I realize that the grammatical context in which I am using 'teme' is incorrect, but it sounds so weird in English if I use it the 'right' way.
"The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone." – Harriet Beecher Stowe
'Well… it looks like… This is it for me… Obito… Rin…'
'"…I'm… dying. But… I'll be your eye… and keep watching. Take care… of Rin…"'
Kakashi's sight darkened. He was dying, having used the last of his chakra to save Chouji from Pein of the Akatsuki.
'Obito… Looks like this is as long as I'll be able to be your eyes…
'…I couldn't protect Rin. I broke my promise to you… forgive me…
'Obito… Rin… Sensei…
'…I'll… be there soon.'
A lone voice brought the Copy Nin out of his thoughts as he stood in the darkness of death.
"That you, Kakashi…?"
"…So this is where you've been…"
"Will you tell me about yourself?"
"Sure… It'll take a while, but I want to tell you everything."
"Yeah… all right."
Father and son were sitting by a campfire in an existence before the afterlife.
"I see… You've had your share of trouble, too."
"Yeah." Kakashi looked down.
"But… I never thought we'd both die so young…"
"Though not as young as your mother…"
"…Regardless of what happened, you did the best you could… I understand now… You broke the rules for all of our sakes – I'm proud of you now."
Hatake Sakumo's face showed his surprise. "…Thank you…"
A beam of light surrounded Kakashi.
"Looks like it's not your time yet; you still have things to do."
"I'm glad I was able to speak with you. Thank you for forgiving me… Now I can move on… I can finally see your mother again…"
As light overtook his vision, the last thing Kakashi saw was a contented smile on his father's face.
If Kakashi could have been said to be expecting anything at all along the lines of being alive again, it could also be said that the last thing he would have expected along those lines would be the current situation.
Kakashi was surrounded by undecorated grey walls, walls he knew.
He was in his own room. Not just any room, though Kakashi was in a room in an apartment he hadn't been in for years.
Sitting up on his bed, the Hatake noticed two things which had his coordination completely messed up; he was short and his left (distinctly not sharingan) eye wasn't covered.
'What's going on?'
There was pounding on the door of the apartment.
"Yo, bastard, Sensei sent me to see why you're late. You'd better have a good reason! You're even later than me! Are you alright?"
Kakashi stared at the closed door with shock. He was hallucinating, right? Or dreaming? At the very least this was an illusion?
"Who else would it be? Hey, is something wrong? You don't sound so good."
"Is that a 'no, nothing's wrong' or a 'no, I'm not feeling good'? Since when are you late, teme?"
"I'm fine, Obito." If you can call hearing the voice of your dead teammate while finding yourself shorter and in your old apartment 'fine'.
"You don't sound very convincing. Either come out or let me in! Sensei and Rin are waiting for you! For you! I'm the one who's normally late; we're all worried about you."
"Then don't be late! If you don't come out soon I'm going to break in even if you don't want me to, teme."
Kakashi sighed. "I'm coming."
This was a dream, and he would be waking up any minute to find himself in the hospital or something.
The silver-haired shinobi cleared his mind as well as he could before standing up and walking to the door after making sure he had his mask and headband both in place. It was so strange not to have his headband slanted over his left eye.
Even though he had readied himself, Kakashi still wasn't prepared when he opened the door to see his teammate perfectly alive. And annoyed, but that just added to the strangeness.
Forcing himself out of his thoughts, Kakashi started walking towards his old team's meeting place. "Come on, let's go." His mind didn't even have to think on the destination; his feet knew every step.
"Uh, okay." Obito turned and followed his formerly always-on-time teammate.
"Ah! Kakashi, Obito." The tone of Namikaze Minato's voice made it clear that he had been worried about Kakashi, and relieved that nothing appeared to be amiss with the newly-made-Jounin.
"Kakashi… are you okay?" Rin asked, wanting to make sure her teammate was alright.
