Kizashi hated war. He hoped that none of his children would ever have to go through it. He could hear bombs go off in the distance.
“You okay there, kid?” his captain asked him.
He nodded, despite himself.
He was nineteen years old at the time, still unsure, still insecure. They were ambushed then by Iwa nin. Explosions spread through the area, and his comrades moved forward to attack. He followed his squad, and they began to fight.
He drew out his kunai.
A kunai whizzed past him, he sensed a chakra signature between the bushes, and he split apart into cherry blossom petals that faded out. All of this happened in a split-second.
“Where did he go?”
He reformed a split second later behind his assailant with a kunai to his neck.
Kizashi remembered his father say something like this in his Suna dialect. His father’s hair was black—thick inky black—and he’d made sure to dye it. It used to be light pink.
“There’s the body-flicker. ” He demonstrated by flickering out from his position to the tree. “You can move very fast from one space to another,” he called out from the tree. “They mistake it for time-space teleportation.”
“Then there’s our stuff—the Haruno clan’s bloodline limit, actual teleportation,” his father continued. “But I don’t bother correcting people when they mix it up with body-flicker, because it’s pointless.”
Kizashi agreed with another nod. “Yeah, either ways they dunno where you’re coming from.”
His father had a scar on his face over his left eye. It was from the Second Shinobi war.
“A split second,” his father said. “That’s all that’s needed to be very fast. Not even the Uchiha or the Hyuuga can know when you’re coming cause you’re temporarily intangible and then—”
His father demonstrated, flickering out—as Kizashi blinked his eye he thought he saw his father disappear—and he reappeared behind him, and he held a kunai to his neck.
“Now the thing is,” he said, as he put away his kunai. “We ain’t well known or anything, because it’s kind of rare in family, for one. Two, most of the family’s dead. Three, they kept mistaking it for body flicker, so we kind of gave up. So we’re not really registered in Konoha as an official blood limit. Not really. Cuz we’re refugees, and I was kind of notorious during the Second War.”
“So to sum it up. The body flicker is not teleportation. Our bloodline is teleportation.”
His father stuck his pinky in his ear and twisted it vigorously. “Yeah. Simply put. But they still find it hard to get."
“You’re good at the body-flicker, kid.”
Shisui turned around to see the Konoha-nin who complimented him.
“Thanks,” he said.
That’s when they both flickered out of the way of an attack. When Shisui reappeared, and he cast a genjutsu on the Iwa-nin, the other Konoha nin braced himself. Shisui glanced his way.
Normally, Shisui thought, when someone performed the body flicker technique, you could sense their movement if you were good at sensing chakra—or you were an Uchiha and you could use the Sharingan to see him move.
That wasn’t the case with the petal-haired man. It was as if he vanished, and he was non-existent for that split second.
Shisui didn’t give much thought to it at the time, but he supposed it was like the Yellow Flash.
“There is one moment when we are vulnerable,” his father said. “When we are disintegrating.”
He began to separate then, and if Kizashi doubted if his father was messing with him about the bloodline limit—he certainly couldn’t say anything now. One-half of his father, and the other splitting apart into fading cherry blossoms.
“But if we’re disintegrating so quickly—”
“Sometimes, we just don’t have the chakra to disintegrate quickly enough in a split-second. Sometimes, your disintegration will be slower. You can always disintegrate slower.”
“Oh. I see.”
His father disintegrated again, and he reappeared in front of him.
“A lot of our clan members thought they were invincible,” he murmured. “They were wrong. That’s why they are dead.”
Kizashi had always been average in his abilities unlike his father, and war disgusted him. They say that his grandfather was a legend, and his uncle was one of Suna’s heroes. But his father gave up on Suna, when he fled from Suna, over the scorching sands with Suna Shinobi on his tail.
Kizashi wasn’t a war-hero, unlike his good friend, Minato, but he was recognized. He's called Strawberry flash, because they think he copied Minato's technique. Kizashi gained prominence during the war for his teleportation abilities, which they assumed he got from Minato. But no one but observant Minato knew the truth.
He knocked on the door to the Hokage’s office.
Minato put down his papers, and he smiled at him.
“Hey, Strawberry Flash.”
“I bet you think you’re so funny, Minato.”
Minato grinned at him.
As Minato became Hokage, the Harunos were finally added to the bloodline limits of Konoha, and Kizashi and his father were the last two living Harunos with the bloodline limit. The latter was out of service and in retirement from the shinobi world. He got promoted to Jounin.
“Now, about your mission…”
He kissed his beautiful wife, and their baby daughter goodbye that night. Mebuki leaned into him, and she wrapped her arms around his waist, while he carried two year old Sakura out the front door. To name her Sakura—his father had said—was a bit on the nose. But his wife had wanted her named Sakura, and if Mebuki wanted the moon, he'd get it for her.
Sakura gurgled at him, and she attempted to catch his nose.
“Do you have to go?” Mebuki asked him, as she leaned into his back.
“You make it so hard to go, you know?” he chuckled, he turned around, and he leaned forward and kissed her on her forehead. He pressed his forehead against hers. She sighed.
Kizashi then put on his ANBU mask, and he handed Sakura out to his wife.
“I’ll be home soon.”
With that, he left her, slowly fading out into petals, taking one last look at his wife.
It was a day long fight, and the sun was setting on him. He was the last one standing. He was low on chakra, and he shouldn’t have done it. But it was instinctual.
He felt the bomb go off.
Kizashi remembered his father’s words, as he was caught in the explosion—mid-disintegration, and the petals caught in the searing heat—and he was violently hurled out of the disintegration, and he was bleeding out—half-formed, half petals.
“That’s a pity.”
