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Dawn {暁}

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Under a lavender sky, surrounded by gray mountains, on the tiled green floor, the pressure pounds into all within the vicinity. They fight against the gravity.

A beautiful light blue-haired woman stands at a distance from four men and another woman. The blue-haired princess lifts her right arm up, quaking under the pressure as she exhibits the pole—her bone which protrudes out of it.

The blonde and raven-haired young men both tense as their breath hitches at the sudden movement.

The princess then raises her other arm, the darkness within her left sleeve grins madly as it bares its teeth.

The scarred man gasps as his crimson pin-wheeled eyes widen.

With an eerie cracking sound, another gray bone—which contrasts so much from her white skin—extends from her left hand.

Onyx eyes are strained wide, unable to take themselves off of the sight. The silver-haired man chokes, “Oh no.”

The darkness smiles, its eerie golden eyes squinting into crescents as if it were laughing.

The princess’s hands shake under the heavy gravity as she takes aim at the dark-haired young man and glowing blonde, who are stuck to the ground due to the same pressure which shakes her.

The boys struggle to escape, sensing the pending attack; however, they are locked into place and unable to escape.

Stabilizing just enough and with aim on the two fallen boys, the alien princess launches the poles.

“Dodge it, Sasuke…!” Naruto struggles to utter out as he shakily rises to his feet.

The pink-haired girl gasps as she turns away, too afraid to look.

Both boys barely jump out of the way as the poles pierce the air and into the tiled floor behind them.

“Is the heavy gravity distorting your aim?” the darkness laughs.

“I’ve now adjusted for it.” Kaguya declares as she raises her hands higher and pushes her bone out of her hands. “I won’t miss with the next one.”

“I won’t let you!” Obito growls as he forces himself to his feet.

Kakashi follows his lead silently, forcing himself to dash through the gravity.

There’s something that I can still do.

Both men dash as if in slow motion as they fight the pressure pulling them down.

I can at least be a shield for them!

They outstretch their arms as they lunge forward one last time.

Let me make it in time!

The blue-haired alien launches her weapons just as the two men fly forward, shielding the two boys who lie on the ground. She smirks.

A sudden hand grasps both men, causing their eyes to widen as they see the spiritual form which assists them. A girl with brown hair pulls the two men closer, bringing them back into their younger days. —Rin…! She drops the two men in front of the fallen boys.

Thank you, Rin. Kakashi stares forward at the incoming weapons, not hesitating for a second to stand tall. Obito and I will be joining you soon. We can catch up then… Together, the three of us.

Obito turns his head to Kakashi, his red eyes widening as the revelation hits him.

—Kakashi is going to die.

The poles are inches away from their stomachs.

Kakashi turns to look at Obito one last time, his usually sharp onyx eyes soften as his lips quirk up into a gentle smile.

Obito can’t help the icky horror which clings to his stomach as he stares at that expression. He won’t make it in time—

Simultaneously, the poles pierce into the two men. They dig into their stomachs, cracking them. The poles themselves to begin to disintegrate.

Sakura releases a strangled cry of horror as Sasuke and Naruto stare at the men with wide eyes full of dread.

Kakashi does his best to turn around to his students and give them a last loving smile. “Don’t lose.”

The bodies disintegrate into a pile of ash as the mind fades from consciousness.

 

Kakashi awakes to the sound of crickets chirping and the feeling of dirt under his hands. His eyes snap open in an instant when his consciousness returns, finding himself lying on the uneven dirt ground. Kakashi slowly rises, pushing himself up with his hands as his fingers dig into the dirt. It’s uncomfortable how the dirt sticks to his small hands— small hands?

Kakashi’s eyes widen as he stares at his two small, pale hands—hands that do not belong to a 30-year-old Jounin ninja. In fact, they are so small that it’s almost as if he had returned to his younger self—

No—it can’t be—!

Kakashi rises to his feet even though he is still wobbly and a slight, pounding pain shoots through his mind. He dashes, using his keen nose and other senses he has developed over the years to map his surroundings. There, he had found it—what he is searching for—and sprints towards it, not minding the slight tumblings every so often when he tripped on one thing or another.

Kakashi knows he reaches his destination when his ears pick up the faint sound of running water. Hastily, he pushes himself to the shore and stares. His eyes are dilated and his breaths are short and heavy as he intakes it, panting not from the sudden action but at the shocking image reflected on the makeshift mirror. Kakashi peers at the young figure that can only be him which reflects off the river and is only visible due to the full moon which hangs in the sky.

He looked exactly like when he was a child. His spiky silver hair is as long as ever, his scar is ever evident over his left eye—no, not his left eye per say. Kakashi’s breath hitches as he intakes the mystical beauty of scarlet—he had Obito’s eye still. But, how? It had been returned to Obito—

Obito!

That’s right, he had died—him and Obito both—he was sure of it. Yet why was he alive? No, wait—why was he a kid again?! No— more importantly , what happened to Naruto and Sasuke and Sakura? Were they able to defeat Kaguya?! Are they still alive?! Kakashi felt his mind spin in circles, making him dizzy enough that he needed to catch his head with his hand. The silver-haired man—well, boy, now—reels his mind, trying to organize his thoughts in .a less headache-inducing fashion. Resolutely, Kakashi takes one last look at his youthful appearance before turning his gaze to the full moon.

First things first—

—I need to find out where I am and what day it is.

Though Kakashi thought this, the first thing he actually did was check his inventory. He didn’t want to be unprepared in this unknown world where anyone or anything could possibly harm him—he didn’t want to face dangers and then find out that he didn’t have a particular tool and such. That could cost him his life. And Kakashi wanted to keep himself alive—after all, if he was still alive then that means Obito could also be—which means, Obito is somewhere out there still. He wasn’t going to make the same mistake, thinking his best friend is dead, to only find Obito on the other end of the battlefield, glaring at him.

Never again.

The silver-haired boy had found that his inventory had most of his ninja tools—shuriken, kunai, ninja wire, some makibishi spikes, some senbon, and a medical kit—the one Rin had given him for his promotion to Jounin. Strapped to his back is his family’s heirloom tantou—the white light chakra saber. When Kakashi had been in Anbu, the sword had broke during a mission and, even after he got it repaired, he never really picked it up again.

After confirming his equipment, Kakashi glances one more time at his reflection in the river. His eyes focus on his left eye—Obito’s Sharingan. His eyelids flutter shut for a moment before he opens only his right eye. Kakashi indulges himself with another lingering glance at his appearance before taking off back into the forest.

Kakashi has no clue where he is going—

—but this isn’t the first time he has been lost in life.

So, he’ll make it back eventually again.

 

It was when he had dug deeper into the forest that he felt it—a massive amount of familiar type chakra. It was a chakra that Kakashi had learned to live the rest of his life with—even if all who bore that type of chakra left his side.

It was the chakra signature of the Uchiha clan—more specifically, their famed dojutsu—the Sharingan.

Kakashi knew there was no way that it was Obito. After all, there were too many of them and Obito never seemed to get along with any other Uchiha besides Madara—even if Madara did to just use him in the end. However, that didn’t stop Kakashi from storming over there silently.

That was a place with quite a few people—which means it is a place to get the information he needs.

However, what Kakashi finds is not the friendly—okay, Uchihas weren’t very friendly in the first place besides Obito, Shisui, and Itachi and even Sasuke when he was younger—but still, this wasn’t some ordinary occurrence. The silver-haired boy finds the Uchiha—five of them, all adults—surrounding one child in oversized battle gear. The boy had half dark-half light hair and his eyes were dilated as he trembles, backed up against a huge boulder with the adult Uchiha surrounding him.

Now, Kakashi was no Naruto—who rushed to someone’s aid when they were in danger—no, Kakashi was Kakashi. He is a hardened Jounin ninja of Konoha—who has seen blood and carnage since the age of six and has lived to not only see his loved ones die but to kill one of them—even if it wasn’t actually his fault. Nonetheless, Kakashi who was dubbed the “Cold-Blooded Kakashi” could not stand to see such injustice as several adults outnumbering one child. Naruto wouldn’t have let him ignore this—heck! The old Obito wouldn’t have either. So, Kakashi reacts.

He draws his blade and dives into the battle just as the adults step closer to their prey. Kakashi catches how the boy’s eyes widen even more as he tenses at the sight of him. Swiftly, the silver-haired genius draws his blade, aiming carefully for the adults’ necks with the dull edge of his tantou. His spiky, silver hair glimmers under the moonlight as he jumps from ninja to ninja, successfully knocking each unconscious before they can get more than a half glance at him. Kakashi knew he had to move fast—faster than fast if he wanted to accomplish this at all. After, all of the men had their Sharingan activated, so he had to use his edge of surprise in order to knock them unconscious.

But, no matter how hard the task was, he had done it. He had knocked them out.

Perhaps this was due to all the fighting he has done against Sasuke, Obito, and Uchiha Madara—whose ability with the Sharingan was far superior to these Uchiha clansmen.