"I'm fine." Kakashi waved her off.
Already being a fair bit behind schedule, the group headed on their way.
As the team was walking, Minato started explaining some mission details. "Since today Kakashi is inaugurated as a Jounin, just like me, to make missions efficient, myself and his team will be split since the military power of Konoha has hit an all-time low now."
"Split… then…" Obito pieced together.
"Yeah! That's right. Kakashi will become the commander of your three-man team, and I'll be on my own."
Kakashi closed his eyes at the familiarity of these events. Déjà vu, anyone?
Rin glanced over her shoulder at her dark-haired teammate. "I told you before, Obito, to get Kakashi a present."
The Uchiha felt a little guilty, a fact which was probably influenced by his infatuation with the healer. "Sorry… I wasn't listening."
The Namikaze walked up to where Kakashi was and held out a three-pronged kunai. "I'll give you this! It's a special kunai! It's a little heavy because of its shape, but when you get used to it, it's easy to use. Take it with you on today's mission!"
Kakashi took the kunai and examined it for show. "Thanks."
Rin fumbled in her bag for a moment before bringing forth a small pouch. "This is from me! Here! A personal special medical bag… you've improved so much that it should be easy to use!"
The silver-haired Jounin received the pouch from his teammate. "Thank you."
"A-ah…" Obito rubbed the back of his neck in embarrassment. "I didn't get you anything…"
Obito stared nonplussed at the Hatake for a moment. "You're acting different."
"Yeah. You're acting… almost nice."
"Hm…" Kakashi voiced in a contemplative sort of way.
Nothing more was said.
Minato looked at his students. "Heeey… Can I explain the mission now? We're almost at the country's border."
The group sat beneath a tree and Minato took out a map. The two Chuunin were paying close attention while the time-traveling Jounin watched the team who had all died years ago. Kakashi was brought out of his thoughts when Minato pointed at a spot on the map.
"Currently the Earth Country is invading the Hidden Grass Village. That's this line. Of course, the enemy are Hidden Rock shinobi… We have information that there's already about a thousand ninja at the enemy's front line."
Obito glanced at his sensei. "If they keep advancing like this…"
Kakashi repeated his words from the last time around. "Although the fire country also borders the Hidden Grass Village, if we wait too long it'll be too late." How many times had he played this mission through his mind, Kakashi wondered.
Rin spoke up just as the time-traveler remembered, "Looking at this advance… Their rear support should be smooth too, shouldn't it?"
Minato looked back down at the map and pointed at a different location. "Our current mission is here. We'd need a lot of ninja to hit the enemy's front line. Because of that, a few selected ninja must go and sabotage them."
Obito asked the Namikaze, "The bridge… so it's an infiltration mission?"
"Yes. Team Kakashi, your mission is: sneak in behind the enemy and destroy the bridge that they need to receive supplies; then withdraw quickly."
"Hai!" was the group response shared by all three of Namikaze Minato's students.
"What about you?" Obito asked, looking at his sensei.
"I will engage the front line directly to divert them away from you. Right, this is Kakashi's first time as commander! We'll go together to the border, but from then on, the mission begins."
Kakashi looked around when the group was walking in a forest of enormous trees with huge mushrooms growing on them. The forest floor that was not taken up by the roots of the trees was filled with knee-height grass. Kakashi remembered this place. This was where he attacked the Iwa shinobi with his Chidori.
Suddenly Kakashi paused in mid-step, sensing that something was nearby. He stood absolutely still, listening and watching. Obito and Rin stopped as well, caught by surprise. Speak of the devil… the Iwa Nin was here.
The Konoha team hid behind the giant root of one of the trees at Minato's urging.
"Be careful, everyone. There's twenty enemies… maybe it's a Kage Bunshin no Jutsu." Minato warned his students.
"It looks like it… Sensei, I'll head in, please cover me." Though Kakashi was repeating last time's events, he was confident he could defeat the Iwa ninja this time around.
