It's For a Good Cause, I Swear!
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
Note: This story was written in 2009 and 2010 so there are several aspects of the story that new material has made AU. I am aware of this and it is the hazard of writing while a series is ongoing.
Kakashi looked at the scroll in his hands with great interest. The man who had hired them for the exceedingly dangerous but rather tedious A-Rank mission hadn't had enough money to cover the fee, but had promised them some valuable scrolls in to make up the difference. Most of that had gone to Godaime to do with what she would, but this…well, this was a little too interesting to pass up.
"What is it?" Naruto demanded impatiently. "You've been staring at that thing for the past hour!"
"I have not," Kakashi lied.
"Kakashi-Sensei's right," Sakura sided with her teacher. Kakashi shot her a grateful look, but she wasn't finished. "He's been staring at it for the past hour and three minutes," she finished with a smirk.
"Is it a powerful jutsu?" Sasuke asked. "Because if it's not, I've got better ways of wasting my time."
"At least it's not porn this time," Sakura tried to be positive.
Sasuke snorted. "I wouldn't be too sure…"
Kakashi ignored his three students, trying to decide whether or not he should share this with them. It was highly irresponsible, of course, and if anyone had thought to do so, it would be highly illegal as well. The man who had hired them clearly had no idea what he was parting with.
"This scroll contains a time travel jutsu," Kakashi said gravely, deciding that since Naruto had finally made good on his age-old promise to kick Sasuke's ass and bring him back home – stopping Madara and saving the world in the process – none of them were really the world-conquering types and as Naruto didn't believe in revenge, Sasuke had already gotten his, and Sakura really hadn't had anything too horrible by ninja standards happen to her, it was reasonably safe to share.
"A time travel jutsu?" Sakura repeated skeptically. "I've never heard of anything like that. Even if it were possible, the energy required to use it would just be…" she trailed off, unable to think of a way to describe it.
Kakashi shrugged. "That's the other reason I'm telling you. If the four of us do it at the same time, it should be powerful enough. Assuming, of course, Naruto uses the Kyuubi."
"When would we go back to?" Naruto asked.
"Whenever," Kakashi replied. "We each have to pick a point in our lives that we'd like to relive and start over from there. I should warn you not to go back TOO far, because then you're stuck reliving your entire childhood as an adult and that would get very old, very fast. There's no way to get back to now, though, so think carefully before you decide: Do you want to use this?"
"Hell yeah!" Naruto shouted, pumping his fists in the air excitedly. "Just think of all the people I could help! I could save Haku, and old man Hokage, and Asuma! And I could help Gaara, and Neji, and…well, pretty much all my other friends with their various issues that much sooner! And I could kill Orochimaru!"
"…Well, it's nice to know you have a plan," Kakashi said, feeling that Naruto was probably getting a little ahead of himself. And who was Haku again?
"I guess it would be nice to see if I could make a difference by not being useless at the beginning when everything started going to hell," Sakura mused.
"Sasuke?" Kakashi questioned the last member of his initial team.
Sasuke smirked. "I'm sure I could think of some way to occupy myself."
Choosing not to press for answers lest he hear something that would make him reconsider, Kakashi smiled brightly – not that anyone could tell beneath the mask, of course, but it was really the thought that counted – and said cheerfully, "Let's do it, then."
Kakashi knew EXACTLY where he'd wanted to be. The minute he saw the words 'Time Travel' he knew. And he'd had so many flashbacks back to this day over the years, that he was certain he could get it right. If not….well, he was a good twenty years older and more experienced since then, and hadn't he and Rin always agreed that had Minato-Sensei been there, things wouldn't have ended so tragically? Sure he'd miss his trademark Sharingan eye – and if he lost his left eye AGAIN then there would be some real hell to pay, regardless of how everything else worked out – but Obito's life would be worth the inconvenience. And it's not like there wouldn't be plenty of unused Sharingan eyes a few years down the road if he was really desperate anyway…
"Are you even listening to me?" Obito demanded angrily.
"Not even slightly," Kakashi confessed, a smile crossing his face despite himself as he climbed to his feet. Obito had apparently knocked him to the ground. Not surprising, if this was the infamous Rescue Rin conversation.
"I definitely can't stand you!" Obito yelled, furious that his heartfelt pleas to go and rescue Rin didn't even seem to merit the 'commander's' attention.
"That hurts, really," Kakashi said, half-serious.
"You know what else hurts?" Obito asked rhetorically. "The thought of us abandoning Rin to her fate!"
"Of course we're not going to abandon Rin!" Kakashi said, shocked.
"You can't expect these guards to work out the logical reasons to keep her alive and do so!" Obito told him. "They could kill her at any time! We don't have time to finish the mission and come back and hope she's there!"
"I absolutely agree," Kakashi said solemnly.
