This world is ending - Obito and Madara.

Somehow, this turned from cheerful to dark. OnO

I don't know what happened. Maybe my negative emotions towards this dang history essay I have to write OVER WINTER BREAK is being transferred to my writing. OTL what is that. -.-

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, because do you see these tears of Nejidespair?! Seriously.

I also like how the page where Obito "dies", it says Turning Despair into Hope! in the corner.

And now Obito's all There's no such thing as hope! Feel DESPAIRRR!

Uh. Nice one, pal. 'Bito baby, sorry, but the world didn't end on Friday. -shrugs-

Chapter 3: They Don't Mean Anything

"Once upon a time, there lived a princess named…Rin."


"Once upon a time, there lived a princess named…Kakashi."


"Once upon a time—"

"Stop it, Tobi. You're going nowhere with this." Obito stared impassively at the swirl-faced one, who was unsuccessfully trying to whip up a story to tell. Originally, the trio had been going for scary stories, but Obito was unwilling to admit that he got the chills all the time when Zetsu made a creepy face, and Zetsu's stories were far to gruesome to be repeated, anyway. As a result, they had Tobi's imagination whipping up some fairy tale for them, albeit some bad ones.

(The previous one was "Rinderella and the Three Kiri Nin". Obito punched the swirl-face in the swirl right after that one.)

They sat outside, comfortable in the cool summer night weather, crickets chirping here and there with a calm breeze occasionally sifting through the forest. They'd intended to camp outside for fun, with a big tent and all, but a few Konoha ninja going their way had called out to them, and Zetsu tore down the tent and the three dove for cover.

(Yamanaka Inoichi made a face, but said nothing of the strange kids. Speaking of kids, his own team was having trouble…with everything. Especially that one boy who had been two hours late…)

"Once upon a time, there was a creepy old man named Obito," Tobi continued in their new hideout. "He had one eye and one arm, and all the kids feared him."

"I like that one," Zetsu commented.

"You two are terrible," grumbled Obito, crossing his arms and pouting.

"Only for you," sang Tobi, giggling.

"Where've you three been?" demanded Madara, crossly looking the three over. At some point, they'd gotten into a scuffle, ending with all the food being warped into Kamui-land, Zetsu losing an arm, and a cracked swirl-face. It was the morning of the next day, and all three were dirtied and bruised.

"Kamui-land," deadpanned Zetsu with a straight face. Madara glanced at the plant-boy's stump of an arm, and said nothing.

"Need an arm?" sniggered Obito, elbowing Zetsu with his Hashirama-cell arm.

"Need a face?" giggled Tobi, making the younger Uchiha turn to glare at him, his scarred side creating a rather menacing effect. Tobi continued laughing, ducking behind Madara and wiggling away from the kunai that Obito threw.

"Stop antagonizing one another," Madara said harshly.

"Old man, can we go to the market?" Tobi asked.


"Old man, can we go—"

"You three aren't going anywhere."

Upon this, all three of them bolted for the door.

Madara easily caught Tobi, who wiggled and giggled far too much. The swirl-face was always too happy, and it either made Madara chuckle inwardly, or it just made him pissed. Meanwhile, Zetsu nearly reached the door until a gigantic fan chopped a leg off, and the plant man made a sound of dismay. Madara picked up his fan and glared at Zetsu threateningly. He turned to Obito and whipped the fan his way.

"Can't touch this!" Obito taunted, allowing the fan to slip through his chest as he made his way to the door.

He wasn't quite sure where he ended up, but he ventured as far as he dared with his Kamui. Perhaps it was a place of familiarity, or something, because he flew very far away. Obito ended up at the old lake where he first learned the Katon.

"Oh shi—"

Voices were heard coming along the sidewalk, just up the hill. Obito quickly ran for the copse of trees huddled just on the west end of the lake. He knew enough about genjutsu by then to try and hide himself, concealing his presence. He waited for the owners of the voices to appear, trying to think of how in the world he ended up here, and how in the world he was supposed to get back.

"He was two hours late," said the first voice, a girl.

"Really? That's rude," said the second, a voice belonging to a boy around Obito's age. The girl's tone and demeanor were immediately recognizable—Kurenai. However, the boy's voice was rather deeper than Obito remembered, and he wasn't quite sure if it was Asuma or not.

It was Asuma.

"I know, right?" agreed Kurenai. "You shouldn't keep a lady waiting."

Asuma chucked good-naturedly, shaking his head.

"You know, he used to be on time, all the time," Asuma mused.

"Well, he apparently picked up some bad habits," Kurenai sniffed. She was still miffed at the mission delay—the entire team had waited for two hours for one last team member to show up. He was a jounin, too, and was expected to be on time and ready. "He claimed to have helped an old lady cross the street."

"That's so old," Asuma sniggered.

"I know! And when we accused him of lying, he said he was lost on the road of life," Kurenai said.

"That's just cheesy," laughed Asuma. "Seriously, I've heard all of these before."

"Well, it's not like he picked up any old bad habit just to have one," Kurenai supposed, a little softer now. She cast her eyes towards the lake, sparkling serenely in the morning sunlight.