Kakashi shrugs off the thought, finding it not the time to contemplate such things as he turns towards the armored boy he had just saved. The boy was still shaking, clearly still stunned by the whole experienced—either that or traumatized.

The silver-haired genius knew that they didn’t have much time left. Even if he had just knocked the Uchiha ninja unconscious, Kakashi did not know their abilities and could not predict how long it would take for them to regain consciousness. If he had to fight them, he may lose—especially in his child form. Kakashi could tell from his earlier attack that he has still not adjusted to his new—well, old—body yet. Therefore, Kakashi quickly finds himself slinging the boy’s arm around his shoulders before he body flickers away from the scene.

He takes the flabbergasted boy back to the river clearing he had found earlier, placing him on a rather large rock so he could sit down and Kakashi could examine him.

Now under the open moonlight, Kakashi could see his face clearly.

As he had observed before the boy had half dark-half light hair, with the dark side being brown and the light side being a sort of pearly gray. His eyes are brown and soft looking as his earlier dilated eyes begin to return to their original state and the boy calms down. His expression is stuck in an astonished gape but, considering the boy’s earlier panic, it was an improvement. Except, now, Kakashi had to wait for the boy to contemplate what had just occurred.

Thankfully, for Kakashi’s patience, it didn’t take long for the boy to snap out of his dazed stupor. The boy smiles shyly as he bows slightly to the silver-haired boy. “Thank you for saving me back there!”

Kakashi shrugs, “I was just at the right place at the right time—besides, I couldn’t let a bunch of grown adults pick on a child.”

The boy tilts his head at this statement, blinking. “Huh? But aren’t you a child too?”

Kakashi is once again reminded of what state he is in. “Ohh… yeah… Maa~” The silver-haired boy shrugs. “That doesn’t change the fact that it’s wrong.”

“But this is a pretty regular occurrence… especially in this time of war…” The boy mutters before a light bulb flashes in his mind. “Oh! You’re not from around here, are you? I mean, you don’t dress like any clan around here too, so…”

I’ll go with that. Kakashi decides to take the easy path—after all, he was in an unidentified area with no clue where he was and what day it is. “You could say that.” His onyx eye stares into the boy’s brown eyes seriously, “Now, what’s this about a war?”

“Ah—umm! That’s right! Right now there are huge clan wars all over the country and there is an especially dangerous one between the Senju and Uchiha clans—” The boy explains.

A dangerous war between the Senju and the Uchiha? That sounds just like the Warring States Era… It couldn’t be, could it…? But, that would explain why the Uchiha are all alive when I know there was a massacre. It would also explain the lower morals of this time than during mine…

But still, the concept of landing in the past was still hard to wrap his mind around. How could Kakashi have ended up in the past? Was it because he died? How did he even end up here? Did Obito also end up in the past? Or could they have ended up in different times altogether— No, Kakashi, don’t think about that right now.

You have something else to take care of now.

“So, you’re a Senju?” Kakashi arches an eyebrow at the boy who jolts at this. The boy averts his eyes and scratches the back of his neck. Kakashi then realizes that if they are at a time of war then it’s clearly dangerous to share one’s clan name to another ninja—in case the ninja is also from an enemy clan. To ease the boy’s nerves, Kakashi decides to introduce himself. “Don’t get your panties in a bunch—I’m Kakashi. I’m not from any clan alive now.” Well, it was the truth.

Kakashi is truly not from any ninja clan alive at the moment. The Hatake clan had started out as a family of farmers and samurai who began in a small village near Konoha. However, over time the village came to fear the samurai for their authoritarian protection and so the Hatake packed their bags and entered the new founded Konoha, assimilating into the population. The samurai had shifted into ninja over a long period of time as swordsmanship was mixed with ninjutsu and so the Hatake clan became a ninja clan. Therefore, it is accurate to say that the Hatake do not exist as a clan yet, and so, are not alive as a clan.

The boy visibly relaxes at this and even seems to be scolding himself for believing the other boy was an enemy. After all, Kakashi had just saved him from being killed—there was no way he would have done so if he was an enemy. Resolved, the boy gives the silver-haired boy a smile. “I’m Itama. Nice to meet you, Kakashi.” The boy’s silver hair reminds Itama of his older brother—Tobirama, which may more or less be the reason why Itama feels much more at ease around him. The scar is concerning, though. Itama notes as he stares at Kakashi’s shut left eye with a scar hanging over it. His brown eyes shine with worry that Kakashi catches.

Holding a hand up to cover his closed eye, Kakashi reassures the Senju. “No need to worry about this, I had lost it a long time ago.” Itama’s eyes widen at the statement. Oops, I guess that was the wrong thing to say… The silver-haired genius shakes his head, trying to gather what remains of his sly wit. “Nevermind this, I have a question for you.”

Itama tilts his head and blinks. “Yes?”

“Could you tell me how to get to the nearest village?” Kakashi asks, “I got lost on the way and I need to work.”

“Work…?” Itama questions, obviously confused. “You aren’t a ninja? Oh—no clan…” The Senju boy realizes his mistake and quickly tries to cover it. “Then, what do you do?”

“Hmm…” Kakashi hadn’t really thought of it yet. However, he needed to find a way to feed himself some way other than hunting. “Maa, whatever can earn me some bread. Anyways, can you or can you not?” Kakashi did not want to stick to this topic. The less the boy knew, the more time Kakashi had to think of a backstory.

Itama nods, “Yeah. I can show you the way if you want?”

“No, it’s fine. I just need directions and I’m fairly confident I can get there on my own.” Kakashi shrugs off the offer.

“Okay…” The boy finally agrees and explains to Kakashi how to get to the nearest village. The boy also drew out a map in the dirt as he found that there were no real landmarks besides—well, trees.

Once he was finished, Kakashi sees Itama off. The boy gives a longing look of concern to the silver-haired boy. “Will we be able to meet again?”

Kakashi blinks at this. He hadn’t expected the boy to be so persistent to worry over a stranger in a time of struggle and death like this. A small smile hides under his dark mask as Kakashi nonchalantly shrugs. “Maa, I’ll be sticking around the area—so, maybe.”

“I hope to see you later then, Kakashi.” Itama smiles and waves.

Kakashi waves back silently as he watches the Senju boy leave. Stay alive and well, Itama.

Maybe we really will cross paths again, someday.

The silver-haired boy tilts his head towards the sky, noticing the changes in color. When he had first arrived, the sky was a pitch navy darkness—cold and consuming and whole. Now, the sky was gradient—the cold navy blue fading into hues of pink, lavender, orange, and cyan as the sun gradually rises in the sky.

What a beautiful dawn…

It was as if the sky was welcoming a new beginning.

Chapter Text

It takes only a day for Kakashi's reputation to spread.

Then again, the place the silver-haired boy had decided to open shop at was a small village in a clearing surrounded by the forest. The village was quite peculiar—or its name was at least. Forget-Me-Not village is a small town with the biggest infrastructure being the mansion at the edge of town and the two farms.

The day Kakashi had first arrived in the village, the first thing he did was look for work. When looking at his options and his current somewhat unknown fitness and skill level, Kakashi couldn't be sure how much he could handle. However, he didn't have the liberties to be picky. So the silver-haired boy first went to the place that seemed would have the most work—a farm.

Now, between the two farms present in the village, there were two major differences. One, they each served different purposes—one was a farm for growing crops while the other was a ranch for raising animals. Two—the most important difference—is that one was owned by a middle-aged woman and the other was owned by a young man.

Yes—the employer's gender is what makes all the difference.

Kakashi doesn't particularly care about what sort of work he does as long as he gets paid and has food and money to survive off of.

However, Kakashi is a cunning man—well, now boy—and has been since young. He knew what he had to do to get his way—as a ninja, it was a primary skill to be able to deceive others. Kakashi happened to be skilled in that—being able to slyly play others to do as he pleases—well, at least most people. He has done so many times in the past with his good old gullible kohai, Tenzo—err, well, Yamato now.

Basically, Kakashi has charm—and he isn't afraid to use it.

This is what leads Kakashi to visit the farm furthest from town—Vesta's Farm. The owner is a rather large woman with long, curly orange hair tied into a ponytail named Vesta. After hearing his poor backstory, the woman instantly takes the silver-haired boy's offer of an extra hand for her farm.

Kakashi had spewed a cover story where he was orphaned by the ninja clan wars and is now a wandering jack-of-all-trades looking to earn his own bread. Using his child charm, the silver-haired boy coerced the older woman to give him a pretty good sum of food for only a day's worth of work.

It was the fact that he had accomplished said "day's worth of work" in a mere three hours that had caused the uproar on his arrival. There was no civilian who could do such strenuous field work like a trained ninja. The silver-haired genius had found himself rather bored by the second hour of work—leading the boy to even go beyond the original workload and help the other worker on the farm.

The other worker was a pretty young lady named "Celia" with long brown hair and an orange bandana tied around her head. Celia was a sweet girl who had taken the time to converse with Kakashi as they were working. Every so often during their banter, Celia's long brown hair would sway and seem shorter as her brown eyes would grow bigger. It was perhaps the lady's resemblance to Rin that had urged Kakashi into helping her.