Obito and Rin looked at their silver-haired teammate in worry.
Minato-sensei answered his highest-ranked student, "Don't be hasty, Kakashi. You should be the backup."
"Sensei, I'm the commander today, right? This is an excellent time to try out my new jutsu. I know I can defeat that shinobi."
The rookie Jounin performed a few quick hand seals and gripped his right wrist with his left hand. A moment later his right palm was shimmering with lightning.
Obito looked at Kakashi's new jutsu, surprise evident on his face. Rin looked impressed and awed.
Minato watched gravely as his student prepared to attack the enemy.
"Okay!" If this was the past, rather than a genjutsu or dream, then he wanted to make sure to fix his mistakes.
Minato stuck his arm out to stop his student before he could rush in for an attack.
"Sensei… even if there are a lot of enemies, this jutsu can do it in a flash. It's the same as your nickname… besides… Now, I'm the commander. It's a rule that everyone follows the commander's instructions, isn't it…?" Kakashi hated using some of the words from when he was obsessed with rules, but he really felt he had to do this.
Obito didn't like that idea. "Sensei!"
Namikaze Minato slowly withdrew his hand.
Kakashi thrust out his hand as he rushed forward; shattering the root they were behind.
All of the kunai thrown by the Iwa nin at Kakashi were deflected by Minato's own kunai.
Kakashi used the direction of the enemy's kunai to pinpoint his location.
Minato threw a kunai toward the enemy's position while Kakashi closed in.
The Hatake stabbed the enemy with his lightning-covered fist. The enemy ninja grunted in pain before disappearing in a puff of smoke.
'A Kage Bunshin…! Alright, next one!'
"Eighteen!" Kakashi was almost to the end.
"Don't push it, boy!" screamed the enemy shinobi, readying his sword.
This time Kakashi was fast enough to mostly dodge the attack, though his shoulder again got cut by the blade as he stabbed the Iwa nin in the chest with his Chidori.
Kakashi withdrew his hand from his opponent's body and walked back to where is team waited. He had succeeded… maybe he could save Obito.
Rin immediately started to work on her teammate's shoulder.
"Kakashi's injury isn't minor… For now we'll retreat back to the camp," Minato stated.
"I'm fine!" Kakashi insisted. Seriously, he'd had worse. He had even died once.
Obito turned on his teammate. "What do you mean "fine"? You selfishly went your own way against Sensei's orders and did something crazy!"
"So you're saying you didn't cry when that one shadow clone attacked you?"
"That… there was something in my eye and the tears were to get it out!"
"Take it easy, you two… Kakashi… Of course the rules and regulations are important, but that's not all there is to it. I'll tell you… You must also be able to adapt to cope with the situation."
Kakashi wondered what he had said this time to get the same speech. He didn't even mention rules, did he…?
"Hah!" Obito exclaimed triumphantly.
"Obito! As for you! You were wearing your goggles, so you couldn't have had something in your eye. If you don't control your mouth, not only your mouth but your mind will also become weak. And one more thing, Kakashi… That jutsu you used… you shouldn't use that jutsu again. A thrust all concentrated on one point… Of course, you have destructive power and speed, but because the speed of your movements is so fast, you can't always see your opponent's counter. Because of that, it's an incomplete jutsu.
"Before we separate, I'll say it again. The most important thing to a shinobi is teamwork.
"Alright… Let's move out…"
The moon glowed brightly as the group rested towards the edge of a large clearing. Three bundles could be seen laying at the base of a boulder, their sensei keeping watch at the top.
Obito couldn't sleep.
The Uchiha started as he climbed to the top of the boulder where Minato was. Kakashi lay still and silently listened. He was still awake trying to sort out his thoughts and come up with a plan.
"Hm? What's wrong?"
