Sorry it's been so long, but back then I had written myself into a corner. There was no going anywhere from there in my mind. And only recently did I think of this new set of events that I am about to write. Please enjoy. Also, disclaimer I have not written in a long time, hopefully I can catch up to speed, my writing has changed a little by the way, and probably not in the better. Time does that it seems.
Hiruzen sensed him coming of course. But he was confident in his ability to defend himself and in the fact that Kakashi could not be so crazy as to attack him.
"Hatake-san," he grumbled serenely, smoking from his pipe.
If Kakashi was surprised to see the Third Hokage still sitting, he didn't show it. Instead, he treated the situation with the deference that it deserved, as if it was two old friends, (though they were not in the least).
"Ah, fancy meeting you here," he returned amiably.
Hiruzen gently reminded him, "It's my house."
"Really?" Kakashi wondered. He made a show of looking back and forth. "I must've made a wrong turn somewhere."
"Since you're here you might as well have a seat, you look like you need it."
"Well, it has been a long night. "
The former Hokage nodded.
"And with your permission it's about to get longer."
Hiruzen frowned. Now this was unexpected. He carefully tuned his senses to Kakashi's breathing, his heart rate, and chakra flow, anything that would give him answers. "What is your goal here?"
Kakashi paused. "Not my goal per se, but someone else's. Peace between all the villages."
"Very noble of you," Hiruzen acknowledged, as if he had heard the same speech many times before. "And extremely lofty. But tell me, where do I fit in with all of this?"
"If you give me Danzo's location, I will tell you where I hid Naruto and Sasuke Uchiha."
Hiruzen gave out a long sigh, as if disappointed in the direction the conversation was going. "I see, and I did happen to hear about the kidnappings. The whole village is looking for you. Including your sensei."
"Yes," Kakashi scratched his chin. "He is very dutiful."
"Tell me Kakashi, why are you willing to make this sacrifice?"
"I'm not sure…but I haven't been sure of anything since Obito died," he admitted in a rare moment of honesty. "I guess I do things if it seems right at the time."
"Admirable, but dangerous."
"But dangerous for who, God of Shinobi? I am not naïve. When I came within fifty feet of you, I was at your complete mercy. So," Kakashi crossed his arms. "In the end, this is your decision, although I will inevitably and gratefully take the blame."
Hiruzen said nothing. Kakashi searched for a way to catch his real attention.
"What if I told you I revived Naruto?"
The former Hokage actually reacted. It was a subtle widening of the mouth, but it was the most anyone had got out of the Third for over thirty years. "But that's not possible-"
And then he was looking into the Mangekyo Sharingan. He quickly looked away, but he acknowledged it had been too late. Nothing happened, however.
Hiruzen coughed. "For a second there, it was me at your mercy. Perhaps I have judged you too soon, Kakashi. I do sense the Will of Fire is strong in you." He sighed once again, unsure if this was the right course or not. As Kakashi mentioned, it was only a gut feeling. And perhaps not in the best interest of the village. Nonetheless, Danzo did take too many liberties.
In addition, looking at the situation realistically, there's no way a teenage ANBU agent, no matter how much of a prodigy he was, would be able to storm Danzo's fortress, slay all of Root and kill their commander. What did the Third have to lose? Kakashi would be neutralized as a threat, and Danzo would remember his place.
"He is no doubt holed up in his backup complex just on the skirts of Training Ground 35. Go to the north of it and then take 300 paces toward Mount Senju. There, dispel the genjutsu and you will see the door."
"Thank you Lord Hokage." Kakashi then slipped him a piece of paper with the children's location on them.
Strangely, Hiruzen felt compelled to warn the departing soldier, "You know it's a suicide mission Kakashi."
The boy simply grinned and retorted before slipping out the window, "You'd be surprised."
Hiruzen shook at his head after the prodigy had left the area. "They don't make many like him," he remarked to his monkey companion who had been stealthily waiting just on top of the roof.
"That probably a good thing," Enma replied, appearing through the rafters.
Chapter 1 reformulation and rewrite or Kakashi Rewind v.2:
Waking up in a world that is familiar yet not familiar...comes with that is a sensation of a mental breeze. Disregard the confusion, the feeling of discovery trumped all. The barracks looked the same as he remembered, but it had been years since he last saw them. It had been years since he had seen the back of his hands so smooth. Sitting up, he felt lighter than usual and more gangly.
"Kakashi you are setting a very bad example for Naruto. You know, I already swore to him that as soon as you retire, I'm retiring. He's not going to have a helper going around and basically filling in as Hokage while he goes off doing whatever Naruto does, like curating ramen stands."
