Akiko leaves ANBU because of a mistake. She'd grown a little wild, a little careless, always reaching for more, more, more in some desperate attempt to fill all those empty, worn down places inside. Maybe that attitude would have led to a pine box and a name on the memorial stone, but this mistake is a little less fatal.
When the med-nin says You're pregnant. Would you like to discuss your options? She has to ask him to repeat himself.
The idea grows on her slowly, like vines creeping through cracked and dusty ground. A baby. A baby. I could have a baby.
She finds… she rather likes the thought.
She hands in her mask – dove for peace, and maybe now she sees the meaning? – and doesn't meet her taicho's eyes.
It just… it just doesn't turn out right.
She tries. She's not a bad person. But this baby, this child – this miniature sized adult –with his storm grey eyes, apathetic when they're not judging, watching everything. This baby that's too silent, that shatters the learning curve like it's not even there.
Akiko just. can't. deal with it. She can't do this anymore.
She's not a bad person, she tells herself as she sets her daughter down on the steps of the orphanage, everything she needs packed in a bag beside her. Akiko isn't trying to deprive her of anything. There's warm clothes for when it gets cooler, blankets and a sleeping bag in case the orphanage doesn't have enough. There are the few books that she'd shown interest in. There are the carefully forged medical records that are just close enough so that the medics have something to work with. Norashi stares at her with calm, grey, knowing eyes, and accepts the lies that she'll be back soon.
When she puts the dove mask back on her face, it's with a feeling of mixed relief and a resignation.
Being reborn was … interesting. Not really what I'd expected, even if I hadn't had a clear idea of what to expect. To be truthful, I couldn't remember very much about dying – a confusion of lights and sounds, a mild pain in my chest, feeling dizzy and leaning against the wall; in hindsight, all symptoms of a heart attack – and even less about the time between.
That was probably a good thing.
But finding out where I was felt more like a bad fanfic. Naruto? Really? You can't expect me to believe that something I read as a manga actually exists somewhere, can you?
Of course, the alternate explanation that I was in a fanfic was more disturbing. I wasn't a philosopher, and I'd always shrugged questions like 'is there a god' and 'what is the meaning of life' aside with a 'does it matter'? Existential crisis like that seemed like more trouble than they were worth and I quickly shoved the idea in a box labelled 'do not think about'.
Timeline wise, I was a few years younger than the rookies, right about the same age as Konohamaru. Which was excellent. If I kept my head down, I'd pretty much be able to miss all the big events of the series and just wait for everything to sort itself out.
There was no way I was getting myself mixed up in all that.
Yuki Hanagawa is one of the staff at Konoha's main orphanage – the reputable one, well inside the city limits. She's a busy woman, with more jobs than she has time to do, which is why she brushes it off, the first time she sees the girl sitting by the front gates. It's not one of the kids but it could be one of their friends, or an academy student skiving school.
When she's rounding up the kids for dinner, and the girl is still sitting there, her heart sinks.
"Hey, sweetheart," she says, approaching. "What are you doing here?"
This close, she can see the girl is younger than she'd thought, barely more than a toddler. She's well dressed, with a full backpack sitting beside her.
"Mother lefted me here," the girls says, lisping just a little. She's old enough to know, to understand what has happened, and Yuki's heart breaks all over again.
"Well," she says, brightly. "Why don't you come inside and have some dinner, and we'll call the policemen and see if they can find your mommy, okay?"
The girl nods solemnly and takes her hand. Yuki knows that, regardless of what the Uchiha find, it's unlikely this little girl will be going home. "What's your name, honey?"
"Norashi," the girl answers.
Norashi, Yuki finds over the next few weeks, is polite and helpful and obedient. She doesn't fuss, or cry, or ask where her mother is; she shoulders the work of the orphanage easily, helping in the kitchen or laundry, or watching out for kids more than twice her age.
Privately, Yuki thinks she's absolutely unnatural and it really isn't any wonder her mother left her by the gates of the orphanage.
The orphanage was … okay. Busy and crowded. There wasn't a lot of attention for any one kid, which suited me just fine. It was clear I needed to work on my blending, if I wanted to keep my head down.
Akiko leaving me there had been a bit of a shock. Even though she'd been talking – rambling nervously – about taking missions again for a while, somehow I hadn't equated it with getting rid of me. I was pretty sure that there was middle ground in there somewhere. But she'd been a kunoichi through and through, the kind that sprung from a child soldier and didn't know how to be anything else. I'd seen the spiralling tattoo on her shoulder enough to know that she was in deep.