Obito's goggles were back by his sleeping bag and his face was completely serious. "I understand the importance of teamwork…. But… Kakashi's always making me out to be a lazy idiot… Ah… No. Though I'm called "elite" because I was born into the Uchiha clan, I'm a loser. I acknowledge that Kakashi's an amazing person, but…"
Minato thought for a minute. "Kakashi is the son of the genius ninja Hatake Sakumo, known as the 'Konoha White Fang'. His father had respect on the same level as the 'Legendary Sannin'. Because he spent his childhood with such a genius, sometimes, he may look at you guys and see you as unsatisfactory."
"White Fang… now that you mention it, I've heard of him too, a hero who died to protect the village. Kakashi never said a word about him."
"Everyone in the village… and of course, Kakashi, respected that magnificent person… Until that incident happened."
"I'm probably not supposed to talk about this freely, but since you're on the same team as Kakashi, I want you to know…"
"Kakashi's father Sakumo was disgraced… and he committed suicide."
"Five years ago… he was on a top secret mission, sneaking into enemy lands. He had to make a choice: the success of the mission, or his companions' lives. Of course, if he followed the village's rules, he couldn't go back on the mission… but he abandoned the mission to save the lives of his companions. But because of that, the Fire Country suffered a great loss and it and his comrades in the village blamed him. In the end, he was even disgraced by the companions he had saved. From that mission, his mind and body became weak. Sakumo then took his own… After that, Kakashi never spoke of his father, and he began his insistence on following the rules and regulations."
"Obito… understand him, even a little… don't bear a grudge towards him…"
The sun rose slowly and the team prepared to continue their mission.
Rin was rewrapping Kakashi's wound. "It's pretty much healed completely now, but if you overdo it, the wounds will open."
Namikaze Minato looked towards his students. "Okay! Let's head off!"
The Konoha team had come to a forest of towering bamboo stalks.
Minato spoke a quick order and farewell to the younger members of the team. "From here we split into two groups. Everyone, do your best. It was only by chance that the enemy yesterday was scouting alone. From now on, it'll be team battles. Take care."
All three younger shinobi had serious looks on their faces. Rin's expression turned to surprise when Obito said something to his silver-haired teammate.
"Let's get going… Commander."
Minato's face held a small smile, proud of the Uchiha. "Right… Let's go!" He said, raising his arm into the air.
The three younger shinobi of Team Minato ran side by side, racing through the gigantic bamboo stalks.
The team took a quick break before walking along a small lake. Kakashi led, followed by Obito and Rin. The Hatake remembered this as the time Rin was captured, so he kept his guard up.
Kakashi brought his hand up in a sign for his teammates to halt. Straining his senses, the Hatake did all he could to try to pinpoint the enemy shinobi.
All three Konoha ninja were on guard as bamboo spikes shot down from above. The Uchiha formed a few quick hand seals.
"Katon! Goukakyuu no Jutsu!" (Goukakyuu – Great Fireball)
A large fireball flew from Obito's mouth, burning the bamboo spikes before they could do any harm.
Behind Rin stood a half-visible Iwa shinobi while a dark-haired Rock nin with a light build came from the front to attack the boys. Kakashi knew Obito couldn't handle the Iwa ninja, otherwise he would have paid more attention to Rin. Kakashi swore when he heard a familiar scream.
The two Konoha boys turned around to see an Iwa shinobi with a heavier build and straight hair holding an unconscious Rin under his arm. "We'll look after this one."
The Iwa nin disappeared and Obito swore. "Kuso!"
"Obito! Quick, let's go after them!"
The Uchiha turned in shock.
"But the rules… I could go without you!"
"No. We'll go together. Come on!"
Obito didn't hesitate any longer, and the two of them rushed to save their teammate.
Kakashi and Obito were crouched on a tree a good distance from the cave where Rin was imprisoned.
"Right… let's go!"
"!" Obito spun around quickly but he wasn't quick enough.
Unlike Obito, Kakashi was more than fast enough. The Hatake cut the Rock nin's chest with a glowing chakra blade.