Celia had initially refused his help, feeling that she should get the job done herself. However, after a bit of smooth-talking from Kakashi, the girl soon gave in and allowed the boy to help.

It was during this time that the rancher from the other farm in town swings by. His name is Mark, a young man with tousled brown hair with a red bandana around his neck. He is surprised to see the young Kakashi and had asked why he was working there, in which Kakashi promptly explains his whole backstory. The man's expression softened with sympathy—reminding Kakashi of a certain empathetic blonde causing Kakashi to almost chuckle as he remembers his student. He doesn't, however, and continues working once the man stops talking to him.

Apparently, Mark had come to see Vesta for some crop seeds—though, Kakashi suspects that the man was actually there to see Celia. After all, the brunette man was carrying a flower which he does end up giving to the young lady before leaving to find Vesta.

When Mark returns, he is astonished by how the silver-haired boy had finished all of his and Celia's work. Kakashi didn't particularly care for the man's reactions and so waltzed straight for Vesta just as Mark is about to leave. The boy explains how he has finished all his work and shows the woman what he has accomplished.

Vesta was also quite shocked at first by the perfectly attended fields; however, this shock was much more short-lived than Mark's as soon Vesta slaps Kakashi's back with a great force and laughs. She compliments the boy's work with a great big grin before turning around to grab his reward. Mark quickly tries to recruit the talented boy over to his ranch as well.

With the promise of some eggs and milk, Kakashi is lured over to Mark's ranch where he helps tend to the animals. The silver-haired boy instantly bonds with Mark's dog and the little lop-eared pup follows Kakashi around like a little duckling following its mother. Just as Kakashi had harvested the last of the hay, the little brown dog suddenly barks.

A shriek follows it, "No! Bad dog!"

Out of pure instinct, Kakashi rushes to the screaming only to find Mark's dog cornering a blonde woman up against the barn's wall. Quickly, he calls the lop-eared dog back to him with a whistle. The dog's ears sprang up and cheerfully it retreated back to Kakashi, jumping into the silver-haired boy's arms. Mark rushes to the blonde beauty as the girl basically throws herself at him. "Oh, Mark! I was so scared! All of a sudden he started barking at me!"

Mark gives the woman a smile, "Muffy, that's because it was trying to protect its marked territory."

"'Marked territory'? What's that?" The blonde woman—now known as Muffy—blinks and tilts her head.

Mark then explains to her how dogs mark their territory.

"EWW!" Muffy shrieks in disgust, "Pee?!"

Mark only chuckles at the woman's reaction—slightly reminding Kakashi of his sensei a bit. He had the same sort of calming, friendly, yet goofy air to him—just like Minato did.

Muffy soon realizes that there was another human at the scene and blinks at the silver-haired boy with the puppy in his arms. A smile and a small flush reach the woman's cheeks as she rushes to Kakashi to coo over his cuteness—asking him questions about where he came from and why he is working and such. He then retells his sob story.

By the end of his story, the blonde woman vows to help him and she says she will tell all of the customers about him and stuff. Kakashi thanks the woman, thinking she meant that she was working in a store. Mark then leans toward Kakashi and explains that Muffy works as a waitress at the pub in town called "Blue Bar" and all the men and some women go over to have a few drinks after a long day of work.

Kakashi could understand why. After a long day of work, he too sometimes preferred a drink as he looked at the moon. Sadly, Kakashi could not get his hands on alcohol with his current looks. He would be banned from any civilian alcohol facilities—no mentioning any sort of clan's pub. Perhaps he can do it once his body grows.

Then again, will my body grow…?

Anyways, that was how Kakashi's name spread across Forget-Me-Not village like a wildfire. He was hired for several tasks over the past few days—all of which he completed with nothing less than perfection.

Despite the town inn's owners', Tim's and Ruby's, insistence, Kakashi decides to camp out back at the river. He didn't want to stay too long in the village and get attached. He had another home—a home that may not exist yet, but will in the near future.

Kakashi wants to be there when it comes into existence—when Konoha is born.

Besides, Kakashi also had another goal besides surviving—

—he had to find Obito.

Kakashi is almost positive that Obito was also in this world.

After all, the two childhood friends had died together—both being stabbed and disintegrated by Kaguya's bones.

Plus…

The boy with spiky silver hair gazes down at the river straight at his face as he gently lifts the black eyepatch he was given by a redhead traveler in the village, Nami. Once the black cloth is lifted, the crimson eye slowly fluttered open gently and Kakashi cannot help but stare at its mystic beauty. Kakashi reaches for it with his right hand, smoothing his fingers over the eyelid and around the ruby orb.

There was proof—or what Kakashi hopes and believes is proof—of Obito's existence in this world.

Kakashi has Obito's left eye.

It was the very same eye Obito had entrusted to him—the one he had given the silver-haired boy as kids in wartime, asking for Kakashi to survive…

...asking him to protect Rin.

Kakashi was never able to keep his promise of protection.

The silver-haired boy's hand quiver as red, red, and more red covers his bare hands. Kakashi quickly dunks his hands into the river, trying to wash it away—trying to wash away the blood, her blood.

He brings it up and dunks it again—the blood still is not gone.

He dunks it again and again, yet the blood doesn't wash away—the red doesn't wash away.

Hyperventilating, Kakashi's eyes—one his own, the other Obito's—are dilated as they stare at his reflection and the maddening red.

Make it stop—

—Please just go away!

 

"Oi! Are you alright?!"

 

The silver-haired boy freezes, his hands still in the water. His gaze falls on his glowing crimson eye—Obito's eye—which swirls into the familiar design of a pinwheel. The Mangekyo—

Remembering the other person present, Kakashi hastily flings his arms up, covering his left eye as he swiftly lowers the eyepatch. The silver-haired boy shivers slightly at his own cold touch.

Kakashi couldn't hear footsteps, but he could faintly sense it—the person behind him was walking closer. Goosebumps surface on Kakashi's skin causing a light shudder to vibrate through his body as he flexes his facial muscles back into his usual blank poker face.

He gulps down the tension building under the surface as he smoothly turns around to face the presence behind him.

His lone onyx-gray eye widens.

Long raven hair frame the handsome face of a boy. The familiar obsidian eyes and raven hair ring the alarms in Kakashi's mind. Uchiha. Yet the face was shockingly familiar—no, similar. So similar that the silver-haired boy couldn't help how his lips move to form that name.

"...Obito…" Kakashi exhales as only a faint whisper.

Despite himself, the silver-haired genius could see the resemblance in Obito and the Uchiha in front of him. But Kakashi knows—this boy couldn't possibly be Obito.

The raven-haired boy arches an eyebrow at the silver-haired boy. He had heard Kakashi's mumbling clearly enough to form the name. Thankfully, the boy either shrugs the word off or just doesn't press further to respect the silver-haired boy in front of him. Instead, the preteen-looking Uchiha bends down to Kakashi's level. The boy seems to flinch slightly at the sight of Kakashi's eyepatch; however, he doesn't press on that either. "Are you alright, boy?"

Kakashi blinks up at the older—only in terms of body—raven-haired boy before his eye curl up in one of his famous eye smiles he knows his genin and colleague's hate. "Yeah, I'm alright. Thank you, kind Onii-san." Instantly, the silver-haired ninja switches his gears towards his usual charm, putting it on full blast as he addresses the other boy.

The raven-haired boy, of course, does not look convinced. Why would he when he saw that? However, the boy respects the fact that the two are strangers and doesn't point it out—no matter how scrunched up his eyebrows are. The Uchiha boy gives Kakashi an awkward smile, "So, what are you doing here, boy?"

Kakashi isn't quite sure how to respond. He has never met anyone these past few days by the river and he still doesn't quite understand the mindset of kids in this age. So Kakashi goes with the first thing he can think of. "I got lost on the road of life."

The silver-haired boy then proceeds to facepalm in his mind at his lack of good excuses. It seems that practicing Obito's horrid excuse-making skills have ingrained on Kakashi's own sense of making good, believable excuses.

Now, that's a dreadful thought.

"What kind of excuse is that?!" The raven-haired boy shouts.

"Maa, maa~" Kakashi eye smiles and shrugs, "I'm Kakashi, what's your name Onii-san?"

The Uchiha boy tenses and eyes the silver-haired boy with obsidian eyes full of suspicion. Ahh—I forgot! People are super skeptical in this era. Kakashi berates himself for diving deeper into this world's ninja—he really needs to be more careful. After all, there was no telling who he could run into during this timeline. I was lucky with Itama since he wasn't a famous figure—but what in the world would I do if I ran into someone like the First Hokage, Hashirama, or—

After a quick examination, the raven-haired boy seems to deem the whole situation as not a threat so he introduces himself. "I'm Madara."

I just had to jinx myself, didn't I?

Kakashi tries to keep his face neutral as he stares up at Uchiha Madara—a young, non-threatening Uchiha Madara who grows up to be the overwhelming menace and enemy.

The boy who becomes the man who manipulates Obito.

The boy who becomes so corrupted that he wages war with the whole world and manipulated Kakashi's best friend to do it.