I probably didn't help much.
Daikoku Funeno has been a teacher at the Academy for a long time. He taught Uchiha Itachi –although that… what a terrible thing… no one could have seen it coming… – so he's a little less disturbed by Norashi than another person might be. After all, he has experience with quiet, withdrawn prodigies.
And Norashi is a prodigy. He sees that immediately, despite her attempts to hold back. She daydreams, and doesn't pay attention, but she picks up concepts like breathing. She races through addition and completes the multiplication worksheet while he's still teaching the others how this group of stones times this group of stones equals the total of both groups of stones. The books she hides beneath her desk are not thick with pictures.
No, Daikoku has no problems with her intelligence. He could easily shepherd her through the entire Academy program, graduate her early and have her out in the field…
The problem is that she doesn't seem to want to.
If he acknowledges her success, she dumbs them down. If he notices her doing well, she begins making mistakes. If he pushes her too far, she'll start feigning incomprehension.
It is utterly frustrating and completely flummoxing.
Konoha walks the knife edge of personal ambition and duty to the village. All shinobi must strive to be strong, to be the best that they can be, for the sake of the village.
"I want," Norashi says carefully – and he wonders if she has a speech impediment, as she seems to mumble or slur, sometimes biting off sounds in the wrong places – "to work in the Hokage Tower. Logistics, maybe. Or Finance." She looks pleased with the idea.
And they are good jobs, steady, necessary jobs, there is no doubt about that. But what child aspires be such?
The Academy was so frustratingly, mind numbingly boring. Absolutely boring.
Basic reading. Basic mathematics. Basic this, basic that.
I was so sorely tempted to drop the 'don't stand out' plan. Only the knowledge that actually physical activity would await me in a ninja career – hiking! Running! Camping! And that wasn't even getting into the fighting – had me stick with it. However nice it would be, I doubted they would give me a cushy paperwork job. Konoha had a thing about prodigies.
The Third Hokage likes to keep an eye on the Academy. It is such an important part of the village, the place where the new generation is taught and trained. He likes to keep in touch with them, stopping by to offer inspirational speeches, or to just get to know some of them. It's a tactic that has paid off in the past, bringing him closer to his people.
The instructors know, therefore, to bring the interesting ones to his attention.
Sarutobi studies the file of the latest 'prodigy' with a careful eye. It is slightly unusual to have one rise from the orphanage. Mostly, the best and brightest come from clans, or at least ninja families, where they have not just a leg up in genetics, but in training as well.
The resistance to the Konoha ideals of hard work and duty is slightly more concerning. It's never good to have powerful ninja that don't buy into the Will of Fire.
He runs his eye over the photo on the front page again. She's pale skinned, with a pretty but bland face, blue-grey eyes and a shock of grey hair. If he adds that to 'child genius' well, then the similarities are uncanny. Given that her parentage is a blank slate, only guessed at in a half completed police report… well.
It might be nothing more than a coincidence. But it wouldn't hurt to run a few tests and see.
The only real interesting thing about the Academy was chakra training, and even that wasn't. By the end of the Academy, students knew three jutsu, which translated into a lot of time not learning jutsu. First you had to learn the theory – check – then you had to find your chakra, then you had to try and use it.
It was the latter two steps that were giving me trouble. Find what? Energy? How did you find something like that? What was it? How did you feel it? You'd think that it would be something obvious that I could immediately point to as not having had before but… I couldn't.
It didn't help that the instructors were convinced I was using it during taijutsu class to strengthen my body. I wasn't, really, it was just that this body was so much more than my last one. I'd tell it to do something and it would. I could flip and tumble and run and jump, thought into action with no consideration for physical limits. It just did. It didn't hurt or get tired or miss a step. In some ways, it was more like directing a character in a video game than actually being there.
I didn't mind.
"I'm not taking a student," Kakashi Hatake says as the Third Hokage hands him an Academy file.
"I dare say you aren't," the Third replies mildly, puffing on his pipe.
Warily, Kakashi opens the file. Flicks through it. Closes it.
"This can't be right," he says weakly, face gone ashen pale.
"Congratulations," Sarutobi says dryly. "It's a girl."
Hiruzen Sarutobi has not seen Kakashi look quite so helpless and lost since the day they buried his successor.
"Take the file home and think about it," he advises, more gently than he'd expected. The situation was exasperating, but he forgets, sometimes, that his ninja are only human too.
