their insides and scorches their hearts. They are tired of war and death. All three of them. And with that final battle, one that is looked down upon by some and seen by others as their redemption point, they reverted back to when they were so blissfully ignorant and death was something you taught your puppy to play as. Back to when there was no power, no point, just life and living and loving and caring and youth.

Back to a time where they are Team 7, and you are their mentor.

And you regret that you did leave with them.

In retrospect, you realize, it was all so worth it, in the end. In retrospect, you have no regrets. In retrospect, you would do it all over again. In retrospect, you don't think you could've changed the outcome even if you'd tried. And by God, you wouldn't dare try.


A/N: Drabble. I know. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but in all truth---neither does Kakashi. So cha. Please review.