"That's true," Asuma agreed. "Doesn't he go to the memorial every day?"

"He goes to the cemetery before the memorial," Kurenai corrected. She paused, a sad expression crossing her pretty features. "He visits Rin, first, and usually brings flowers. And then he spends a long time at the war memorial."

"I've seen him," Asuma replied. "He just stares at Obito's name and holds his eye."

"Poor thing," Kurenai sighed. "If anyone were to go crazy, it would be Kakashi, because it seems like he has the right to go insane. But he doesn't."

"He's strong," Asuma agreed. A pause. "You know, I miss those two."

"We all do," Kurenai answered.

"It's gotten really quiet without Obito," Asuma mentioned, thinking of the loud, rabble-rousing Uchiha. "I suppose he wouldn't be loud now that Rin's gone, too."

"Let's not think about it." Rin had been one of Kurenai's best friends. It pained her to see that she would not get to grow up with her closest friend, but rather, she would grow up visiting her best friend's grave.

"Good idea." Asuma glanced painfully at the lake, where he and Obito used to learn the Katon that their clans were known for.

The two walked away, silently now.

"So. You returned on your own?" Madara asked, a rather annoyed, haughty look on his features. He paused, however, when the boy simply nodded and brushed past him without a word. At first, Madara was going to snap at the younger Uchiha, but watched on softly as the scarred boy dropped himself onto the mattress at the end of the cavern and stared at his hands.

"Hey, Obito, where'd you go?" Tobi asked, polishing his swirl face with a towel. It had been repaired and was gleaming as bright as Gai's teeth.

"Did you kill someone again?" Zetsu joked, flashing a sharp-toothed grin. Obito didn't answer, and the two artificial humanoids glanced at each other warily.

"Obito." Madara stood behind the boy he called on. "Obito."

"Leave me alone."

"You don't care about this world, child. They don't mean anything anymore."

Obito looked at Madara directly, then, the bonds to his heart ringing painfully. The moment in Konoha had weakened his resolve; could he really do this?

"Konoha is nothing. You'll return to that very place and destroy it." Madara knew everything, it seemed. Zetsu and Tobi glanced curiously at the two Uchiha, but remained silent, for once. Obito's brooding reminded Madara of his younger brother, who was always concerned for the clan head. At the same time, the slope of Obito's shoulders, moving from doubt to certainty, reminded the old Uchiha greatly of himself. This was the boy he'd entrust his name to; the boy who would carry on his great plans for the world.

Obito stared at his hands again, seeing the creases of his palms and his dry skin. His right hand, more pale, with hints of sickly yellow still remaining, mocked him. He was weak. He left hand, the one that Rin had held until the very last moment, was silently comparing with his artificial right half. He was to train until they were equal again.

Asuma, his friend. Kurenai, and Rin, and Kakashi. Obito decided that he hadn't left any of his friends behind—they had left him, instead. Hayate, who shyly showed off his new sword the last time Obito saw him. Yugao, with her long purple hair always obscuring her face. Asuma, who practiced spitting fire over the lake with him. Kurenai, always with a smart remark and a teasing joke about Rin. Gai, whose rivalry with Kakashi became a rivalry with Obito, his bright white smiles for Rin tackled down by the Uchiha. Ebisu, always the smart, sensible one; Obito still thought he was stronger than Ebisu, but he would probably never know. Ibiki, the older one, mysteriously giving advice. Anko with her mouth always full of dango, picking up garden snakes and daring to throw them on Obito. Genma, who attempted to look cool with a toothpick between his teeth. Raido, whose scarring reminded Obito much of his own face. Aoba, grinning as he joined in on Obito's wild plans eagerly, a glint of mischief flashing over his dark glasses. The younger Iruka, who always smiled up at the upperclassmen. A grade below Obito in the Academy, Kotetsu and Izumo, an inseparable best friend duo that never hesitated to back up Obito because they too, knew that he had a kind heart.

Rin, the girl that Obito would never see again in this world.

Kakashi, with half his vision—the best friend that he'd never have.

They don't mean anything anymore.

"Zetsu," Obito said, suddenly.

"Yeah?" answered the green-haired one.

"Find me a mask maker," Obito told him. He then glanced up at Madara, but the older Uchiha had already turned his back.

"Have you decided?" Madara said.

"I have."

"Well then," Madara told him. "Let's begin."

If you don't remember some of those guys, feel free to ask/look them up.

Yugao's the purple-haird ANBU from part 1, and remember Hayate? He was the guy who coughed all the time during the chuunin exams.

Asuma and Kurenai, I hope you know who they are =3=

Rin and Kakashi...uh...yeah.

Kotetsu and Izumo ~ They're the super adorable (at least to me) duo that fought with Shikamaru and the gang against Hidan/Kakuzu.

Aoba's the guy with glasses, appears with Naruto on their way to the Turtle Island. He's cool. (I ship him with [Uzumaki] Honoka, despite her being a ghost...)

Genma - toothpick.

Raido - guy with scars.

Iruka, Anko, Ibiki...uh...yeah.

I hope you know Gai. YOUTH!

Happy Holidays to you all! Have a wonderful New Year!