Kakashi follows his orders on automatic, putting the folder on his table and staring at it for a long, long time.
He feels numb.
He'd never intended-
He drags a hand through his hair and breathes out shakily. The tightness in his chest tells him he'd been holding it for a while.
Then, suddenly, he has to see her. To know this is real and not a joke.
He slinks through the village with all the stealth of the ANBU captain he was, peering through the windows of the Academy. There.
She has an open book in her lap, tucked beneath the desk where the teacher can't see it and is paying more attention to that than the work. Her left hand twirls a strand of grey (grey!) hair around and around.
He watches through the afternoon. Through taijutsu practice – she spars with the teacher. And she's good! – as the bell goes and she slips out.
And then he follows her home, not to an apartment or house or family – would he recognise the mother? Surely – but to the Konoha orphanage and…
Kakashi breathes, focusing on just. breathing. for a moment.
He… has no idea what to do.
Clearly this calls for drastic measures.
"My Eternal Rival!" Gai booms, loud as ever. "You have finally accepted my gracious invitation to enter the hallowed halls of my house!"
Kakashi pushes past him, agitated. He doesn't even say that this apartment is hardly a 'house' or that Gai had been 'graciously inviting' him for nearly a decade. He can't say anything at all, all the words bottled in his throat , constricting him.
"What troubles you?" Gai asks, more perceptive than people give him credit for.
Kakashi flails a hand.
Gai looks bemused.
I have a daughter! I didn't know I had a daughter! How do I not have-
He shoves the file at Gai's chest, turning away because he just can't bear to watch Gai realise how much he has failed at this…
"Oh," Gai says softly. "Oh."
A heavy and calloused hand rests lightly on his shoulder as Kakashi stares out the window.
"Have you seen her?" Gai asks.
Kakashi nods mutely.
"What did she say?"
Kakashi shrugs, careful not to dislodge the hand.
He can almost feel Gai roll his eyes. "You didn't talk to her; you just went and stared at her. Please tell me she didn't see you."
The glare Kakashi gives him is full of wounded pride.
"What are you going to do?" Gai asks.
Kakashi shrugs helplessly. Why would he have come to Gai if he didn't – desperately – need help?
Apparently, I was too good at taijutsu practice, despite all my attempts to not stand out. Not good enough to graduate – thank god – but enough that they were arranging my own separate tutor instead of having me stay with the class.
I didn't want to progress fast enough to get myself tied up in the whole canon mess. It would sort itself out. I just wanted to stay out of the way. I was counting on my age to do it, but if I was too good… I might end up there anyway. I didn't really want that.
Then I met my taijutsu tutor and was sure that someone was trying to punish me.
It was Maito Gai.
And he was every bit as crazy as his character was portrayed to be. He was larger than life, too much to be real. He made promises and did poses and his teeth pinged.
Someone like this couldn't possibly exist.
Gai can see a lot of his Eternal Rival in his new apprentice. He's aware of the folly of drawing comparisons, but he can't help it when he introduces himself and her expression is pure 'is he real?' before it slides into absolute apathy.
He almost expects to hear her ask 'did you say something?'
She has a complete lack of enthusiasm for training, despite being a natural at chakra enhancement. (It's lucky that she is, because it gave him a chance to express interest without drawing attention, though he has no doubt the Third Hokage knows the truth.) She's a genius, despite the way that the term gets overused, and like many genii coasts by without Hard Work.
Gai will get her motivated! And that's a promise!
She also has, he finds, many disagreeable habits. Like his Eternal Rival, she prefers not to argue, instead agreeing to things with no intention of carrying them out.
This is not acceptable. While not all ninja hold to their word as strongly as Gai does, they must have some promises that will not be broken.
Gai plants his foot – gently, very mindful of his own strength – on her back and booms, "the word of a ninja must never be discarded so easily! To give a solemn, heartfelt promise and then neglect to follow through on it is the height of deceit!"
Norashi struggles against the mud, arms trembling, as she completes her pushups. The only sound she makes is a grunt. He is almost certain she is using pain nullifying techniques.
Gai would like to assume she is listening, and taking his words into serious consideration, that her lack of protest means she acknowledges her error and is taking her punishment without complaint – but his interactions with Kakashi lead him to assume it's more likely that she has no idea what to say, cannot understand his perspective and is tuning him out.
