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they weren’t mismatched before

Chapter Text

Hatake Kakashi is born bathed in blood, wails echoing throughout the hospital. The nurses hold him with pitying eyes, rocking him gently in an attempt to soothe him.

The father is unresponsive in his grief when the widwives try to hand the baby to him.

Eventually, two men in masks reminiscent of a boar and an eagle come to take the newborn to the Hatake compound alone.

(Hatake Sakumo doesn’t meet his son until days later, the boy having been cared for by shadows the first few moments of his life.

Sakumo’s eyes are full of regret as he gazes at the weeping infant in the crib.)

 

 

——-

 

 

When Kakashi is six, he steps into a quiet house.

He mutely enters the living room, and feels blood soak into his socks.

He stares at his father’s cold body, sword sheathed in his stomach, and wonders why he isn’t surprised.

(Oh. He’d been anticipating it.)

He walks over to the corpse with heavy, resigned steps, and lays his head on his father’s side.

Blood stains his cheek and his hands with every shift, but Kakashi thinks this is what was meant to happen.

 

It was bound to, since his father was a coward.

 

 

——-

 

 

When Kakashi is seven, he meets a bright young man called Namikaze Minato.

Something warm fills into his gut at the sight of him, but he ignores it, as he stares in mild disbelief at the unfortunate highlighter yellow coloring of the teen’s hair.

Kakashi flies through everything Minato teaches him— or at least tries to teach him. Kakashi takes to all of the skills and techniques like a bird in the air, and Minato can’t help but think his protégé went and saved a nation or two in his past life.

He settles for teaching the genius basic fuinjutsu and starts to ramble to him about his theories on jutsu creation.

 

 

——-

 

 

When Kakashi is twelve, he makes his first attempt at creating an original technique.

Minato had already created a powerful swirling sphere of pure chakra and destruction, and well, hey. Kakashi wanted to see if he could do it too.

Kakashi allows chakra to weave between his fingers in the form of sparks, and, like a lighter, the snap of his wrist lights his entire hand up in a somehow familiar, yet overwhelming white electricity.

His arm tingles, and Kakashi revels in the feeling.

The preteen grins under his mask, before promptly collapsing on the ground, courtesy of the burns traveling up from the tips of his fingers to the junction between his neck and shoulder.

He blurrily watches in dazed glee as yellow flashes come streaking toward him in panic from across the field.

 

Success.

 

 

——-

 

 

When Kakashi is thirteen, he meets a frankly annoying boy and a shy girl.

 

(He thinks he’s going to love them, but glares the feeling away when Minato whispers the exact thought to him in a teasing, jovial tone. Tch.)

 

He spends a whole year of his life bickering and wrestling and arguing with the dark haired boy— who had a terrible fashion sense and a horrid obsession with candy, who was slow in learning and as far from punctual as the Land of Fire and the Land of Snow, who had pretty onyx eyes and a heart of gold, who begrudgingly gave thanks to him whenever useful advice was given, who took every opportunity possible to make jabs about his hair, who teared up at the sight of his adorable ninken puppies, who stupidly choked on a sweet during one of the most important moments of his life.

 

He spends a whole year staring blankly and exchanging commiserating glances with the brown haired girl— who was painfully shy around him for a while, who would treat his scrapes and cuts with a pinch to the arm and an exasperated huff, who would join him in rolling his eyes when their teacher would blush around a certain redhead, who had cool purple rectangles marking both of her cheeks that he had never bothered to ask about, who would high five him behind their sensei’s back when she’d manage to squeeze in an undetected, polite insult at somebody.

 

 

Kakashi spends a whole year falling into the routines and familiarity, as if he’d known them for decades.

Chapter Text

Umino Iruka is a cute kid, with his tiny pineapple ponytail and chipped tooth. Hell, even the huge scar dragging across his nose was impossibly endearing.

The kids in the neighborhood absolutely adore him.

They all go on regular expeditions to the local fishing river, and explore and dare each other to do stupid things in the forest close by.

So when these hyperactive, excitement-craving hellions see Iruka sprinting up to their ragtag squad with a grin so wide his scar looks like it’s risen into a curve, they obviously do their duties as friends.

They tackle him into a dog pile.

“Hey, Iruka! What the hell are you grinning about?! Tell us! Tell us!” The little interrogators chorus as they tickle their groupmate.

“W-Wait— AHA!—I got—HGH—!” Iruka wheezes, not able to even finish his sentence.

After thirty seconds of smacking the strongest kid’s leg in surrender, the group finally relent.

Iruka gasps for breath. “I- I found out I have a familiar! Last night!”

The whole band of kids let out varying sounds of awe, eyes sparkling.

Having a familiar was as cool as having a ninja summon. Plus, even a civilian could end up with a summon!

“Show us!” A girl in the group screams in delight.

Iruka pauses, and rubs the back of his neck sheepishly.

