If Rin wanted Obito to be better, he was going to damn well be better. He'd drag the rest of the world, kicking and screaming, to a brighter future.
He also owed Kisame for sticking around after being lied to about… practically everything. Getting the opportunity to punch Obito through the heart probably helped mitigate resentment.
So if Obito couldn’t quite manage a world without lies for him, he could attempt a village. And why not try with Kiri?
(Obito might’ve also just remembered he was still holding the Mizukage under a genjutsu. Whoops.)
“Hey, Kisame,” Obito said, “how do you feel about visiting Kiri with me?”
“Like that’s the last thing I’d ever want to do,” Kisame said without hesitation.
Obito paused, then asked, “...Would you do it anyway?”
“Why do you want me to go to Kiri?”
“Well, our original plan may be a bust, but that doesn’t mean we have to totally abandon the idea behind it. We could make the world a better place, but we start small.” Obito waved his fingers out. “A village without lies.”
Kisame gave Obito a flat look.
Obito held up his hands. “For real this time!”
Kisame cut to the quick. “Don’t you still have the Mizukage under a genjutsu? What was your plan to deal with that?”
Obito grimaced. “Drop the genjutsu and run for it?”
“That sounds like a terrible plan.”
Still, Kisame ultimately agreed to follow Obito. They dropped down into the Mizukage’s home and loitered near him.
“I don’t think there’s any way to do this gently.” Obito muttered. Unless… “Wait. I have an idea.” Obito would have to bend the truth pretty hard. Again. “Please don’t kill me for this,” he added.
“No promises,” said Kisame. Well. At least Obito could rely on him to be honest.
“First, stay near Yagura. Second, give me your hitai-ate.”
“Kisame pulled it off his head, while asking, “What do you plan to do with—hey!”
Obito snatched the headpiece from his hands and ran to the other side of the room, where he immediately chucked it into Kamui. Goodbye missing-nin evidence.
Obito then hastily broke the genjutsu before Kisame could run over and crush his head like a walnut. Yagura blinked a few times, and shook his in confusion before his vision sharpened on Kisame. The air became oppressive from the rising tide of the jinchuuriki’s chakra.
“You…” Yagura said lowly, “was it you who held me under that genjutsu all this time?”
Kisame blinked and simply said, “No.”
“Yeah, he definitely didn’t do it; Hoshigaki Kisame is on your side!” Obito hollered from the other side of the room.
Yagura straightened up, the oppressive chakra waning. “Well. If it wasn’t you, then who do you claim did it?”
Kisame glanced at Obito. “It was—”
“The truth is it was technically placed by Uchiha Madara.” Obito interrupted. It wasn’t a lie; he was going by that name at the time, after all. Kisame frowned at Obito in warning but Yagura startled.
“What? Uchiha Madara?” Yagura said, shocked. “Isn’t he dead?”
“He’s dead now and will stay dead,” said Obito, firm. Probably. Hopefully. Maybe.
(Obito really should deal with Zetsu at some point.)
“...And so I broke it and you’re free, the end!” Obito finished.
“That may be so, but,” Yagura tightened his grip on his staff, “there’s so much to do; I’ll have to see what’s all been done in my altered state and who else has been compromised.”
“Damage control with your public image might be a good start. You were kind of acting like an asshole,” Obito hedged.
“Considering the rampant corruption and talks of genocide, that’s a complete understatement,” said Kisame, unimpressed with Obito’s waffling. Yagura was starting to look horrified, the crushing aura building up around him again.
“But hey,” Obito said, desperate for a distraction, “You still have someone who knows the whole truth in your corner. Kisame here is all about honesty and killing traitors.”
Yagura turned to look at Kisame. His gaze lingered for a beat too long. “Are you, now?” he asked, in growing interest.
Kisame chuckled, bashful, “I do love killing people who lie to me.”
“He sure does,” Obito interjected. “I know that first-hand!” Or more like fist-chest.
“And how would you handle a jinchuuriki?” Yagura asked, taking a step towards Kisame.
Kisame rolled his shoulders. “I think I could hold my own.”
“They call him the Tailless Tailed Beast!” Obito added, though he was getting the feeling he was being ignored.
Yagura stepped even closer to Kisame with a heated look in his eyes. “You do look like you could actually take me in a fight.” He pet one of Kisame’s arms appreciatively. “I like that in a sharkman.”