The boy who grows up only to be broken and turned into the pawn of an old alien princess.

Yep, I just  had  to jinx myself.

Kakashi gulps as he is still making an effort not to tense.

Why did I have to run into Uchiha Madara of all people?!

The next thing you know, I'm going to run into the Second Hokage, Senju Tobirama, or something—

Kakashi zones back into the situation, unsure of how to progress any further. However, the boy knew he couldn't just stay silent like this—that would be too suspicious.

Yeah, I should just stop.

"Madara onii-san, what are you doing here?" The silver-haired boy tilts his head as he angles his face just perfectly to exhibit the curious glint in his onyx eye.

Madara turns away from the silver-haired boy and stares out at the river with a grimace at first. He, then, breaks out a chuckle and smiles. "I came out here to practice."

Kakashi blinks his onyx eye as he continues to stare at preteen Madara. The silver-haired boy arches an eyebrow and tilts his head at the boy. "'Practice'?" Don't tell me he came out here to do training…

"Yeah," The raven-haired boy bends over to grab a stone from the ground. Kakashi focuses on Madara's fingers as they smooth over the rock that fits perfectly in the palm of his hand. The silver-haired boy's onyx eye follows the movements as Madara bends and positions, holding the stone as if he is holding a shuriken. Madara flicks his wrist and the stone goes flying, darting through the air towards the river.

Kakashi's trained onyx eye track the motion, seeing the stone move in slow motion as it skids against the water twice and then drowns.

Madara stays bent forward in his throwing position as if he were frozen in time. Kakashi's impassively stares at the hunched forward raven-haired boy silently, letting the tension hang in the air.

Crows pass overhead, their caws sounding like hysterical laughter.

"You suck." Kakashi deadpans.

Chapter Text

Pearly-silver locks ruffle under the moonlight as a sudden zephyr passes through the trees. Glowing crimson orbs shine with an almost ethereal glare, reflecting the bright light of the moon. A pale hand is outstretched to him as if there is an expectation to meet.

Kakashi feels his breath choke in his throat.

He couldn’t believe his eye—this boy in front of him is the very same man Kakashi remembers fighting beside back in the Fourth Shinobi War.

He had really jinxed himself it seems.

“Are you okay?” The familiar stranger’s voice is cool, like morning dew, and smooth, like a gentle flowing river. His whole pale complexion is frightening yet very beautiful under the bright moon. Kakashi could feel the cold sweat swelling under his mask as his onyx eye cannot avert from the silver-haired boy in front of him.

 

How did I even end up in this situation?

 

Kakashi’s day began with the usual.  

The, now, young silver-haired ninja woke up from a horrid nightmare, hyperventilating and desperate. He is greeted by the fresh and crisp morning air, which tried to ease his pain but with no such success. Kakashi crawled over to the river, not caring for the pain in his knees and hands as the stones cut into them.

Kakashi hastily pulled down his mask as if he were desperate for the freedom to breathe. The silver-haired boy then proceeded to dig his hands into the cold water, bringing it up and splashing it into his face. He didn’t relax until the third splash and, even then, Kakashi is only calm enough to gaze at his face—at his bare face which holds his own onyx eye and Obito’s Sharingan eye.

Obito…

There was an image of short dark, raven hair with bright obsidian eyes and a wide grin—the dark blood that dripped down his face as the light in those obsidian eyes faded. Then, there was the grown face of the boy he loved—the darkness evident in those cloudy, obsidian orbs and the constant frown. His dark hair drained into pure white—robbed of its color and life. However, this time, the impression was lighter—almost cleaner. Though that didn’t change the evident grim darkness deep within him—the regret that Kakashi knew all too well.

It was the same sort of guilt and regret which haunted him since young.

Then there were the final moments—the two of them standing beside one another and the evident pipe that came straight for them—Kakashi’s last effort to see him and Obito’s mirroring of the action. Then, there was the horror which spread on his face—his red eyes dilating as he gasps out a cry.

Kakashi could almost hear his name escape those lips.

Kakashi snapped out of his trance only a moment after the darkness consumes him in his memory.

The silver-haired boy was no stranger to night terrors and memory-turned horrors which corrupted his mind and haunt his heavy heart to oblivion. In fact, all throughout his life, it seems that they are always there beside him, awaiting his return every night to drag him back into the abyss. Many anticipated his return—the prominent figures being his father, his best friends, his teacher and his wife, and his comrades—all of them were dead, dead, and dead.

They were all dead—and, yet, he was still alive.

Kakashi felt his hands going numb, the water being so cold that it could give him hypothermia. Listlessly, the silver-haired boy freed his hands from the cold, wet prison and raised them to lift his mask back onto his face. A strong shudder passed through his pale skin as if it were running from his own cold touch but, besides that initial reaction, Kakashi did not pay any mind to it. He, then, returned to his camp and grabbed his black eyepatch, swiftly tying it into place over Obito’s left eye.

Satisfied with how he looked, Kakashi continued with his usual morning routines since entering this world. The first thing the silver-haired boy located is his food storage. Kakashi had acquired a chest from the villagers as a prize for a job well done and, now, he uses it to store his food. It was secure enough that bugs wouldn’t enter it and, hopefully, it wouldn’t attract much wild attention beyond the few squirrels he had to scare away. From inside the chest, Kakashi took out a loaf of bread and an apple, wrapping it in a clothe and storing it in his pouch for later.

Kakashi then pulled out a scroll, releasing a large camouflage blanket and threw it over his small tent. The silver-haired boy would’ve used genjutsu but, since he was in the middle of a war zone country, Kakashi did not want to risk being discovered. At least this way, with only a green and brown blanket on top, his meager belongings would be hidden enough to not attract immediate attention and without any sort of chakra lingering on it, there wouldn’t be any ninjas investigating his place. It wasn’t like Kakashi kept any money or weapons in there, though—mostly just food, shelter, and a blanket.

After he secured his base, Kakashi glanced around, making sure no one was around before he took off for Forget-Me-Not village.

Kakashi’s workday as a jack-of-all-trades began with farm work. His best customers, Vesta and Mark gave him the usual tasks—tending to the fields and taking care of the animals. Kakashi managed to finish both tasks with relative ease in about three hours time. The silver-haired boy then wandered around town to find some other work.

However, seeing as there was none more for the day and that it was almost time for lunch, Kakashi decided to head back to the river to make lunch. The innkeeper, Ruby, had offered Kakashi to eat lunch in the inn but the silver-haired boy did not wish to intrude, so graciously refused.

This is what led Kakashi to end up face-to-face with him

Uchiha Madara .

Apparently, the river was the future Uchiha clan head’s favorite hang out—not that that would make Kakashi move. However, seeing as Kakashi had met the boy almost every day for the past month since he first met the boy, the silver-haired genius didn’t need many clues that Madara was quite fond of the river—at least in one sense or another.

It wasn’t as unpleasant as Kakashi had initially taken the whole interaction for.

Madara isn’t even close to the power-craving madman he is in the future. No, instead, if Kakashi had one word to summarize the future all-powerful, almost deity, it would be ‘dorky’.

Madara was absolutely a dork—a closet dork. He is awkward like a duck when he shows moments of kindness or when he messes up—the boy is often in denial more than three-fourths of the time. Plus, Madara was quite fun to play with—though, more like to tease in Kakashi’s sense. The boy was earnest and straightforward, but also brilliant. Plus, he gets flustered easily when Kakashi pushes the right buttons—like Tenzo but without his life-long servitude to his senpai which held the younger ninja from lashing out at Kakashi. Since Madara did not have said shackles, the two often end up in some sort of squabble, though nothing too physical or emotional.

It was mostly Madara yelling and Kakashi shrugging the short-tempered boy off.

Overall, Kakashi wasn’t surprised when he returned to the river only to find the Uchiha heir watching the river near Kakashi’s camp.

Madara had discovered Kakashi’s little base a few days after the silver-haired boy had set it up. To Kakashi’s annoyance, this only raised the inevitable questions about his origins. Kakashi told his sob story just as he had to the villagers. Thankfully, Kakashi managed to steer the conversation away from the whole subject after he was done, baiting the other boy with food. After that incident, Madara tended to wait near Kakashi’s tent—something the younger boy is secretly thankful for as it was like he had his own personal watchdog for his belongings, not that there was much to call his belongings.

The silver-haired boy approached the raven-haired boy who sat beside the river. Madara seemed to be lost in thought, his obsidian eyes following the motions of the stream lazily. Kakashi raised a hand in the air, letting his shoulders drop in a sort of slouch as he sauntered over to the older boy. “Yo, Mada-kun.~”

Kakashi’s sudden greeting startled the raven-haired boy from his trance, causing Madara to hastily turn in his direction on high alert. The Uchiha heir only becomes relaxed when he realized it was the younger boy. An annoyed twitch in his eyebrow settled in as he huffed. “Didn’t I tell you to stop calling me that, brat. Show more respect for those older than you.”

