The morning of October 10 has, and always will be, characterized by a tense feeling not felt since the last war. A sobering thought when the fact that the last war ended four months ago is taken into consideration.

Of course, that historization means nothing if it is the present day.

In the orderly, if a bit spartan, apartment that was rented by Hatake Kakashi, there were three things that always happened in the morning. The first is that the alarm would go off thirty seconds after he had awakened. This is not completely unheard of for ninja who abided to a strict sleeping schedule unless on missions which allowed only short periods of rest, and Kakashi was always a strict ninja. Until lately, however. Lately he had been waking slightly later, off by only two seconds. Not really something to be worried about, but one must always be in their top condition.

The second regularity is more profound. Every morning, he would stare at the reflection of his best friend's eye in the batroom mirror. It was an ever-constant reminder of what had happened on that mission.

But musing over the past could wait until after more important things, like preparing the most important meal of the day. He opened the refridgerator and pulled out basic ingredients for an omlette followed by a firing of the stove and heating of a pan. At this time it must be remembered that even people who kill for a living like to eat foods that taste delicious. You never know when it could be your last meal, even when young. Especially if that teen has been in as much combat as he.

He pulled out a chopping knife and cut enough onions and mushrooms for two portions, anticipating the third happening. The front door opened at that time and his surviving team-mate walked in and promptly sat herself down at the kitchen table, her feet propped up and crossed on the table top.

"A ninja doesn't relax around other people," Kakashi said, simply to preserve the deteriorating image of authority. It was an empty gesture. Since their failure at the bridge and subsequent return three months ago, Rin had started making a habit of forcibly entering his house and stealing his breakfast, except on mission days, which something that she had never attempted let alone thought of before. After the first two days of her forced company, he simply gave up on trying to stop her, he didn't have the heart, and started supplying her with a plate. By now, it had become some sort of a tradition between them.

"A ninja doesn't let others into his personal space," Rin countered easily and shut her eyes for a moment of rest.

The room was silent except for the sizzling sound of an omlette frying. A very serene moment, though it has to end, Kakashi decided. "Why are you here?" he asked bluntly as he plated the steaming omlettes. In truth, it was a question he had asked the first time she was here. Her first answer was very vague, so he figured it was a girl and emotions thing and let it drop.

She opened her left eye as he took a seat opposite of her, a plate in front of each them. "Why are you asking that? Can't a girl spend time with her team-mate when its not a mission?" she answered simply. Kakashi sighed. It was the same answer and he got nowhere in the past three months of shared breakfasts. So he let the subject drop, allowing her to direct the conversation. "Sensei has scheduled a meeting for senior Jounin and ANBU captains in an hour. The Chunin are searching out the Jounin right now."

He simply nodded. He didn't have seniority, but this pirked his interest. Meetings on such a large scale were not common, and as such must be treated with the utmost importance.


Everyone handles nervousness differently. Kakashi handles it by rereading the light books he saved from his father.


As Minato looked over the assembled crowd, some of them in casts or with crutches, he found himself conflicted. On the one hand, he had an agreement to fullfill, but the cost would be mostly upon the villagers. He found that it would be difficult, to say the least, to ask them to give their lives for a cause he knew next to nothing about and they had already given up so much just for survival. There was not one out there who hadn't lost anything, whether it be personal or material. The citizens were battered, weary, and looking for a source of hope. It seemed that destiny had ordained him to be that hope, even if he didn't believe he should be.

Though the other problem besides convincing an entire village to do war was what to do about the Kyuubi's true, current state of living. He stood atop the point of a needle. One wrong move could pierce his foot, as it were. Though he did have options. Option one was coming out with the whole truth, but that would probably be detrimental to the well being of Naruto and the rest of the village. If word got out that Konoha had a jinchuuriki, it would be like placing a bullseye on Naruto's face, which would only invite other attacks from neighboring villages. It seemed that lying was his only valid option, at least until later.

He took a few steps to the railing, his ceremonial robes flowing around behind him in a dramatic fashion. From the ground, he was a godsend, the image accentuated by the beams of evening sunglight reflecting ever so slightly off the past Hokages. Finaly settling on the all important first words for dramatic flare, the Fourth opened his mouth, ending five minutes of silence. "Citizens of Konoha," he began, "The fox has been defeated and shall not harm our village again. But the cost has been great. The Third Hokage and many of your friends and family have given their lives in our place. The village has been attacked, it has been wounded, but we are alive and must go forward. The