“Um... it’s kind of ...grumpy, are you sure about that?” He murmurs.

His friends scoff. “He can’t be grumpier than the old man at the market!” Iruka giggles at this, reassured.

His friends push him into a small clearing surrounded by towering trees, wildflowers scattered everywhere at their feet.

Iruka closes his eyes in concentration, and with a wobbly, mock imitation of a shinobi summoner slamming their hands down onto the earth, Iruka slaps his hand onto a few daisies as he squats.

 

 

Nothing happens.

 

 

“Heeey, Iruka, were you lyi—“

“Shush! Wait for it!”

 

Suddenly, a flash of pure while lightning crashes down in front of Iruka, and the rumbling crack reverberates throughout the forest.

Both Iruka and his friends stumble back at the loud noise.

Gathering themselves quickly, because whoa, familiar, they hop back into the clearing to peer at the furry pile lying in the middle of the charred grass.

Said pile, it turned out, was a wolf that would reach up to little Iruka’s chest if it was standing.

It had still-crackling silvery white fur, reminiscent of the lightning bolt that had just come down in front of them.

One of the girls in the group coo, and reach to stroke the pup. She snatches her hand back with a surprised yelp. The rest of the children back away.

“Haha! It’s fine! That’s my fault. I got a little shock. It’s cool though, my dad works at an electricity mill so he always comes back with his clothes full of static. I’m used to it!” The girl grins, with all of her teeth, as she rubs her index finger soothingly.

As she finishes speaking, they all spin to face the canine when it suddenly twitches.

The kids all jolt as the young wolf’s eyes snap open, revealing ash grey, and its pupils narrow into slits.

 

 

 

“...Man, this is like that dinosaur story my big cousin was telling me about,” one of the boys whisper in excitement, voice holding only a small tinge of fear.

The wolf makes a sound like a huff, as if it’d understood the comment.

Squinting at the beast’s eyes, Iruka thinks it probably did. After all, its expression was that of unimpressed, which, Iruka could identify very well.

The old man at the market wore it at least thrice every day.

Chapter Text

Obito watches in silent horror as the boy with snow hair and stone eyes gently picks up the gleaming, well-polished sword laying on the old tatami.

The boy, in a swift motion, points the blade to himself, and stabs his intestines.

(The young Uchiha bastard wakes up with a gasp, imagining his blood red eyes spinning and spinning and spinning.)

——-

Nohara Rin had never gotten a proper nightmare before.

Well, she was pretty young, so maybe she hadn’t gotten the chance to— of course she’s had childish nightmares, about stupid things like spiders in your closet or weirdly shaped monsters.

They didn’t really count.

She meant a real, terrifying nightmare.

Honestly, it was mostly a result of a happy, stress-free childhood with no particularly scarring trauma or anything. Like her brain was completely new to the idea of vivid hallucinations that resulted in crippling fear that other kids seemed to have had at least once.

So when she opens her eyes to see a handsome boy she doesn’t recognize, with hair the color of her mother’s pristine lab coat, she doesn’t know what to feel.

 

 

 

But she’s frozen in terror when his face suddenly twists and turns into something so sad and agonized and ugly, and she wakes up with a gasp.

(She wonders, with an uneasy feeling, why there’s a phantom pain near her heart.)

It’s the first bad dream of many.

——-

Kushina thinks she’s had her fair share of problems.

Like being the fucking Kyuubi jinchuuriki, telling the other kids in the Academy to fuck off about her hair, and telling Girly Boy to stop fucking staring at her.

So two weeks after stepping into damned Konohagakure, of course her dreams decide to keep her up at night.

She’d expect an angry, mountain-sized burnt orange fox baring its deadly maw at her angrily in her nightmares, but—

Not this.

 

 

She has no control over her body in this dream, too. It’s like she’s possessing someone and watching through their eyes. Her eyes, technically, judging by her reflection. She looks older, again. She’s had this dream three times this week.

Her hands are bigger and calloused yet still slender. They’re shaking. She’s so powerful, but looking so vulnerable now. Why?

 

 

She seems to be staring at the Konoha gates from the inside, waiting for someone to...arrive?

She doesn’t know why such strong worry is piling and worming around in her gut, making her want to squirm and pull at her hair in an attempt to abate it. She feels like she’s holding her breath. Like a tsunami is coming, and she can’t get away from it.

It’s nothing compared to the shocking wave of fury and rage and absolute despair when she sees a boy with hair the color of sealing paper enter the gates, with a blonde-haired man that looks creepily similar to Girly Boy, and a shaking brunette with strange purple markings (who looks like she’s desperately trying not to break down and cry) in tow.

The boy has a huge, fresh and barely-healed slash running through one of his eyes that’s red and sore-looking and probably going to scar.

(Her heart is telling her that something’s gonesomeone’s missing—)

Kushina decides the rush of negative feelings are because of the boy.

She hates him now.