Kakashi hummed in retaliation before he continued with preparing his lunch. Madara watched curiously as the younger boy built a little campfire out of sticks and a small fire style jutsu and began roasting some vegetables and fish.

After their first meeting, it was no surprise when Madara had discovered Kakashi was a ninja. Kakashi was thankful for the ninja code of these warring times as it didn’t lead to the silver-haired boy to be interrogated by the dark-haired boy. Plus, this made things more convenient as he didn’t have to hide his basic skills from the other boy.

Once the food was done, Kakashi offered a skewer to his companion who accepted it with a casual thanks. Madara took a bite from the roasted eggplant, appreciating the vegetable’s natural taste mixed with the slight crispiness from being burnt. It was at that moment that a sudden thought crossed his mind, which pushed the Uchiha heir to glance at his silver-haired companion.

Kakashi is always wearing a mask. Ever since Madara had met the boy, the younger constantly wore that face mask, obscuring his face from the world. Of course, Madara is extremely curious.

However, in the world of ninjas it wasn’t uncommon for ninjas to wear masks, often to hide a particularly ugly scar—

—but Kakashi is too young to have such a wound. The boy is at least his younger brother, Izuna’s age—too young to have been sent on such a dangerous mission that he would have sustained a fatal injury.

Then again, there was no telling how other clans thought. For all Madara knew, Kakashi was from a clan who had believed children to be tools and sent them on suicide missions.

Madara hopes not.

But, with that eyepatch over the silver-haired boy’s left eye, Madara couldn’t be too sure.

Madara scowled at the thought, his eyebrows furrowed as his eyes squinted with sharp focus and frustration. This stupid war…! Making innocent kids have blood on their hands. If only… if only I could make a world of peace… The raven-haired boy shut his eyes. If only our dreams could come true…

“Madara?” Kakashi’s voice snapped the Uchiha clan heir from his contemplation. The silver-haired boy’s head is tilted slightly as he looks at the Uchiha boy’s face with his big, onyx eye.

Madara relaxed, a small smile crept up his lips. “It’s nothing, don’t worry about it. Just hurry up and eat.”

The smaller boy blinked with an amused glint in his eyes.“But I’m already finished.”

“Huh?” Madara jumped in astonishment to examine the younger silver-haired boy. “How are you already finished—?!” The raven-haired boy eyed the pile of skewers on the floor beside the silver-haired boy in awe and disbelief. “How in the world did you eat that fast?!” I didn’t even see you take off your mask!

“You just eat slow.” Kakashi deadpanned as he cleaned up the area, making sure to leave no trace of his and Madara’s meal.

“Or,” Madara huffed, “You just inhaled your food without chewing it.” So I wouldn’t see what’s under your mask.

“Maa,” The silver-haired boy dusted his hands off as he shrugged, “It’s nothing to fuss about.” Kakashi stretched his arms and legs as if preparing to take off.

“Are you going back to work?” The raven-haired boy inquired as he stood back up, grabbing a stone from the ground before he is all the way up. Madara threw the stone in the air, half-heartedly, not watching as it flies up into the air.

“Yeah,” Kakashi did a quick check of his inventory before he tilted his head back and gave the other boy an eye smile. “How else am I gonna balance the holes you put in my food supply?”

Madara scoffed in retort, “Yeah, right. We both know who actually eats all your food, you little pig.”

Kakashi chuckles as he waved goodbye to his companion and leaves the clearing to the Uchiha boy.

Madara caught the midair stone with a swipe before he reeled back to throw it. The gray stone bounces on top of the stream with vigor.

Yet, it only skidded halfway before it sank.

 

Kakashi obtained one last job before he called in for the day. The task was given to him by the village’s resident twin pyrotechnicians, Kassey and Patrick. The silver-haired boy was to deliver a package to another village, that is just through the thick forest, called Mineral town.

It wasn’t as if the distance between the two towns were very far, so Kakashi decided to just hand-deliver it to the address the twins had given him. However, by the time his delivery had been completed, the sun had already set, deciding it was too tired to go on with the day and had allowed the night to bleach in.

Kakashi did not want to waste money on an inn when he needed to save it in case of an emergency, so the silver-haired boy took off through the forest to return to his camp.

However, Kakashi had forgotten one detail about ninja life in the Warring States Era.

 

Ninjas do their work mostly during the shadow curtains of the night.

 

With Kakashi wanting to return to his camp as quickly as possible, the silver-haired ninja, of course, used the body flicker technique so he could parkour through the thick forest faster. This was his mistake.

Ninjas, used to the sounds and presence of another of their kind, of course, were on high alert to such sounds. And in a time of war where all were against everyone not allied with them—any ninja, no matter what age, was considered an enemy.

Of course, the fact that Kakashi had stumbled upon a patrol of ninja had nothing to do with him being discovered.

There were five of them—all grown adults—against just him. Despite Kakashi being a genius, with his current body as a handicap, there were only a few things the silver-haired boy could actually maneuver to get out of this situation. Plus, with being outnumbered, Kakashi was in a tight spot.

The five adults crouched in, approaching the silver-haired boy as he backed away from the group. Kakashi knew that he could probably escape with just a minuscule of damage. But in order to do so, Kakashi would need to kill these ninjas and reveal Obito’s eye. He can’t reveal it, though. The chakra outburst would definitely catch a lot of unwanted attention.

“You,” The towering ninja in the middle called out as he and the rest of the patrol reach for their katanas. “Don’t take this personally, brat. But no matter what clan you may belong to, you’ll have to go.”

Grin and smirks decorated each face of the group as they all begin to unsheathe their weapons.

All of a sudden, a blur of white and red rammed into Kakashi’s view. With great speed and finesse, the enemy ninjas were all knocked to their feet.

Kakashi could not even blink as he watched the whole scene play out fluidly.

Which is how Kakashi ended up in this whole situation.

 

“Are you okay?” The young ninja’s hair glows white as his sharp, crimson eyes pierce the moonlight. His hand is outstretched to Kakashi as if to lift him up. It is then that the silver-haired boy realizes he had slid down to the ground during the whole combat.

Carefully, Kakashi takes the other boy’s hands. “Thank you,” His savior pulls him up to his feet and, once Kakashi’s feet are planted on the ground again, the silver-haired boy checks the damage.

It was red—scarlet drenches the once lush green as five bodies ooze dark liquid. The carnage was nausea worthy and at minimum cringe-worthy. However, Kakashi does not even flinch and, ultimately, the boy looks away from it—not wanting to tangle with the vileness of this world.

As expected of the Second Hokage… even when he is so young. Kakashi hides his distaste on the thought.

This world is cruel—raising children to bring death like a grim reaper. Then again, during Kakashi’s youth, he was trained for the same thing—just slightly lighter and masking the truth of the whole concept.

Kakashi shakes the horrors out of his head—he has more important and urgent things to take care of first.

Senju Tobirama stands before him—in all of his childlike yet mature brilliance.

Not only that, the Senju genius is also examining him. The moving gaze from those crimson orbs pulses on Kakashi’s being as he feels the other boy observe him with an almost unbearable silence.

“You,” Tobirama’s voice rings in the cool night air as his scarlet eyes return to Kakashi’s lone onyx one. “You’re Kakashi, right?”  

Kakashi blinks at the other silver-haired boy. He did not expect this.

How does he know my name? Why does he know my name? The questions flood the masked boy as he continues to stare at the other boy with straight bafflement. Unconsciously, the shocked boy nods his head in response.

A low chuckle escapes Tobirama’s throat. “There is no need to be so alarmed.” Kakashi eyes the boy with a curious skepticism. The other silver-haired boy ignores this and, instead, continues. “My name is Tobirama. Thank you for saving my little brother, Kakashi.”

“Ahh,” Instinctively, Kakashi answers, rubbing the back of his neck. He freezes abruptly when the realization sinks in. ‘saving my little brother’...?

An image of the young boy with half brown-half pearly-silver hair and round, brown eyes flashes in silver-haired boy’s mind.

Itama.

Now Kakashi has done it—he’s really changed history.

When he thought he had only saved a minor soldier, Kakashi had actually saved the Senju Tobirama’s little brother—

—which means he also saved Senju Hashirama’s little brother.

 

Kakashi smiles as his eyes crinkle, “No problem.”

 

Welp, he had already changed history once—and the future wasn’t so bright under Kaguya and Black Zetsu’s control.

There shouldn’t be much of a problem if he tries to shifts the future into their favor.

Chapter Text

Slipping in through the darkness, a cloaked figure breaches the enclosed stone cavern. Inside the dim room is the base of a large tree.

“That bastard must really hate housekeeping.” A cough echoes off the dark stone walls. A boy with short dark hair scoffs at the dust and gravel around the room as he wanders around, examining the cavern. “Well, he probably just ordered Zetsu to do it anyways.”

The cavern was empty, nothing but gravel, dust, and the tree was there.

Obito sighs, “And I thought for sure he would be here” The raven-haired boy glares at the area where his bed was once. “—or at least have something lying around.” He inhales deeply before exhaling. I guess he hasn’t set up base in the graveyard yet, then.

