A/n: I suspect people are going to be asking me about whether or not I will take account of the Tobi-Obitio revelation. Yes, I will, but with a slight twist (and that's all the spoilers your getting from me about this particular topic).
EDIT: So I think I'll put this in: This fic is quite slow-paced. Also, if, at the end of most chapters, your'e only able to go "The FEELS!", then I have done my job correctly. If you're looking for a fast-paced fic with tons of action, this is not the fic you are looking for.
Anyways, without further ado...
The Hidden Prodigy
Chapter 1: Retry
Kakashi immediately knew something was wrong when he realized he was not in his little apartment. The mattress he was lying on was too soft, and the air was lacking that distinctive smell of wet dog his ninken produced. There was also someone walking nearby – not someone he could recognize immediately. When Kakashi tried to discretely pull out his weapons, they were nowhere to be found.
The jounin feigned sleep, feeling footsteps echoing closer and closer to the bed he was lying on. He could feel the warmth as a hand slide close to his face. When the hand touched him, Kakashi bit down. Hard.
His eyes snapped open as he leaped into a defensive form. He saw long silver hair swing back as the figure before him clutched his hand with a grimacing smile.
Kakashi froze, eyeing the man before him. And then, he looked down at himself. It was a wonder he hadn't fainted in shock yet.
"Ow! Trying to catch me off guard again, Kakashi? You bite hard for a five-year-old!"
Kakashi swayed dangerously. Yes, it was really a wonder he hadn't fainted yet.
"Are you feeling okay? Did you catch a cold?" The man reached for his forehead causing the jounin – or rather the kid, seeing as he was freaking five again – to flinch back at the movement.
"Kakashi, what's wrong?"
Kakashi lick his dry lips, trying to grasp the situation. What was going on? "I-" the boy forced out his first words, "father?"
The older man gave him a confused stare. "Yeah? Really, Kakashi, what's the matter? You seem a little out of it today."
The world tilted oddly for a second before Kakashi tried to focus once more. "I- it's- I don't feel really well," he lied.
Sakumo Hatake, Kakashi's father, studied his son intently. "Maybe you should lie down for a while. I told you you shouldn't have trained so much yesterday. You aren't even attending the academy yet."
Kakashi shook his head, clearing it from the daze he was in. "Yeah, sure." He sat down on his bed. "Do you mind?" he raised an eyebrow at the man, trying to act normal.
The man gave a gruff laugh, "Yeah, yeah, only five and already trying to get rid of me." He headed for the door. "I'll come back with some food later, alright kid? You just get more rest."
Kakashi nodded numbly settling back down on the bed. The minute his father left, he jumped straight back up again.
What the hell was going on?
The thought "genjutsu" immediately jumped to mind, but even before his shout of "Kai", Kakashi knew that wasn't it. His old bedroom was too perfect for this to be someone's illusion. He'd left this place when he was six, bordering seven. No one knew him well back then. Not well enough to be able to replicate his room to such perfection.
But was it real?
Turning his search internally, Kakashi could tell that at least everything in the future hadn't been a dream. His chakra had increased; it was much higher than what he dimly recalled to have when he was five. His chakra control was also as it had been as he last remembered it as Jounin. Unless he'd been training in his sleep, everything he remembered had happened. Or at least was going to happen.
But why was he here in the … past?
Kakashi hopped off his bed, grabbing his mask along the way. He padded quietly out of his room, holding his chakra tightly. If this was real… he didn't want anyone realising anything was wrong if they ever decided to check. A kid suddenly increasing his chakra reserves overnight was definitely not normal.
The masked boy walked slowly, eyes observing and remembering everything around him. It'd been twenty years (give or take) since he'd step foot into this house, yet he could still vividly remember where everything was.
Kakashi strolled into the kitchen. His father turned, hearing his little footsteps nearing. "Didn't I tell you to go back to bed?" the man asked gently.
Sakumo Hatake's face was exactly as Kakashi remembered it. His long silver hair was tied into a low ponytail. His face and built, though similar to Kakashi's, was more rigid and sturdy; more masculine. It was –
The boy took tiny steps towards the other man, as if running would break the illusion of his father. Sakumo could see a heart-wrenching stare from his son, and it rooted him in place.
"Kakashi?" the father asked again, at a loss of what to say. His son had always seemed so independent, mature, superior. Seeing him like this was like twisting a knife in his heart. He really didn't know his son at all, did he? And now his precious Kakashi was seemingly suffering from his neglect.
Kakashi stood in front of his father for god-knows how long. He couldn't help but stare and burn that face into his memory. Just how long had it been?
Kakashi could see his own pale arms lifting up on their own accord. They wrapped around his father. Instinctively, the little boy leaned his head into the man's chest. He took a deep breath.
The scent of Sakumo - of his father. How long had it been since he's smelt it? It had been long – too long. For years, after accepting his old man's death, he'd had nothing but a faint memory to remember his family with.
And now, here he was, in front of him! In his arms!
It wasn't until Kakashi felt his father patting him on the head that he realized he had broken down crying. Tears stained his face, and Kakashi was too happy to care.
"Father." No, that word was too impersonal. When did he start calling Sakumo that? "Dad," the silver-haired man-turned-boy whispered out, almost even too quiet for him to hear. "Daddy," he murmured, if only just once, because he'd always regretted never calling Sakumo that as a child. It was a simple word that spoke of the deepest of familial love for his father - a love that the child Kakashi had once been had felt too indignifying to admit.
Meanwhile, the tears never stopped falling.
How was he in the past? Kakashi couldn't care less about that question anymore. He was in the past and that was all that mattered. And he would make sure this lifetime's worth of memories was better than the last.
With that thought in mind, Kakashi held on to his chakra tighter than ever, determined not to give anything away – not before he could change everything for the better. And in his arms, he refused to let his father go.