——-

Four year old Sasuke knocks on his older brother’s door with raspy, shaky breaths, and croaks, “Nii-san, I had that dream again.”

Itachi slides the door open, and guides his crying sibling to his bed.

They both lay there, Sasuke tucking his head into his brother’s collarbone.

“Do you want to talk about it?”

“...”

“Otouto, I’m here for you. I don’t mind listening.”

Sasuke takes a deep breath. Then, he softly tells his brother of what he’d seen in the night.

“There was a great, orange fox in the middle of the village, and—

——-

Six year old Uchiha Sasuke freezes as he catches a glimpse of arctic silver under a street lamp, the darkness of Konoha in the night making it glow an eerie yellow in contrast.

He finds himself running, before his mind can even catch up to his body, trembling hands grabbing and grasping at the bewildered young man’s sleeve.

Sasuke thinks he forgets how to breathe, when he looks up to see a mask, painted carefully with bold, striking crimson strokes to imitate a hound.

The canine’s eye sockets hold a dusty grey, and the cardinal red of a Sharingan.

“Kakashi...?” Sasuke whispers.

ANBU Captain Inu blinks.

——-

Rin sees black spots in her vision.

With great effort, she drags her eyes to her teammate’s face, away from his shaking arm, that has charred her heart and burnt a hole into her ribs.

Ka...ka...shi...”

Rin watches as the black spots grow into smudges, consuming her sight.

Rin watches, before the darkness can take her, as a familiar image comes together and unravels in front of her.

Rin watches as her friend, the boy with dove hair, lets his expression twist and contort into one of crippling horror and a desperate kind of fear, hot tears leaking out from Obito’s eye, and with dawning realization, Rin thinks—

Oh.

Chapter Text

 

Iruka was fighting. Hard.

The newly-minted chuunin had been sent to intercept a group of spies from Iwa that had stolen intel from one of the Konoha bases.

He’d been dispatched along with a group of other chuunin. However, there was a shortage of shinobi due to the war, so there were two unfortunate young genin stumbling behind the squad unsurely.

They were sprinting through the trees with kunai in their hands, ready to kill on sight.

The team leader barked out an order to attack when the Iwanin had suddenly come into view, running on the leafy branches in front of them.

The chuunin sprung into action, genin faltering but following soon after.

Iruka threw the blade at an enemy’s neck with deadly precision, red spraying haphazardly as the man fell through the canopy to join the growing pile of bodies.

Iruka’s head snapped up as he felt the presence of someone behind him, and swiftly bent down into a bridge, narrowly missing the katana aimed for his throat.

He quickly grabbed an exploding tag from his weapon pouch, and slapped it onto the man’s torso as they tried to rebalance themselves.

Iruka jumped out of the blast zone to join the rest of his team’s wild bloodbath, watching with a grimace as the Iwanin scrambled, panicking as he tried to take the tag off, and promptly burst into charred bits.

 

Iruka sucked in a breath as he suddenly heard his team leader cry out. “RUN! TRAP!”

The genin yelped and legged it.

The children run faster than I ever could, Iruka thought wryly.

Iruka turned tail to join the rest of his team, only for two enemy nin to drop from the branches in front of him and the kids, a last resort to kill anybody attempting to run from the trap.

Iruka jumped at them, kunai at the ready, to allow the young genin to escape. They were only eight.

They looked at him in awe and fear, tears in their eyes as they booked it away from ground zero.

Iruka watched, while he’s pinned down brutally by the other shinobi, as the large explosion seemed to swell from the surreal amount of tags on the ground in slow motion, into a bloom of blinding white and orange.

Bang.

——-

Iruka blearily blinked his eyes open, smelling charred flesh and blood.

Only to see silver fur obscuring his vision.

He looked around, finding his team all alive, piled up and groaning on the dirt beside him.

Iruka sighed in relief. It was probably the enemy ninja emitting the disgusting smell.

Iruka directed his attention back to the animal in front of him, who was giving him quite a mean side eye.

The wolf growled— it was way bigger than Iruka remembered. When he’d last summoned it as a kid, it’d reached to his waist.

(Well, he was kind of guilty about not summoning it for a few years. But in Iruka’s defense, the few times he’d tried, it just hadn’t appeared. Busy, much?)

Now, Iruka noted with a shiver, it was a hulking beast, a full head taller than Iruka. He gulped.

The white wolf seemed to have static all around it, dangerous sparks running through its fur and making it stand on end.

Iruka coughed, and shrunk back as the massive canine turned fully towards him to level a glare at him.

——-

“Why the fuck did you call me? Can’t you handle this shit yourself?”

Iruka blinked as the wolf ground out these words.

That was unexpected.

Why the fuck did it sound like a preteen? Scratch that— it talked?

What the fuck?

“You can talk?”

No, of course not,” his summon drawled, sarcasm saturating its voice. Iruka narrowed his eyes.