He looked up at the missing-nin making his way up to him. He thought of Konoha and his friends. He thought of his Father. He thought of beautiful Mebuki. He thought of Sakura. He closed his eyes.
I’m sorry, Father. I should have remembered your advice sooner.
I’m sorry, Mebuki.
Sakura... Papa wants you to be happy. Make lots of friends. Live longer.
The missing-nin reached for his scroll. He smiled as he released the explosion tag.
Seven years after the war, and Shisui was on patrol that morning. He scratched the back of his head as he opened his flask of tea as he stood atop the rooftop in the civilian district.
That’s when a pink-haired girl appeared behind him, and he almost dropped his flask, and he whipped around to throw a kunai in her direction. She flickered out again reappearing some distance away.
“Hey!” she spluttered while shaking her fist at him. “Nin-san, that’s dangerous!”
Shisui peered at her with incredulity and sharingan active. Did she just...?
“I meant no harm, I swear. I just wanted to beat Ino-chan!”
“Did you just perform the body- flicker technique?” he asked her. She couldn't have been older than Sasuke.
“Um?” She looked at him before lying—and he knew it. She nodded with a smirk. “Yeah. Anyways, I gotta get to the academy, so I can race Ino-chan. Bye bye.”
Shisui widened his eyes. Technically, Body-Flicker was moving at very fast speeds. It was almost untraceable. Almost, being the key word. But the Sharingan could see chakra. She wasn't using Body-flicker.
Because he couldn’t trace her.
She reappeared on the other rooftop for a brief moment, before he caught sight of petals. It felt like deja vu.
He had to stop her from performing jutsu without doing something dumb or falling from great heights, when he felt someone appear behind him. He turned around to see the Yondaime.
“Yondaime-sama!” he exclaimed. “The kid—she—”
The Yondaime sighed. “It’s not body-flicker, despite what she likes to tell people. It’s a bloodline limit.”
Shisui blinked at him.
“The Haruno family has been telling everyone that it’s a body flicker technique for years now. But her bloodline limit enables her to teleport, a mix of what is considered wind release and earth release, from what I understand.”
Shisui had heard something of it from Sand, but he was sure that most of the Sand shinobi who had it were dead for years now.
“I only know this because her father and I were good friends, and I’d joke around with him about being Strawberry flash," Minato continued.
“Is he around?” Shisui asked. He hadn’t heard about the petal-haired man in years.
Minato shook his head sadly.
“He gave his life in service to the village during an S-ranked mission six years ago."
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
“In any case, the council won’t stop hounding me about Sakura-chan since they found out about that bloodline limit, after being duped by her grandfather and father for years,” he said with a sigh. “Sorry, if she startled you.”
“Oh, it’s alright,” Shisui said. His flask of tea was still intact anyway. “I think I know now how my clan feels around me. What are you doing out here, Hokage-sama?”
Minato held up a paper filled with crayon drawings and Shisui squinted. “My son knows about her bloodline limit, and that’s dangerous. I have to beat her to the academy to stop her and Naruto from pulling off a potentially pesky prank on their peers."
Shisui blinked before laughing uncomfortably. “Would you like me to do it, if you're too busy?"
"It's good for me to stretch my legs once in a while, and the pair of them are a handful," he said. "I should get going. See you, Shisui.”
"Have a good day, Hokage-sama."
Minato teleported out with a flash, leaving Shisui to process this new revelation.
Naoki Haruno used to be well known as ‘Body-flicker Haruno of Suna' during the Second Shinobi war. He fought in the Third Shinobi war as a Konoha-nin, but 'Body-flicker Haruno' was overshadowed by some of the other big names. These days, he was just Grandpa—to his granddaughter—and Father—to his daughter-in-law.
These days his hair is no longer dyed, it’s just white.
He liked his walks, his family and little else. He occasionally remembered the past, which he never retold anyone except for his son and daughter-in-law.
They were once a proud, terrifying clan from Suna. But as a boy, his clan members often got cocky or thought they were invincible, and the Uchiha often were their most formidable enemies, because of their ability to "predict the future" or trick them into teleporting where they desired and into their deaths. But Konoha-nin were no joke, and the Second Hokage landed a killing blow on his legendary father. The same man's face was on the Hokage mountain of Konoha.
Most of the members of the Haruno died out during the Second Shinobi war and later in service to Suna—leaving him, his brother and two cousins. The cousins left for the Land of Waterfalls.
His brother was one of Suna's best shinobi. Maybe they would have been part of the line of Suna Kazekages. Maybe, Sakura would have been a Suna Kunoichi. Maybe they’d give him the name with actual reference to his bloodline limit.
But life didn't always work like that, and the man Suna calls their Third Kazekage, murdered his brother.
He left the village, married, had Kizashi in the Land of Fire, and his civilian wife passed away from health complications when Kizashi was eleven, and he became a refugee in Konoha, and he fought with Konoha in their war. The Haruno clan was no longer a feared name, just a memory. But some of the older nin remembered him.
“Grandpa!” he heard. He glanced around with a small smile, and his smile fell when his granddaughter disintegrated. He huffed with annoyance, held up his hand, and he yanked her out from the air by her ankle as she reappeared. She stared at him.
“How many times have I told you to not to use it needlessly, brat?”
“How?” she asked him with wonder.
“You’re predictable, kunoichi.”
She pouted at him, and he let her down.
“Want to know what happened at school today, Grandpa?” she asked him excitedly.
He eyed her and nodded.
“I beat Uchiha Sasuke in a spar. You should have seen his face. He looked so so mad.”
“The clan head’s boy?” he asked with a raised eyebrow.
She nodded her head vigorously.
He snorted softly.
“Of course, you did. You’re my grandchild after all.”