“I wouldn’t mind a fight,” Kisame grinned. “I could show you Samehada.”
“How generous of you, though that wouldn’t be the only sword I’d like to—”
Obito coughed loudly. “So! Did you still need me here, or...”
Kisame blushed a horrible purple as he turned to look at Obito. “I’d really prefer it if you left now.”
“Got it.” Obito whirled away into Kamui as fast as humanly possible. He would check in later. Much, much later.
With that, the genjutsu broken and Kisame up to god-knows-what with the Mizukage, Kiri would turn out just fine.
...Probably. Rin would call it good effort, right? The important thing was that Obito tried, he reasoned to himself.
But, Obito pondered, speaking of jinchuuriki...
Obito sidled up to Konan the next day and said, "I think we should revisit the jinchuuriki idea."
"Explain," she said.
"I don't mean collection, I mean recruitment. Sanctuary. They're treated pretty horribly for something basically forced on them. Half of them are just kids."
Konan’s expression didn’t change, waiting for Obito to continue.
"Plus one of them is Naruto's age," Obito threw in. "We could probably go get him first."
"You're asking me to help you kidnap a child." It wasn't a question.
"Technically, yes," Obito admitted, "but I think of it as liberation from an abusive situation."
"Did you discuss this with Kakashi?"
"What?" Why would Obito ever bring up Akatsuki plans with Kakashi?
"Most couples make the decision together if they want to have more children," Konan said slowly, like Obito was a fucking idiot.
He had no idea what she was on about. "...But you'll help me kidnap the kid, right."
Obito was a fucking idiot.
The kidnapping itself went off without a hitch. It just didn't register with Obito what he'd exactly done until he was back in Kamui, looking down at a grumpy Gaara, who was all of one year old. Someone would have to raise him, and Obito had essentially volunteered himself.
He tried to sneak quietly back into the apartment with a squirrely child poking at him with sand when Kakashi shot out of their bedroom and zeroed in on them.
"Is that a baby," Kakashi said, face deliberately blank.
"Uh," Obito said intelligently. Gaara jabbed him in the cheek with sand.
"Is that... the Kazekage's son?"
"Yeah, but he's also the jinchuuriki of the Ichibi."
Kakashi gave Obito a withering look.
Obito almost managed not to wince. "...Surprise?"
"Are you kidding me? You can't just go around kidnapping—wait." Kakashi paused and pushed up his hitai-ate and peered at Gaara with his Sharingan. After a few moments, Kakashi said, "His seal doesn't look right. It's... incomplete."
Obito looked down at Gaara. "Incomplete how?"
"If I'm looking at this right, it'll cause a leak of the tailed beast’s chakra into his system, and could eventually be physically or mentally destabilizing, if it isn't already."
"You can fix it?"
"Maa, probably. I've looked enough into Naruto's seal matrices that I could whip up something."
"So..." Obito asked, "can we keep him?"
"Well. I'm not in the mood to cause an international incident tonight."
"...Are you in the mood for anything else?"
"You're sleeping on the couch."
Obito deserved that.
Gaara was a very shy and prickly child. He also slept what would be a worrying amount for other babies, but he apparently had a year's worth of sleep to catch up on thanks to that half-formed seal. If Tsunade wasn’t too worried, Obito wouldn’t be worried.
Obito did worry about Gaara being spotted and recognized out and about in Konoha, but Kakashi’s mom club came to the rescue.
“They’re spreading a rumor that we found him in the Forest of Death, where he was being raised by giant raccoons,” said Kakashi after one of his meetings.
“And people believe it?” Obito asked, incredulous.
“People believe a lot of things,” Kakashi responded, tone oddly pointed.
Obito just figured he was still mad about the whole “I forgot to tell my boyfriend I was bringing home a new child” thing.
Having a baby that could throw tantrums with sand was also... a challenge. Bath-time took tactical planning.
"You could give him dust baths, like a chinchilla," suggested Sasori as he peered into what used to be the bathroom.
Obito shoved a caulking gun into the puppeteer's hands. "Just help me fix this before Kakashi gets home."