Poor Obito was so surprised he practically fell over. "…You do?" he asked finally, wondering what the trick is.
Kakashi nodded eagerly. "Oh, definitely."
"What happened to 'in the ninja world, those who do not obey the rules and regulations are trash'?" Obito asked suspiciously.
"That's true," Kakashi allowed. "But on the other hand…those who do not care about their companions are worse than trash." His grin grew as he quoted the words Obito had not yet spoken but had changed his life back to him.
If Obito was surprised before… "Okay, who are you and what have you done with Kakashi?"
"I don't know what you're talking about," Kakashi said airily.
"You JUST said that we should leave Rin. Just two minutes ago," Obito pointed out. "That's why I punched you."
"That I did," Kakashi agreed. "I changed my mind."
"Clearly," Obito muttered. "WHY? Not that I'm not in support of this change of opinion, because I definitely am but…I don't get it."
"It occurred to me that my father was, in fact, a true hero after all," Kakashi explained. "And it wouldn't do very well to shame his memory by leaving Rin to die, now would it?"
Obito stared at him. "You…just decided that? In the time it took you to get up after I punched you?"
Kakashi nodded. "Yes. Maybe you too have Therapy Jutsu. In fact, I'm nearly positive that you do."
"Therapy Jutsu?" Obito repeated, still rather unbalanced from this recent turn of events.
"Therapy Jutsu," Kakashi confirmed. "It's where your fighting someone, they suddenly flash back to their tragic childhood, realize that they were being an idiot and why, and change the course of their life."
"That…sounds kind of unlikely," Obito confessed.
Kakashi shrugged. "I've seen it happen." Practically every time Naruto got within two feet of a fight, really.
"Well…okay, then. This is unexpected. Good, but unexpected. Let's go after Rin, then!" Obito declared.
"You know, I had an entire speech planned, too," Obito complained as they approached their destination. "It was a good speech, too! But it's like you took the words right out of my mouth!"
"You're imagining things," Kakashi lied, wondering vaguely if he should be concerned how well he remembered what was going on. He wasn't that obsessive, was he? Oh, who was he trying to kid? He relived this day at the memorial every time he went…which was every day. It would actually be kind of weird if he didn't remember it this well.
"Found them," Obito breathed as they spotted the cave the Rin was being kept in. "What's the plan?"
Kakashi thought for a moment, then figured that since it had worked last time, they might as well try it again. The less variables the better chance he had of controlling the outcome. "You go ahead a little. Act like you're trying to be stealthy but failing. There are two of them, so since they think we're just a bunch of kids one of them will come out while the other stays with Rin. I can kill whoever comes out from behind."
"Alright…Commander," Obito agreed.
It was silly, of course, and he had had his authority acknowledged many, many times over the years, but hearing it from Obito was…nice. He hoped he'd earn that respect in the next few minutes because he really wasn't sure he could handle losing him all over again. They weren't even that close back when Obito was alive – something he was determined to rectify the minute this hostage crisis was over – but he'd made such an big impact on his life posthumously. Not to mention that while he still felt guilty that his hesitance to go after Rin the first time might have played a role in Obito's death, that was nothing compared to how hard it would hit him if he KNEW it was coming but failed to prevent it.
"Alright, let's go…" Obito said, moving close.
"To where?" Taiseki asked, materializing right behind Obito as Kakashi knew he would.
Quickly, the 'newly minted' Jounin Body Flickered over to them and held a kunai to Taiseki's throat. "To rescue our teammate," he answered as he slit the enemy ninja's throat, feeling rather pleased that he'd managed to avenge his eye all these years later. Better watch that talk of vengeance, though. He didn't want to be Sasuke, after all.
"Wow," Obito said, his eyes wide. "He didn't even have a chance to react!"
"That was the idea," Kakashi said dryly. "Now when we go in there, I need you to free Rin and get out. Watch out for falling rocks and leave Kakko to me."
"Who?" Obito asked, confused.
"The enemy ninja," Kakashi explained.
"…Why do you know his name?" Obito still didn't get it.
"Because I'm amazing, obviously," Kakashi said coolly. Or rather, because he'd obsessively pieced together what he could about that day in the weeks to follow. That didn't make him sound nearly as cool, though. God, he'd really been spending too much time with Gai, hadn't he? Speaking of, since he wasn't planning on receiving his signature Sharingan this time around…he might actually have to start training with him. Not as compulsively, obviously, but he needed an edge somehow, right?
"Not the word I would use, but…let's go," Obito said, running towards the mouth of the cave and immediately engaging Kakko.
Kakashi groaned. "What did I tell him? He's as bad as Naruto, I swear!" As Obito was apparently busy, Kakashi hurried to Rin's side and quickly dispelled the illusion and untied her.
Rin blinked blurrily. "Kakashi? I-what? Oh!" Her eyes went wide as they found her other teammate. "Obito! His eyes!"