"A ninja must always defend the integrity of their word!" He continues to lecture, hoping that he's getting through to her. It is the duty of the senpai to pass on their wisdom, so that the new generation does not have to learn the same painful lessons.
He wants her to be strong, for her own sake, and for Kakashi, so that he never has to watch his Eternal Rival outlive his child like he has outlived so many others. For despite the… unpromising reaction, Gai firmly believes that Kakashi will come to realise the gift of joy he has been given unlooked for.
He just has to stop panicking first.
Training. Always training. It was monotonous. There was early morning training before the Academy, leaving the school early for afternoon training, which stretched into evening training…
Didn't this man do anything else?
The chorus of 'you're so lucky to be getting trained by a Jounin' was also wearing thin. If Gai-sensei didn't feel I was putting one hundred and ten percent – no two hundred! – effort in, then he started encouraging.
I don't think I had that much effort in my entire body, and certainly not at half past five in the morning.
It wasn't that he was a bad teacher, he wasn't, especially when it came to actual techniques and not just insane stamina building exercises, but I relished the times when he was on missions.
It was rather amusing, Kakashi thought, watching Gai hunt for his student. When he hadn't seen her at the training logs, or running laps, Gai had taken to peering into every nook and cranny to see where she was hiding.
"Perhaps she went home?" He suggests, stuffing his hands in his pockets and trying not to laugh at the comical sight.
Gai looks shocked at the suggestion. "It' is only three o'clock!" He says. "She could not possibly have finished training yet!"
Kakashi shrugs, not quite sure what pre-genin's training tolerances were, but suspecting they were a bit lower than Gai thought they were.
But they do go to the small apartment that had been allocated to Norashi once she'd proven 'capable of looking after herself'.
The girl answers the door after Gai's enthusiastic knocking threatens to make it shudder out of the door frame. She's tiny and petite and cradling a book in the crook of her arm, and Kakashi feels another thrill of … something… at the sight of her.
"Oh," she says flatly. "You're back."
Gai beams and actually sparkles. Kakashi has to look away out of self preservation. "Indeed! I have returned from my mission. It was a serious and arduous task that I willingly undertook with the aid of my comrade and Eternal Rival!" Gai nudges him with a highly unsubtle elbow.
Kakashi… pulls out Icha Icha and pretends to read. "Yo."
He can feel the disapproval radiating from the green clad shinobi beside him. "Indeed! And my first thoughts upon returning were to seek out my beloved student! We searched high and low, from training field to lake! Words cannot express my heartbreak at not finding you working hard to increase your strength!"
Norashi regards him with a blank eyed stare that suggests she considers him of similar relevance and interest as a particularly obnoxious street performance. "I was finished," she says flatly.
Kakashi wonders if she has any other tone of voice, and considers that at that age his own repertoire may have been fairly similar, if including such things as 'smug superiority'.
"Finished?" Gai says, gasping loudly. "One can never truly finish training! One only progresses to the next step of their journey! The true master of hard work does not simply finish. Tell me, what training plan have you been following?"
Norashi shifts minutely, but Kakashi catches it. There's a tinge of resignation when she says "Academy standard."
If Kakashi's admittedly hazy memories of the academy are true, the Academy standard is something like '50 sit ups, 50 press ups, 2 kilometres in under ten minutes'. It's positively civilian.
Gai lets out a noise somewhere between a groan and a wounded bull. It actually appears to have caused him physical pain to hear that.
The tears, the declarations of new training plans, the heartfelt promises… well, Kakashi is quite glad he can read Icha Icha and ignore it. His… the girl doesn't have that option.
"I thought we were getting food," he says eventually, otherwise Gai will actually go on forever, and food is basically the only reason he agreed to this.
"Yes! You are quite right, my rival!" Gai booms. "Norashi! In celebration of our return we are going to dinner!"
"Have fun," the girl says, ignoring the social cue and invitation. She takes a step back as though to slam the door shut.
He admires her nerve, really.
Gai is behind her in an instant, halting any attempt at escape. "You must come with us." His teeth gleam.
"That's really not necessary," she says.
"I insist," Gai counters. And when Gai insists, things happen.
It was entirely possible that Gai/Kakashi was truth. I wasn't particularly invested in finding out – people were much less interesting when you didn't have an omniscient view into their heads – but it was kind of pointing that way.
Gai would spout his praises, then drag me off somewhere to meet him. I didn't mind the escape from monotonous exercises like 'punch this log fifty times' but it was extremely awkward. And I had no idea why he was doing it.