On the upside, Naruto and Gaara adored each other. They became two peas in a jinchuuriki pod. And Kakashi tried to deny it, but he was also totally smitten. Obito caught Kakashi dancing around with a giggling Gaara in the living room on more than one occasion. Gaara, in turn, deigned to be only held by Kakashi. Gaara hadn’t forgiven Obito yet for the botched bath attempts. Obito couldn’t believe someone that early on in cognitive development could hold a grudge for that many weeks, but here he was, being snubbed by a baby. At least Naruto still liked Obito, but Naruto liked everybody.
However, and most importantly of all, Kakashi finally allowed Obito back into the bedroom.
Obito had to admit: real life was pretty okay.
Obito then remembered he should get around to dealing with Zetsu. And that asshole Danzō, who was now blocking a potential peace treaty between Konoha and Kiri. Fixing that would make for a nice wedding gift for Kisame and Yagura.
The plan to deal with Danzō came from none other than Orochimaru, because he was a melodramatic bastard. Obito immediately agreed to it, because a melodramatic bastard plan was absolute catnip for any Uchiha.
That had to be how Mikoto managed to find out about it and join in.
“For Kushina,” she said to Obito, resolute.
“Mm hm,” Obito agreed a bit too loudly.
“And perhaps you and your family can come by for dinner after you stop playing dead,” she added. “Itachi loves when he gets to see you and your little club.”
Convincing Konan and Nagato to join in was just as easy, in hindsight.
Obito went to pay them a visit in Ame. “Hey, Konan, Orochimaru wants to—oh, who’s this?”
A little girl with green hair peered from behind Konan with a smile. “Hi!” she said with a wave. Obito waved back.
“This is Fuu, we adopted her,” said Nagato, never sounding prouder. He was also covered in glitter.
“Congratulations on the kid; when did this happen?” Obito asked.
“Konan mentioned your escapade to Suna, and your jinchuuriki idea…”
“So we discussed it, took a trip to Taki, and here we are,” Konan said with a little smile as she threaded her fingers through Nagato’s.
Nagato smiled back. “Yes. To truly care for children, to show them love despite the pains of life, to change the generations that follow us for the better… perhaps that’s the true path to peace.”
“Yahiko would like that,” Konan said, her face soft and warm as she leaned into her partner.
“Yeah,” said Obito, “imagine where you’d be if Danzō never helped orchestrate a plot with Hanzo to kill him and destroy the Akatsuki.”
They both turned to look at him.
“...Didn’t I tell you about that?” Obito asked.
“No,” Konan said, frigid, “no you didn’t.”
Itachi got the Very Important role of helping Shisui babysit the kids during the plan.
“Well, I guess I can watch them for a couple hours. How hard can that be?” Shisui asked.
Obito coughed awkwardly.
The apartment was a madhouse in short order, with Akatsuki running about and sand already getting everywhere. Itachi refused to let anyone else hold Sasuke. Kabuto accidentally let loose a few venomous snake “pets” he snuck in from Orochimaru’s hideout. All the kids got to play Sit in the Center of the Kitchen Table and Not Die for a tense thirty minutes while they hunted the snakes down. Naruto was happily screaming for no reason when Konan and Nagato finally arrived with Fuu in tow.
“Let’s play!” Fuu said, running up to a harried Shisui as glitter started to tumble from her hands. Kabuto observed from where he was now hiding behind the couch, fascinated.
“No, Fuu, glitter is an outside activity; you know not to do that indoors if you can help it.” Konan chided. She then paused, and added, “But you may pelt Shisui with glitter every time he swears,” she declared.
“What?” Shisui squawked, pointing to Hidan, “What about him? He swears every other word!”
“I fucking do,” Hidan agreed, genial.
“I don’t want to have to vacuum every two minutes instead of ten if he comes to visit. Besides, someone in this organization ought to be a good role model.”
“Glad you agree,” Konan said, beatific.
“...I think I just accidentally joined your not-terrorist thing,” Shisui said faintly to Obito. Obito patted his shoulder in sympathy.
“Did you want a coat too, Shisui?” Itachi asked.
“I’ll pass,” Shisui said, pained.
An hour later, Obito blanketed his strongest genjutsu over the participants, and tucked himself in the corner of the Hokage’s office as he waited for everyone to get into position.
Orochimaru kicked it off. He waltzed into the Hokage’s office like he was never exiled, taking Hiruzen and Danzō by surprise.