“Aggh—That means I have to search for a different lead...” Obito groans as he scratches his head. His dark eyes narrow and his brows furrow as a thought passes through his mind. “...but I’d rather not do that yet…”

The raven-haired boy twirls around and strides to the stone wall he had entered through. His right obsidian eye swirls into a crimson orb with a mysterious black pinwheel design. Confidently, the boy approaches the stone wall, activating Kamui, slipping into his Kamui dimension as he travels through the solid rock.

Obito inhales the fresh air of the mountain’s forest, taking in the earthy smell of grass and dirt. He raises his left hand, cupping his left, onyx eye. A bitter smile lifts his lips. “It’s not time yet—”

—I’m not ready yet.

 

It’s only a matter of time.

Kakashi sighs at the thought as he sprints “home” from his day’s worth of work. He has been working from three in the morning to nine—approximately six hours. In that time he had made several deliveries on top of tending to some ranch activities that Mark had requested. Despite his stamina, Kakashi was tired of the mediocre-ness of what would be considered D-rank missions back in his time— or in this case, would it be forward?

The silver-haired time traveler shook his head at the thought. Now wasn’t the time to think about such unimportant things. Rather than that, Kakashi rather ponder about how he would proceed from here.

He had already changed the past by saving Itama and meeting Madara and Tobirama—so it wouldn’t make much of a difference if he was actively trying to change the timeline. And on that thought about meetings…

… it’s only a matter of time now.

Kakashi pivots off a branch as he approaches the clearing where the river runs, skillfully dodging stray branches despite only having a single eye’s vision.

… only a matter of time before I meet him

The silver-haired boy gracefully lands on the cool stone shore, his onyx eye glaring at the stones beneath his feet. A slight hitch in one’s breath catches Kakashi’s attention, causing the silver-haired boy to calmly tilt his head up.

Senju Hashirama.

Onyx orb meets a pair of chocolate orbs.

Kakashi swallows the oncoming sigh and straightens himself so that he was staring straight into the taller boy’s eyes. There is a taller, clearly older boy in front of him with brown hair similar to Guy’s yet more free-seeming.

The hair is a tell-tale sign that this boy would end up being a pain.

Maa, as long as he isn’t as full of energy as Guy, he shouldn’t be that tiring to deal with.

“Wow…” The boy exhales, “...so cool…!”

Kakashi would like to note, at this moment, that he is and always has been an introvert.

He has never been good with people full of energy like Guy and Naruto. They were tiring to deal with and he honestly felt exhausted after even a brief meeting with one of them. Thankfully, he had become resistant to their sunshine energy by dealing with both on a daily basis. That doesn’t mean he is entirely resistant to the sunshine aura though.

“Hey, hey! Your eyepatch and mask are really cool, where did you get them?!” The brunette grins as he corners the younger boy with his energy. “What’s your name?”

Kakashi was taken aback from the burst of energy from the brunette. It took him a few seconds to recover, bringing back his poker face of lazy laxness. “Maa—shouldn’t you introduce yourself first, Onii-san?”

“Oh yeah—I should, huh?” The boy with a bowl haircut laughs as he scratches the back of his head. The brunette soon recovers and grins, “I’m Hashirama! Now, will you tell me your name, little boy?” He leans over to pat Kakashi’s head, ruffling the boy’s spiky hair.

Ahh—I knew it. Kakashi internally deadpans as he eye smiles. “I’m Kakashi, Hashirama-san.” Of course, I would meet Hashirama at the river. Why else would Madara be coming here practically every day?

Speaking of the grumpy Uchiha boy, Kakashi ponders on whether the two founders have actually met yet. Kakashi hadn’t considered it before, but it’s possible that he had ended up at a time prior to their initial meeting rather than afterward as he had been assuming this whole time.

“Mmmnnn…” Hashirama’s expression twists into a concentrated expression as he continues to stare at Kakashi. “You really remind me of my younger brother… Say, how old are you, Kakashi?”

Kakashi almost freezes at the question. In truth, he himself didn’t know what age he was anymore since age regression didn’t come with a manual telling you what you’d start out as. However, he has seen himself grow up—he could pull off an estimate of what age he is rather easily. Childishly, the younger silver-haired boy holds up both his hands, displaying all of his fingers with emphasis. “I’m ten.”

Hashirama claps his hands full of giddiness. “Oh! So, you’re a year younger than my little brother!” Hashirama ruffles Kakashi’s head again—the time traveler can sense this is going to be a habit for the brunette. “You see, my little brother has silver hair too, though it’s a bit lighter than yours! And it always looks so fluffy that I want to pet it but he never lets me! Once he even drop-kicked me for ruffling his hair!”

“I see…” Kakashi notes that the first Hokage seems to be an even more affectionate guy than he had thought. Unfortunately for the rather stoic and aloof Tobirama, the brunette Senju would most likely never grow out of his affectionate habits—from what he has seen of him in the future at least.

Well, that’s that, but more importantly

“Could you stop now?” The annoyed younger boy pushes the brunette’s hand away from his head.

Instantly, the brunette pouts. “Aww… come on…!” Hashirama whines as he persists to reach for Kakashi’s fluffy head despite the younger pushing him away. “Just a bit longer!”  

“You’re too clingy…” Kakashi mutters darkly as he averts his eyes to the side.

Hashirama blinks at the boy’s expression. The edges of his lips lift into an unstable grin, “Oh?” The brunette narrows his eyes as he ruffles Kakashi’s silver hair once more. “Are you shy, Kakashi-kun? How cute~” Hashirama coos as he continues to rub the silver-haired boy’s head, making his messy hair even more of a mess.

Silver eyebrows twitch slightly in annoyance as Kakashi tries to will out the glare forming by his onyx eyes and turn it back to his usual lethargic look. It was taking a lot more effort than Kakashi was willing to use though.

There is the sound of ruffling leaves as a boy appears from the forest, sauntering to the rocky river shore. “Hey, brat! I came to visi—” Madara lazily begins to greet with his usual arrogant tone. However, all of a sudden the Uchiha freezes on the last syllable. His obsidian eyes widening with shock as he bites down the last phoneme. “—t.”

There is a long pause of silence with a raven-haired boy staring at the scene of the brunette boy assaulting the younger, silver-haired boy with a pseudo-hug, head rub, and possible choke hold. After what feels like hours to Kakashi, Madara parts his mouth to speak.

The Uchiha heir furrows his eyebrows as he gives the brunette a disgusted look. “Hashirama…? What the hell are you doing?”

Kakashi gives Madara a clear deadpan look as if conveying that he is in a rather annoying bind and really dislikes this situation. Meanwhile, Hashirama gives the Uchiha his usual flower and sunshine aura with a giant grin. “Yo, Madara! You know Lil-Kashi too?”

“Don’t call me ‘Lil-Kashi’.” Kakashi retorts robotically as he tries to push the brunette away from him.

Madara chuckles softly at the nickname, causing Kakashi to raise an eyebrow to the Uchiha who only returns a challenging smirk. The silver-haired boy was annoyed by this but made an effort not to display his exasperation—after all, then it would be like Madara won.

Madara quickly composes himself to jab at the brunette. “You look like you’re assaulting him.”

Hastily, the brunette releases the silver-haired boy. Kakashi steps back as well, defensively, as he watches Hashirama panic. “Wha?!” Hashirama sputters for a good minute before falling to the ground in order to hug his knees. His face turns pale as a grim expression overtakes his bright smile. “Did it really look that bad…?”

“Yes.” Both Madara and Kakashi answer. Their eyes are half-lidded with a deadpan expression as the bluntly shoot an arrow of guilt into Hashirama.

“Sorry, Kashi-chan… I didn’t know it made you feel so uncomfortable.” Hashirama apologizes from his spot on the ground. The brunette is still hugging his knees despite him looking up at the younger silver-haired boy. “If it makes you feel any better, you can throw me in the river, okay?”

Kakashi silently stares at Hashirama, not actually thinking about much before he turns to Madara and points at the crestfallen boy. “What’s wrong with him?”

“Don’t mind him,” Madara shrugs, “He has a serious neurosis problem.”

“Ahh—” Kakashi glances back down at Hashirama who stares back with his chocolate brown eyes, they seemed to sparkle in a sense as if the brunette was telling Kakashi to defend him. Kakashi shrugs off the signals and averts his attention back to the intruding Uchiha. “I see.”

In an instant, Hashirama becomes depressed again. However, this time he jumps back to his feet only to point at the raven-haired boy. “Like you’re any better Madara! You can’t even take a piss when someone is behind you!”

This time it’s Madara’s turn to flail. “Wha—! HASHIRAMA—!” The raven-haired boy growls and shouts in exasperation.

“Pfft…!” Madara twirls around with rage and glares at Kakashi who had let his laugh slip. Kakashi continues with his right eye curling up into his infamous eye-smile. “If someone is behind you, you can’t even take a piss?”

Madara instantly flushes. The Uchiha clan heir shouts at the younger boy with his cheeks as red as a tomato. “Shut up, you brat!”