I was the Academy kid he taught taijutsu. It wasn't like I was the apprentice to his legacy, like Lee would be.
I didn't want to be.
Twenty seven. Twenty eight. Twenty nine.
Lee pants, wavering slightly as his next kick slaps against the training post. He wobbles, balance thrown just the slightest bit, weight shifting wrong on his balancing leg and stumbles.
Determinedly, he ignores the other students making use of the Academy training grounds during free period. Their attention does not matter. Their laughter does not matter.
If Lee has only taijutsu, then he will use only taijutsu. He will not merely give up.
And if Neji Hyuuga thinks otherwise. Well. Then Lee will prove him wrong.
He grits his teeth and resumes his position.
"You're doing it wrong," a quiet voice says behind him.
Lee blinks, lowering his fists and turning. This is not one of his classmates. She is too young – a student from the junior half of the Academy?
"I-" he starts.
"You keep tripping because you're unbalanced," she continues. "You're unbalanced because your stance is wrong."
Lee feels a sharp flash of humiliation at the matter of fact statement. "I will complete 100 more kicks," he declares to cover it, turning back to the training log.
There is a sigh that sounds remarkably like exasperation behind him. "Doing the wrong thing a thousand times won't make you any better," the little girls insists. She pulls at his arm and he shifts backwards, surprised at the strength of the maneuver. "Forget about the training post; it's only making things worse. You know that you're going to hit it, so you stop before you get there. You have to kick through it."
She slides into an easy stance, leg lashing a beautiful clean arc through the air. The movement is so graceful and controlled that he cannot squash the surge of envy.
"It's useless," a voice cuts through the conversation. "No matter what you try, you cannot change what is fated to be. Such a weakling will never become a ninja; it is impossible."
Lee doesn't recoil from Neji's speech simply because he has heard it before. It never loses its sting, though.
The girl cocks her head to the side. "How would you know?" she asks, sounding nothing more than vaguely curious. "I could have been 'fated' to meet Lee, to offer advice, so that he could go on to become the next… Maito Gai."
"Those who achieve greatness are born destined to be great," Neji retorts. "People are fixed and unchangeable; only a fool tries to be something he is not."
"And that makes you so unhappy, doesn't it?" the girl says, gaze sharpening. "You want, so much, to be different, but you can't. What is it you want to change about yourself, Hyuuga?"
Lee has never seen anyone wipe the look of smug superiority off Neji's face quite so completely. He shifts uneasily, feeling the tension in the air ratchet up.
"You know nothing," Neji says with forced, deadly calm that barely hides the simmering anger underneath.
"Just because you hide your desperation, that doesn't make it any less visible," she says, eyes flicking up, just slightly, before turning away. "Why force beliefs on others that you don't even wish to follow yourself?"
And Neji lunges across the training ground, hand flickering blue with the power of a Jyuuken strike. Lee scrambles backwards, but the girl doesn't. She stands and waits and at the last possible moment slides to the side, lashing out with a kick that takes Neji in the back of the knee, dropping him to the ground.
What follows is a fight more brutal than any Lee has seen at the Academy. Neji has lost the in-control grace that he usually exudes, lashing out in anger. But it is not a one sided fight, either, and he takes as many hits as he lands. The girl – whoever she is – fights back with punishing strength, steam rolling through the hits Neji lands like he isn't touching her at all.
"Stop! Stop! What do you think you're doing?" A chunin-sensei shouts, interrupting the fight and physically separating the two. Tenten hovers anxiously behind him, clearly having fetched him.
Getting into a fight with Neji was stupid and not what I intended to do at all. Helping Lee had been a whim of the moment, a half formed thought of making sure he would catch Gai-sensei's eye. He'd been investing so much effort and energy into me that I was a little worried that he wouldn't go looking for his proper students.
Not only would that leave me in a dangerous position, it would change a lot of things, which went contrary to all my 'just let it happen' plans.
I'd only meant to counter his speech about fate, not because I didn't think there was – fate? Plot? Authorial whim? – but because you could hardly tell from a position inside the system. But I'd been cruel. I hadn't meant to be.
I'd pretty much deserved the broken arm he gave me.
"Interesting, how interesting," Yamaguchi-sensei repeats, as his chakra sinks into his patient.
"Is something the matter?" The Chunin-sensei says. He is surprisingly fluttery for someone who spends so much time with children.