“Oh dear, am I interrupting something?” Orochimaru asked in faux concern.
“Orochimaru,” Hiruzen said, grave.
“You’d be so arrogant to walk into Konoha alone?” asked Danzō.
“You call me arrogant?” Orochimaru asked with a scoff. “Wouldn’t my dear sensei love to know the extent of your dealings.”
“No matter. You’ll be dealt with in short order,” said Danzō, activating a security seal.
For a moment, nothing happened. Then a counter-seal matrix flared up on the wall as a few ANBU shinobi slammed headlong into the now-locked window like confused birds.
Orochimaru smirked, not taking his eyes off his targets. “I don’t intend to be interrupted.”
So of course the door burst open to reveal the rest of the Sannin.
“Gasp! Orochimaru! What are you doing here?” cried Jiraiya, overdramatic. Tsunade kept a straight face, though her eye twitched.
Hiruzen’s eyebrows raised a fraction. Danzō didn’t seem to notice.
“Ah, Jiraiya, Tsunade," said Orochimaru, "I’m merely correcting an oversight on our dear sensei’s part.”
“Oversight?” Hiruzen asked. “And what would that be.”
“Sensei,” Orochimaru chided as he tipped his head to the side, “You can’t honestly think Danzō ended his fun with Root just because you asked.”
Danzō interrupted, “You’re actually entertaining the ramblings of this madman? Who experimented on our village’s people?”
“Who’s to say I’m still that madman?” Orochimaru challenged. “People change, find a new direction in life. Perhaps I’ve… turned over a new leaf.”
Tsunade coughed to cover up a laugh and Hiruzen looked at him with complete incredulity.
Orochimaru continued, undeterred, "In any case, Danzō orchestrated those experiments anyway; I have the evidence to prove it," He threw a file on Hiruzen’s desk. “These are copies of my experiment documentation and correspondence that connect back to him and Root.”
Danzō scoffed. “How can we possibly trust these forgeries?”
“You can when it’s corroborated with our intel,” said Jiraiya, dropping his act.
Tsunade smiled with a nasty upturn of her lips, “Oh, for example, medical records and death certificates that didn’t add up, and comparing any that “disappeared” to my secret back-up copies. That can be so awfully revealing.”
“You’re working with Orochimaru, then? You’re all traitors!” Danzō cried.
Jiraiya snorted. “Yeah, says the dickbag still going behind the Hokage’s back with Root.”
Obito dropped the genjutsu hiding the others, one by one, as they accused Danzō.
“He sided with Hanzō. He was responsible for Yahiko’s death,” Nagato hissed as Konan looked on with cold fury.
“He pinned the Kyuubi attack on all of the Uchiha!” Mikoto spoke up, outraged.
“He asked me to kill the Sandaime,” Kakashi called out. “I literally snitched on him, but Danzō’s somehow still here and not rotting in T&I.”
“Wait, seriously?” Obito asked. “You never told me that.”
Tsunade turned to stare at her former teacher. “What the fuck, sensei?”
Danzō attempted to make a break for it, but the rest of the Akatsuki blocked the exits.
“Give it up, Danzō,” said Jiraiya. “We’ve got you dead to rights.”
“Are you all mad?” asked Danzō. “Working with these terrorists? These agents to undermine our village?” He turned to Hiruzen. “Don’t you see, Hiruzen? What I did was for the good of Konoha!”
“But at what cost, Danzō?” said Hiruzen, pale.
“Cost? To protect against terrorist organizations such as them!”
“I have no idea what he’s talking about,” Obito lied outright.
“Yeah, sensei,” said Jiraiya, “these guys are just a bunch of babysitters.”
“ Babysitters ?” Danzō cried, “These are the Akats—ARGHH!”
Mikoto shot forward and stabbed Danzō through his face with a viscious thrust of her sword. He fell over dead in an undignified heap. “That’s enough of that,” she said. She gave Obito a little wink.
Hidan whistled lowly. “Nice.”
“Oh...That was it?” Sasori asked.
“I didn’t get to kill anything,” Kakuzu grumbled. The other shinobi murmured in agreement. Hiruzen sat silent at his desk, white as a sheet.
Obito had an impulsive thought. Since everyone was here, already itching to fight, why not go and find...