“Yup!” Hashirama quickly adds, joining in to tease Madara. “And he can’t even skip stones to save his life!”

“You too Hashirama! Shut up!” Enraged, Madara shouts at the brunette.

“Oh no! The demon is angry! Run away!” Hashirama laughs as he begins to run.

Madara rushes after him in a mad dash with angry eyes full of flames. “ HASHIRAMA—!

Kakashi watches as Madara chases Hashirama for about ten minutes before he gets bored of the constant shouting and threats. The silver-haired boy decides that he might as well prepare something to eat.

So, Kakashi grabs his fishing rod he had bought back in the forest and stands along the rocky shore. He checks the equipment before he prepares for the launch, swinging the fishing rod and creating a loud whoosh before he flings the hook into the river. He waits silently, listening to the sound of the river’s flow and the subtle waves in the calm stream.

He tenses. Wait… calm…?

Having a bad feeling, Kakashi sighs and slowly turns around, careful as to not jostle the fishing rod in case a fish was nearing the bate. His onyx eye twitches at the sight of both older boys standing and staring at him in awe, both having a starstruck sparkle in their eyes.

“That’s so cool! Can I try next!” Hashirama energetically begs, closing in on the silver-haired boy.

Madara joins in on the approach, “Where did you learn how to do that?”

“I taught myself.” Kakashi curtly answers as he lifts a finger to his lips. “Quiet, you’ll scare my dinner away.”

Hashirama pouts at the notion of being quiet but complies and Madara naturally doesn’t open his mouth as he observes Kakashi’s fishing technique. With finesse, the silver-haired boy manages to reel in two fishes before he puts away his fishing rod.

“What—?! That’s it?” Hashirama whines, “But I wanted to watch more!”

Madara points to the sky. “Well, it’s already sunset, so we should be leaving actually.”

“Maa… You can always come by some other time.” Kakashi nonchalantly reassures the brunette.

“Okay…” Hashirama acts crestfallen as he prepares to leave. Kakashi continues on with preparing his dinner, starting up his campfire.

Hashirama quickly takes notice to this and blinks. “Huh? Kashi-chan, you aren’t going home yet?”

“Don’t call me ‘Kashi-chan’.” Kakashi ignores the brunette’s question and instead retorts.

Madara pauses before he steps into his side of the forest, hastily twirling back to Hashirama. “Wait, Hashirama. You knew about the brat even though you don’t know about his situation?”

“Well, I had only just met him today!” Hashirama hastily defends himself. He quickly steers the conversation back on track though, much to Kakashi’s discomfort. “Anyways, what was this about his situation…?” Hashirama turns to the younger boy and meets his lone onyx eye with great seriousness. “If you don’t mind, Kakashi-kun, please tell me.”

Kakashi doesn’t falter as he stares back into Hashirama’s resolute brown orbs. However, he laxly shrugs, “Maa, it isn’t anything to get worked up over.” Kakashi explains, with as much vague detail as he had given Madara, how he had been orphaned by the ninja war and is now working as a jack-of-all-trades in a nearby village.

Hashirama is brought into a dim expression, grim and sad and dark—which worries Kakashi. Madara too averts his attention away with a frustrated and dark look, something Kakashi notes but shoves away into the back of his head for later analysis.

Hashirama quickly recovers, however, the brunette giving Kakashi a bright, welcoming smile. “You can come to my place if you want! We have lots of rooms!” Hashirama suggests brightly before the revelation hits him and causes him to pout. “Oh, but…”

“Maa.” Kakashi covers for him, answering back as a way to steer the conversation away from the topic of ninja wars and clan duties. “I’d rather not go to your ninja estates. I don’t want to be mixed up in your war.” Kakashi explains and he can see the visible relief on Hashirama’s and Madara’s face at the refusal. “Besides, I’m living just fine as a jack-of-all-trades and the river has much nicer scenery than some ninja house has.”

Kakashi nonchalantly waves his hand before clapping them together. “Now, shouldn’t you two be going home? Your families are going to start getting worried about you and send search parties.” Kakashi shoos the two away. “And I’d really rather not have any of them eviscerate my camp.”

Madara and Hashirama recover from their dark daze with this jab. Madara smirks and laughs, “Yeah, right. As if your camp could be discovered!”

“Bye, Madara, KashiKashi!” Hashirama waves as he begins to leave.

“Don’t call me ‘KashiKashi’.” Kakashi bluntly retorts, which is ignored by the brunette entirely as he disappears into the brush.

Madara crackles, “See ya, KashiKashi !”

Before Kakashi can growl at the raven-haired boy, Madara disappears beyond the trees of the opposite shore Hashirama had disappeared into, making sure to give a small wave to the younger boy.

“Yeah, see ya.”  

Chapter Text

The world was black when he awakens.

His mind clear, yet hazy like the misty fog around a cold lake.

A drop of water splashes on the ground, bursting in all different direction after impact. It makes a chime sort of sound, like a little, high-pitched bell.

A bell’s chime resounds in the darkness.

“Good job, Kakashi.”

A calm voice carries through the darkness, making an image of the bright blue sky appear.  

Then, there is another chime and the silver glint of the bell flashes by.

“Kakashi-sensei!”

A boyish voice calls. It reminds him of the bright, blinding sun, the one people wish to reach yet can’t.

The bell chimes again, as if an echo of the last and this time he can see the second bell as well.

“Kakashi-kun!”

A sweet angelic voice rings, leaving nostalgia and warmth yet also a deep sadness.

Another chime follows, the image of a red ribbon flows freely.

“Bakakashi!”

A familiar rough, young voice lingers with a grin.

There is another chime and the red ribbon thickens.

“Kakashi,”

This time the voice is husky and rings alarm in the darkness.

The bell does not ring yet the red does not disappear—instead, growing larger and larger, slowly overtaking the darkness.

“It’s because you killed Rin!”

Red—the world becomes red.

In a red hue, images—faces flash like a storm.

“Kakashi-sensei!”

“Save us, sensei!”

“Don’t leave us!”

“Kakashi!”

“Kakashi-sensei!”

“No—Don’t leave us…!”

An onslaught of voices bombards the little, cowering boy as figures—all too familiar—surround him and continue to shout and reach for him. The frightened boy trembles as he closes his eyes and covers his ears, yet the images and people and voices all won’t disappear.

“Bakakashi!”

A certain voice calls over the jumbled mess, causing the boy to freeze and the world to quiet down. Slowly, the boy looks up and when he sees the smiling figure before him, holding his hand out to him, he smiles—a genuine smile.

Obi—

“Did you really think I would say that…?” The dark-haired boy drops his head, not looking at the silver-haired boy in front of him. And then he looks at him, peering down at Kakashi with cold red eyes—his mangekyo Sharingan—their bond. “You killed Rin.”

Obito turns around before the young boy starts walking away and with every step he takes he seems to grow older and older until he reaches his resentful adult self from the war.

Kakashi reaches out, desperately, yet his hands can’t seem to reach no matter how much he grows.

Kakashi tries to call out…

No—

...yet his voice did not reach him.

“—Obito! Don’t leave me!”

Grabbing ahold of something warm, Kakashi, wild-eyed, jumps up from his sleeping state. The warmth in his hand does not register in the silver-haired boy as he breathes heavily, holding his palm to his left eye as if it were the most important thing in the world to him.

“Um…” A soft voice breaks the hyperventilating voice from his haze. “Kakashi…?”

Alarmed by the presence, Kakashi hastily looks up at his opponent with great caution and a sort of predatory intimidation only to find the worried brown eyes of Itama. The—most likely—younger boy looks very worried for the silver-haired boy but still flinches at the gaze like a small animal.

Itama’s soothing, flowery aura seems to calm Kakashi down as the silver-haired boy quickly reverts to his normal lazy eye. It was then that Kakashi realizes he has been gripping onto Itama’s wrist harshly and releases the younger boy. Itama gives Kakashi a small smile despite how painful the bruise looks and the silver-haired boy feels a deep guilt for the injury he had caused the other boy.

“Sorry,” Kakashi apologizes as his onyx eye locks onto the bruise.

“It’s okay!” Itama smiles, forgivingly.

Despite Itama’s words, Kakashi guilt is still not pacified and he hated to leave things like this unattended. Scratching the back of his head, Kakashi searches his mind for something he could offer, catching sight of his fishing rod. “Want to join me for breakfast?”

“Yes, please!” chirps the panda-haired boy with a wide grin.

 

“By the way,” Kakashi flips the fish on the makeshift grill as he turns his attention to the other boy. Itama is currently sitting on a rock near the fire, humming as he watches the fire cook the fish. “Why did you come to see me? If it’s about thanking me, your older brother has already done so.”

“But that isn’t the same!” Itama pouts, “Tobirama-niisama always tells me that I should always make sure to thank someone if they’ve helped me!”

Ahh… Kakashi exhales as he recalls the rather polite and proper silver-haired boy. Tobirama does seem like the type to reinforce manners. Then, the image of the more laidback, goofy brunette pops up in his mind, grinning brightly. On the other hand, the older brother, Hashirama, is too lax and seems bad with formalities. The little image of the older Senju then quickly shifts from happy to shocked, as if the boy was reacting to Kakashi’s thought. It really makes you question who is actually the older brother. Hashirama’s little spirit then goes from shocked to depressed in Kakashi’s mind.