"Maa, I wouldn't worry about it too much, Sakura. Me and Tsunade didn't really ask for this job. We just kind of filled in. Our village will finally get the Hokage it deserves.
Sakura shook her head as she folded his ceremonial robes. Naruto's inauguration was only four days away. "Still."
"When you get my age, Sakura, you begin to see the big picture. The future looks bright, believe it or not. Still bloody and violent, as it will be to the end of time, but bright if that makes sense. The Will of Fire lives on."
Sakura smiled, appreciative of one of Kakashi's few sincere moments. Working alongside him for three years, she got to see a version of Kakashi that most people only glimpse. It was a good thing and a bad thing. He was both a better shinobi than most people realize and a more dysfunctional person than he appears.
The last thing he could recall before waking up here was the ceremony. He had just finished his speech and officially handed the reins over to Naruto when…
That was it. There was no explanation as to how he got here, at least from his own perspective.
Judging from his jacket, he was a jonin. Albeit a fresh one, if he was still running occasional ops with the ANBU. At least that was how it was in the beginning. The Third had wanted to entirely retire him from the Corps, but Kakashi could be persuasive, i.e. petulant, when the occasion called for it. So there had been an agreement that he could participate in tracking missions as long as it was infrequent.
It suddenly struck him that this could be a genjutsu, albeit the probability was basically zero. Not even the sharingan could penetrate the memories of a person and recreate them so vividly.
The situation was strange, and honestly, the apprehension that should've been there from the beginning was beginning to grow now that the novelty has worn off. Was this permanent? Is it even real? These were the questions that now began to make him anxious, at least as anxious as a person as laid back as himself could be.
He took his first step out into the hallway. The complex was basically an extremely convoluted maze of a cylinder submerged underground. It would take years for a soldier to learn all the little hidey-holes, which was the point in case of an attack. The ceilings were also only about 6 feet tall. Kakashi had to duck a little in order to traverse the building. Seeing as most ANBU were in their teens, this too lended the advantage to Kakashi in the event of a war, in which many of the most dangerous opponents would be fully grown adults.
Looking back, it occurred to him that it must've been a particularly long mission if he couldn't make it back to his apartment to sleep after debriefing. He tried to rack his brain for exactly what time period he had stepped into, but he supposed he'd find out eventually.
Funny, he hadn't heard that name in forever. A soldier, a little shorter than himself and wearing a mask, peered back at him.. And that's when Kakashi realized he wasn't wearing his. (He was wearing his cloth mask of course, just not his ANBU one). It was awkward to say the least.
"Can I help you?" he replied, scratching his covered cheek.
"The Hokage is expecting you," the soldier, really a young girl, stammered.
Kakashi thought for a second and then shrugged his shoulders. Might as well play along for the time being. "Then I better keep him waiting."
He disappeared and smiled at the thought of the confusion left in his wake. Who knows? Maybe this could be an opportunity to re-initiate Konoha with his special blend of character flaws.
After visiting the memorial and finding a considerable amount of names missing, he decided it was time to honor his engagements. Or whatever engagements had been planned by whoever he was before. If there was a before, and this wasn't some elaborate, convoluted fulfillment of the Eye of the Moon plan.
Imagine his surprise to find his old teacher in the big seat, though if he thought back, his name hadn't been on the memorial and neither had…
"Rin, looks like Kakashi decided to show up after all." They turned to Kakashi. "I hope this won't develop into a new habit?"
It was Kakashi's turn to be confused. Was he implying that Kakashi was not normally late?
"Umm, yeah...got lost on the road of life?"
Kakashi took a seat where Minato indicated, pondering what other differences this reality had in store for him.
Rin eagerly plopped down beside him and hugged his arm to Kakashi's horror. She frowned when she felt him flinch and asked him, "What's wrong?"
"Training accident, nothing to worry about." he reassured her, the words leaving a dry feeling in his mouth. What in the world?
Minato nodded, and proceeded to get down to business. "As you know, my son is about to graduate. I realize you have failed every genin team that I've sent your way, much to my displeasure. This time I am asking as a favor, be fair about the test. And before you tell me that the shinobi world isn't fair, let me remind you, this is Naruto we're talking about. We both know where his heart lies."
The Fourth gave Kakashi a long measured stare that frankly made him feel small. He then picked up two files that were lying on his desk. "And I believe Naruto will find himself in promising, if equally immature company. The spare Uchiha heir and the daughter of a prominent civilian. From their academy scores, I think we could be looking at the next Sannin!" he lightly joked. "But that is my hope for all our students." He sighed and straightened his desk. "Rin will be there to monitor, although she will still honor the tradition of not interfering. However, Kakashi, she will let me know if things aren't on the up and up."
Kakashi nodded numbly. Maybe if he just went to sleep, things would return to normal.