The Iwa nin stood up on the branch of a nearby tree. "Silver hair and that white chakra blade… Impossible… you… 'Konoha's White Fang'?"
"This is a memento of my father," Kakashi stated.
"I see… the 'White Fang's brat… There's no need to worry in that case. Ninpou! Meisaigakure no Jutsu!" (Ninja Art! Camouflage Concealment Technique!)
The Rock shinobi became invisible yet again.
Kakashi sniffed the air. "His scent has been completely removed. I'll only be able to track him by movements in air currents and sound."
"Wh…Where is he?"
The silver-haired Jounin's ears picked up a light footstep. And acted immediately, not bothering to waste time warning his teammate. Kakashi slashed with his sword at the Iwa nin, who dodged and again disappeared.
He then turned to his teammate. "Don't let your guard down!"
Obito turned toward the voice and thrust a kunai with two hands, eyes red with the Sharingan.
"Obito…" Kakashi wasn't sure if the unlocking of the Sharingan was a good thing or not. Good for Obito in the long run, but that meant that events continued to repeat themselves.
"H…how… I shouldn't be seen..." the Rock nin quickly became visible. "Wh…what? Those eyes…?"
Obito pulled out the kunai and the Iwa shinobi fell to the ground, dead.
"Now… I will protect my companions!"
"Obito… Those eyes…"
"Yeah… It seems like the 'Sharingan'… I can see the movement and flow of chakra."
"Let's go rescue Rin right away!"
"You're unexpectedly stubborn…" the one remaining Iwa ninja grabbed Rin's hair while she remained in a genjutsu.
The shinobi turned at the sound of footsteps to see the girl's two teammates standing there.
The Iwa nin hid his face in his hand. "Everyone's useless…"
Obito activated his Sharingan. "Rin's chakra flow is irregular, completely different from mine and yours."
"She could have been put under some genjutsu. It was probably to get information out of her quickly."
The Rock shinobi looked at the two Konoha Nin. "…Hm. Looks like you're no ordinary brats…"
Kakashi reached behind him for his sword, "We've already beaten one, but… this one has high speed. Be careful."
Throughout the fight, use of the Sharingan saved Obito's life more than once. Kakashi and the Iwa nin both sent aimed to kill each other, but Obito stopped the Rock ninja with his legs so Kakashi could land the hit which slashed the nin's shoulder.
Kakashi ran up to Rin, brought his hand into the half-Tiger seal, and brought her out of the genjutsu with one word. "Kai!"
Rin took in her surroundings. "Kakashi… Obito…"
Obito grinned. "We came to save you, Rin! It's alright now!"
"Right! We'd better get out of here fast." Kakashi didn't want to take any chances. If he failed this time…
Rin smiled but all three Leaf shinobi turned at the sound of the Rock nin's voice.
"Indeed… that was a good combination. But you're still just brats. You're now right in my hands. Doton! Iwa Yado Kuzushi!" (Iwa Yado Kuzushi – Rock Lodgment Destruction)
The boulders that made up the roof started rumbling and shaking.
"Oh, damn!" Obito swore.
"Everyone, get out of here. Quickly!" Kakashi urged.
The team ran as the rocks crashed behind them.
Obito tripped over a large rock, but Kakashi tackled him out of the way.
The rocks fell.
"Rin… Obito…?" Kakashi greatly hoped both of his teammates had survived. If he had to live with Obito's death again, or if Rin died… he would have no one but himself to blame.
"I'm fine," Obito confirmed.
"Me too," Rin mirrored.
"Good," Kakashi said with a relieved sigh. "Let's finish this mission."
I hope everyone enjoyed!
Thank my friend. If I hadn't asked her for her opinion, I would have killed Kakashi. I even considered killing Obito.
Division of my thought process: 5% - both Obito and Kakashi survive. 80% - Kakashi dies to save Obito. 15% - Obito dies anyway.