The moment Kakashi said, “Wait, where did Obito go?” Obito fell back into the Hokage’s office via Kamui, with a snarling Zetsu in tow.
“Quick, kill it!” Obito shrieked.
“What the hell is that thing?” Tsunade shouted as she threw a full bookcase at Zetsu.
Kakashi’s hand lit up in lightning, and he slammed through Zetsu’s side while Hidan took a swipe with his scythe from overhead. Zetsu pulled away, reforming, as Sasori and Kakuzu went in to attack.
“Mikoto!” Obito shouted to get her attention. She took one look at him and nodded. Together, Mikoto and Obito let loose their strongest fire techniques, finally capturing Zetsu between a column of flames.
“Mother, I’m sorry!” Zetsu cried out as he burned. “I could not free you from your lunar prison!”
“Really breaks my heart,” Obito said, sarcastic.
Zetsu looked pretty dead, but Obito set the ashes on fire again to be sure.
“That was all for his fucking mother?” Hidan asked, appalled.
“His mother,” Kakazu repeated, just as horrified. “Not for the money, or anything else.”
Mikoto, on edge, Sharingan swirling, bared her teeth at them, “What’s wrong with that?”
Hidan and Kakuzu quickly averted their eyes.
“And what did he mean by lunar prison? The moon?” Orochimaru mused.
“It was probably something fucked up, like aliens.” said Tsunade. “Grandma had some wild stories.”
There was a beat of perturbed silence.
Hiruzen took that moment to survey the carnage in his office. He pulled off his hat. "That's it. I'm done."
"Done? So who will—"
"Pick anyone, who cares." He dropped the hat on the desk and strolled out the office doors, past an assistant.
"Uh, sir, where are you going?"
"I'm getting fucking drunk and reconciling with my son!" Hiruzen called out over his shoulder.
The rest of the shinobi stood awkwardly in the Hokage's office, circled around Danzō's corpse and Zetsu's smoldering ashes.
"Uh. Who's going to be Hokage, then?"
"Not it," said Tsunade and Jiraiya simultaneously.
"I want to be Hokage," said Orochimaru.
"Maybe later, if you're good," said Tsunade.
"I'm technically already leading Ame," Nagato said, apologetic. Konan shrugged her shoulders.
Kakashi looked at Obito. "I know you wanted to be Hokage someday, but—"
"Yeah. I'd probably need to ease people into the fact that I'm still alive, first." Also running the Akatsuki while acting as the adoptive father of two jinchuuriki already took a fuck-ton of work.
Hidan spoke up, "I could—"
"NO," everyone shouted.
"Honestly," Mikoto finally huffed, and picked up the hat as she walked around the desk and sat down.
"I'm the Hokage now," she said.
And that was that.
It was around Naruto's fifth birthday when Obito finally admitted he ran a sort-of-terrorist organization.
"I know," said Kakashi.
"I was just humoring you with the "Babysitter's Club" when you refused to back down on it. You think I can't recognize S-rank missing-nin? The Akatsuki? I know. I know you've orchestrated peace treaties throughout the Elemental Nations, staged liberation of other jinchuuriki to Kiri and Ame, and that Orochimaru was at our fucking housewarming party."
"Oh." Obito didn't really know what to say.
“I didn’t care. It didn’t matter.” Kakashi opened both his eyes to look at Obito. “You still came back. You came back to me, Obito.”
"Besides, you are absolutely the worst liar I've ever met," Kakashi said fondly, as he pressed a kiss to the corner of Obito's mouth.
Obito grinned, besotted. “Maybe you just know me too well."
Kakashi peppered his face with a few more kisses. "Mm, I do, my adorable crybaby loser."
"I'd do anything and everything for you, you beauty-marked asshole." Obito leaned his body closer into Kakashi.
"I have a few ideas for what you could do for me now." Kakashi's hands roamed lower as he whispered in Obito’s ear, “How about I go put on the kitchen apron?”
"I—I'll get someone to babysit the kids," Obito moaned.
It all fell apart because of stupid Bakashi, but it fell together again.
Obito’s glad he stayed.
Much, much later, in the afterlife:
"Obito, why is Kushina running at you like she's about to kill you again?"
"Oh fuck, Kakashi, there was something I forgot to tell you—"