“Maa,” Kakashi’s ignores the image that popped up into his mind and shrugs. The silver-haired boy plates the fish and vegetables before handing one to Itama. “I get your message, so there’s no need for any more gratitude.”

“Thanks! And, okay!” The younger boy smiles at Kakashi as he takes the plate, placing it on his lap. Itama’s eyes sparkle as he lays eyes on the scrumptious looking meal. “Thanks for the food!”

Itama begins by taking a bite from the fish, chewing and savoring the taste before swallowing. He then turns his attention to Kakashi, his chocolate eyes sparkling even more. “This is delicious!” Itama continues by taking another bite, this time from the vegetables. “How did you learn how to cook like this?”  

“Maa, from here and there.” Kakashi shrugs as he eats his own meal. “You learn a thing or two when you live on your own.” Noticing the sudden drop in mood, Kakashi almost sighs. “I’m sure you could become a great chef if you put your mind to it.”

Itama perks up at this, “Really? You really think so?”

“Maa, you’ll just have to practice.” Kakashi chews his foods laxly. The silver-haired boy watches the clouds float in the sky with a watchful eye. It was most likely mid-morning now. He had probably woken up late due to his nightmare and since Itama had visited it must be passed his usual training and breakfast time. He didn’t quite mind the company—after all, Itama is a good kid: polite and mild. However, for him—an heir to the Senju clan to stay here is too dangerous.

Especially given what other company I’m expecting… The image of Madara passing through his mind. Kakashi glances over at Itama, seeing that the boy was now almost finished with his food. Originally, Kakashi was going to take the day off today. However, he needed to shoo away Itama as efficiently as possible and the easiest solution Kakashi could think of was work. Maa, getting some extra coins doesn’t hurt either.

Kakashi stands up, drawing attention to himself from the younger boy who gives him a curious look. “Wash your dishes after you’re done. I have to go to work.”

“Oh…” Itama pouts but understands. Kakashi was working to support himself, after all, he shouldn’t bother him too much. “Okay!” Quickly switching to a smile, Itama hums as he finishes eating the delicious meal and then goes to the river to start washing his plate.

Kakashi goes back to his tent and begins to pack his things.

Or, at least that’s what he should have been doing, if he hadn’t caught sight of a strikingly familiar face.

Sasuke.

It was Sasuke. A young boy with dark hair had turned around to face the silver-haired boy who was returning to his camp. The boy had black hair which was slightly long with the ends sticking up, similar to how Sasuke had done his hair. His big obsidian eyes were sharp and reminded Kakashi of Sasuke as a genin when he had warmed up to the team, before his whole betrayal and the cursed seal business.

The appearances were so similar that Kakashi instinctively thought of Sasuke, even though he knew it wasn’t and couldn’t be him.

The obviously Uchiha boy blinks in his spot awkwardly as he stares at the one-eyed, masked silver-haired boy. Kakashi slips away his initial shock and transitions into a lax, casual expression as he slides his arm to his waist and leans to the side. “Hi, I’m Jack-of-All-Trades Kakashi, how may I help you?”

“Ahh—” The boy blinks again at Kakashi as he awkwardly looks over at the tent and back to the eyepatch boy. ”No, it’s just… I was curious about the tent…so…” The dark-haired boy is at a loss of words and, in all honesty, Kakashi just wants to sigh.

This situation was getting troublesome.

Behind Kakashi, back at the river is Itama, one of the Senju heirs, and now before him is some Uchiha ancestor of Sasuke.

Kakashi can’t let the two meet.

The silver-haired outsider wasn’t exactly sure if either were famous in this time at their ages; however, a child belonging to the enemy clan should be easy to identify. I think. Kakashi remarks as he remembers the two founders of Konoha who did not immediately place the other as from the enemy clan when they first met. Maybe they’re a special case… they are idiots, after all.

Nevermind that line of thought, I can ponder about it later. Kakashi returns his focus on the Sasuke-look-alike before him. I should be dealing with this situation first.

“Maa, no need to be so troubled. No harm, no foul.” Kakashi shrugs off the other boy’s breach of access like it was no big thing. “How about you introduce yourself first? And then we can get to your request.”

“Huh? But I don’t have a request.” The Sasuke-look-alike grumbles. “I’m Izuna. I followed my older brother here.” Izuna explains. “You wouldn’t have happened to have seen him, have you?” The Uchiha boy then begins explaining his older brother’s features, using motions to match his words. “He is about this tall with messier than mine… oh! And he is a bit older looking—only a bit though! Have you seen him?”

He is obviously talking about Madara… Kakashi notes as he shakes his head. To think that Madara’s little brother shares such a resemblance to Sasuke… no wonder he wanted to use him. “Sorry, haven’t seen anyone like that.” It’ll probably be better if I just pretend to not know Madara at all.

“Oh, is that so…” Izuna sighs exasperatedly. “I guess, I’ll just have to keep searching! Geez… where could Nii-san have gone…” The dark-haired boy turns back and shouts, “Thanks!” Then, he turns around and disappears through the brush—heading in the direction of the river and Itama.

Alarms blare in Kakashi’s head as his quick instincts and trained body reacts to the dramatic situation change. The silver-haired boy rushes after Izuna, hoping it wasn’t too late—hoping that Izuna and Itama had not met yet.

“Huh—”

It was too late.

By the time Kakashi had reached the scene, the two boys were in a rather compromising position—though it was obvious what had happened. Izuna had his arm around Itama’s waist as the half-light, half-dark haired boy dangles from the dark-haired boy’s arm over the river.

Most likely, what happened was this: Izuna had burst out from the bushes, surprising Itama to slip backward towards the river. Then, Izuna, reacting to the falling boy, hastily rushes to catch him—creating this scene.

Both boys blink profusely, processing the situation. After a few seconds, a blush tinges Itama’s cheeks as Izuna panics to straighten them both out. “Sorry, about that. Are you okay?” Izuna apologizes before checking the younger boy.

Itama nods, “Yes, thank you.”

The two boys awkwardly interact, making Kakashi feel awkward as well. He wasn’t sure whether he was supposed to comment on the whole thing or whether he should just leave the predicament alone. He chose to do the latter.

A rustle from the bushes across the river catches the attentions of the young ninjas, prompting them to turn to the said bushes in question. A boy with short pearly-white hair enters the river area from the bushes. His red eyes scan the area, shining with a stoic sheen as they land on the group. Having noticed the dark-haired boy, those crimson eyes narrow with skepticism as Tobirama makes his way to the other boys.

Kakashi and Izuna notice the tension which Tobirama exerts as he makes his way across the river. Kakashi, in response, backs away from Izuna and positions his body to guard Itama who is clueless of the whole situation. Meanwhile, Izuna raises his guard as his own obsidian eyes narrow at the approaching Tobirama.

Obsidian and crimson glare at each other, and lightning strikes between the two boys. However, it seems not only hostility was sent across those electric lines but, also, some sort of unspoken agreement was.

Tobirama makes a beeline to Itama, making one quick glance over as if to check on his little brother’s condition. “Itama, you can’t go sneaking off like Anija does or Father will get suspicious.”

“Yes, Nii-sama…” Itama nods in a docile manner. “But, I just really wanted to visit Kakashi!”

There isn’t much change in Tobirama’s expression; however, Kakashi notices the tiny softening of his usually sharp scarlet eyes and the small twitch of his lips. Tobirama rubs Itama’s head, fondly. “I know, but you should at least tell me so I can give Father a good excuse. Don’t be like Anija who constantly sneaks off without telling us.”

Itama brightens at the permission. “Yes, Nii-sama!”

Tobirama gives one last pat to Itama’s head before he shifts gears. “Now that that is taken care of,” Tobirama turns his attention to Kakashi. “Thank you for taking care of my brother again, Kakashi. I’m sorry for any inconvenience he may have caused.”

“Maa,” Kakashi leans on his side. “There was no trouble so it’s all good.”

“No trouble… huh.” Tobirama repeats as he eyes Izuna, who scowls back to the albino.

Kakashi sensing the two’s hostility decides this is a perfect moment to change history even more than he already has. “Ah. Tobirama, this is Izuna,” Kakashi introduces the dark-haired boy to the light-haired boy and then vice-versa. “And Izuna, this is Tobirama.” The masked silver-haired boy casually explains some of what has happened so far. “You see, Izuna here ran into us because he followed his older brother here and now he is searching for him. Have you seen him?”

Tobirama blinks at this information, some part of it seems to have piqued his interest. “You say you followed your older brother?” The albino puts his hand to his chin as he contemplates something. “Funny. I too followed my older brother to this very river as well…”

Izuna scrunches his eyebrows before arching it. “You followed your brother too…”

Both boys trail off into thought, leaving a confused Itama and an exasperated Kakashi to stand there between them.

Kakashi had a feeling he knew where this was heading.