A quick glance confirmed for him that Obito had just awakened his Sharingan. Good. He'd completely forgotten about that in his effort to shut Taiseki down quickly and not lose his precious eye. Still, he'd better lend a hand.
"Are you okay to walk?" Kakashi asked.
"Yes," Rin nodded, getting shakily to her feet.
"Wait near the exit for us," Kakashi instructed. "It shouldn't take long." Without waiting to see if she'd listen – he knew she would, of course – he turned towards the battle and through a shuriken at Kakko. He dodged it easily, but that gave Obito an opportunity to knock him down.
"We did it!" Obito beamed when he didn't get up after several moments.
Knowing that Kakko was either faking or would be regaining consciousness shortly, Kakashi shook his head grimly. "Not. Yet. Chidori!" he cried as he killed Obito's would-be murderer.
"Minato-Sensei said not to use that," Obito pointed out.
"I've completed it," Kakashi replied.
"…In one day?" Obito couldn't believe it.
"Is that any harder to believe than me changing my entire belief system in the course of one punch?" Kakashi asked rhetorically as he and the very much alive Uchiha made their way out of the very much not collapsing cave.
"Hey, don't diss the Therapy Jutsu!" Obito laughed.
"Wouldn't dream of it," Kakashi promised.
"Uh, guys?" Rin piped up. "Much as I hate to interrupt now that you two are actually getting along but…reinforcements showed up."
"Doton Retsudo Tenshou!" Several of the many reinforcements said, putting his hands to the ground. Recognizing that jutsu as the one that had lead to Obito's death, Kakashi quickly grabbed BOTH of his teammates and hightailed it out of the path of the collapsing cave. Once he was clear, he grabbed Minato's special kunai and threw it. With any luck, his Sensei would soon appear and…there he was. He had a really fast response time, didn't he? But then, since he wasn't supposed to know what the kunai did and it was shaped weird, he probably assumed Kakashi wouldn't use it if he wasn't out of options.
"Wow…Sensei is awesome," Rin said, watching Minato take down opponent after opponent and showed them exactly why he was known as Konoha's Yellow Flash.
"You think that's cool?" Obito asked. "You should try watching it with the Sharingan. Now THAT'S cool."
"I know," Kakashi agreed, remembering several times when he'd done just that.
"What?" Obito asked.
"I said 'I'm still waiting for that 'You Made Jounin' present'..."
"I'm very proud of all of you," Minato told them as they made camp for the night. "Rin, even though you were captured and tortured under genjutsu, you did not reveal anything to the enemy. Obito, you found your courage, awoke your Sharingan, and proved yourself as a truly capable Shinobi of Konoha. And Kakashi…I honestly never thought I'd say this, but you have learned the true meaning of teamwork."
"What about our mission?" Rin asked. "We kind of forgot about that…"
Minato smiled warmly at them. "Unexpected delays happen all the time on missions. I took down the Shinobi I needed to, so I can join you on your part tomorrow."
"The Kanabi Bridge is SO going down," Obito declared boldly.
"I bet I'll destroy it first," Kakashi challenged impulsively.
"Oh, you are so on," Obito said heatedly.
"Oh, that reminds me," Kakashi said suddenly, turning to his female teammate. "Rin, Obito's totally in love with you." It wouldn't do to let Obito die without telling her how he felt AGAIN, now would it? Really, he was going Obito a favor.
"What?" Rin asked, surprised.
"KAKASHI!" Obito shouted and lunged at his friend.
Kakashi smiled to himself as he ran from the enraged Uchiha. That had worked out very well. Better than he'd hoped, even. Not only was Obito alive, but they were well on their way to becoming friends and were reminding him so much of Naruto and Sasuke's rivalry that it was ridiculous. With Obito not having died for Rin's sake, she wouldn't be all depressed and go off and get herself killed. If Obito could be convinced to leave the Uchiha Compound before the massacre – he knew the date, having dealt with Sasuke for years and was not above resorting to kidnapping to keep Obito safe that night. Maybe Obito could even take in Sasuke, so he'd stop brooding so much about having no family. He wasn't quite sure what to do about Minato, but since he knew about Madara and that was the only reason the Kyuubi attacked…well, he had a few years to figure something out. If nothing else, he could always take Naruto in if there was nothing to be done for Minato or Kushina. Hm, speaking of his former/future students (for he would, of course, have to take them if only for old time's sake), he wondered what they had used their chance to time travel for.
Surely they were using it for a noble purpose like he was…right?
On the other hand, perhaps it was for the best that he'd never know.
Note: This first chapter is probably more serious than the other three will be because, honestly, Kakashi had a more serious problem to fix. Well, except Sasuke, maybe, but an eight-year-old can't really stop a massacre with deep underlying causes, now can he? So he'll have to settle for changing something else.