"Oh not at all," the med-nin waves off. "A clean break of the ulna, perfectly normal. Does it hurt?" he directs the last question to his patient, pressing down on the spot on her arm. The bone knitting jutsu is working perfectly fine, which usually corresponds to discomfort in the patient.
"No," Norashi says. There is no flinch, no hitch to her breathing, no dilation of the eyes or any other signs of pain. In an older ninja, it might not be so surprising, but it really is quite extraordinary in one so young.
"Fascinating." He adjusts his glasses. "How do you perform in ninjutsu class?"
"I can't," she says, but this time there is curiousity in her voice. "Why?"
"You have an almost complete separation of physical and mental energy. I've never seen anything quite like it at all! It will make for an interesting thesis, I'm sure."
If her mental and physical energy didn't mix to produce chakra, then she was entirely unique amongst all the ninja he had ever met. How did it work? How did she cope? This was a remarkable finding.
"What does that mean?" The Chunin instructor asked, looking worried. He glances at the child as if there might be a visible clue. "Separation of…"
Yamaguchi tuts. "Mental and physical energy," he repeats impatiently. "Without being able to mix the two, she will never form chakra."
"But she uses chakra!" The instructor protests. "Physical enhancements… she's top of her taijutsu class!"
"Pure physical energy," Yamaguchi dismisses. "The same for the pain blocking technique she is exhibiting currently. Although, that may simply be the result of higher functioning being related to mental energy and simply not receiving the signals from the body."
Norashi doesn't seem particularly bothered by this announcement. Highly likely, then, that she had noticed something strange about her inability to use chakra. He is about to question her when a green blur bursts into the diagnostic room.
"Excuse me!" Yamaguchi squawks, standing up abruptly. "This room is in use!"
The nerve of some people!
"My student has been injured!" The Jounin bellows, catching the door as it rebounds off the wall and back into him. "This is a sad day! As a teacher I have failed to prepare you! We shall train twice as hard in the future, no! Three times as hard-"
Norashi slips off the bed and bows shallowly. "Gai-sensei," she says flatly, cutting across his exclamations. "I apologise for my behaviour."
Maito Gai is nudged forward as a second man slips into the room behind him. His single eye flickers over the girl, then the rest of the room, before returning to the book he's holding without seeming to find interest in any of it.
Yamaguchi huffs. "This is not a public meeting room," he protests, but is summarily ignored.
"It is unwise to fight with ones comrades," Gai admonishes. "The bond between ninja is important and can be weakened with such conflict! We must hold fast to our integrity! Resist the urge to resort to violence-"
"Even if he started it," Kakashi Hatake interjects lazily.
"Even if-" Gai echoes before stopping reproachfully. "Kakashi!"
"I provoked him," Norashi admits.
Yamaguchi has had enough, and flips her file closed. "That is all for today," he says. "But we will need to schedule appointments for testing."
"Testing?" Kakashi repeats, the question curling lazily into the air. "Testing for what?"
Yamaguchi huffs. "That is hardly any of your business."
Maito Gai claps a hand down on his shoulder, firmly. "But as her sensei it is mine! I am very eager to find out."
In the end, I got to see the Sharingan in action. Not 'in action' in action, but I got to see it. It was almost a little disappointing, to be honest, and a bit anti-climatic. The colour of someone's eye is hard to determine from across the room and nothing in particular happened.
Fair enough, because he wasn't actually using it to do anything, just to look at my chakra. Still, for seeing a legendary dojutsu in action, it was a bit of a let down.
He did confirm what the medic nin had hypothesised; that I wasn't mixing chakra properly. It made enough sense to me, my soul had attached itself to Norashi's body and started puppeting it around. There was a level of detachment involved that wasn't quite natural. But it wasn't bad either.
Of course, I was incredibly hopeful that the 'no chakra' diagnosis would result in that non-combat position I wanted.
Not all my RR snippets are dark and dreary. This one is mostly for that fun. Again, it's only really half done and doesn't go anywhere, because I'm not sure where it would go anyway. I was just playing around with the 'effects' of reincarnation with the extreme detachment and 'that's fictional' mindset… and of course, Kakashi and Gai. Because they're funny.
Trying to kick the writer's block by continuing old pieces so:
Upcoming RR snips – Urashima Uzumaki and the Fall of Uzushio. Hiya Hyuuga and the Founding of Konoha. Yuzu Yamanaka who learns there are some clans you can't hide from. And Nino Uzumaki who might have the worst luck of the lot.