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Way back when

Chapter Text

“I’m home!” Obito calls out, sandals off in seconds and rushing into the kitchen with a skip in his step.

“Welcome back,” comes the reply, only one voice this time. Obito has long since stopped asking where they go when they’re not here. (Too many vague answers and fake smiles.) “Sorry I didn’t pick you up, I thought you’d be out with your new team.”

“No, we all went home after Minato-sensei told us we’d have a test tomorrow,” Obito says.

“Minato,” She hums as if thinking, “Namikaze Minato?”

“Yeah! And I got Rin on my team,” he beams up at her as he pulls himself to sit on the counter. “That Bakashi too.”

“Bakashi?” Sakura asks as she starts to dig around the cabinets, “I though you two got along. Hadn’t Hatake-san even invited you to join their training last week?”

“Doesn’t mean Bakashi isn’t an idiot.”

She chuckles at that, “You’re starting to sound like Sasuke.”

“Better than Naruto,” a deep voice says from behind, completely ignoring the protest that follows.

“Oh, good, you two are just in time,” Sakura smiles but Obito doesn’t miss the way her eyes scan over their bodies. He’s seen them come back from wherever they go often enough to know she’s checking for injuries. “I’ll leave the rest to you then, there’s still something I need to wrap up.”

“Want me to come with?” Naruto asks as the pink haired woman breezes past.

“No, no,” she waves a hand at him. “I can handle it, just make sure Obi-chan gets fed and don’t burn the place down.”

One time,” Sasuke mutters as he stirs the contents of the pot on the stove.

He can’t remember exactly when they came into his life anymore; some time before he met Rin. But they just appeared one day when he got back home and never left.

“How were team assignments?” Naruto nudges him, sporting a bright smile that makes his features light up even more. There’s a knowing look in his eyes (there always is, in all of their gazes) that Obito ignores.

“Rin and Bakashi are my new teammates,” he says, kicking his feet out in front of him. “And I got Namikaze-san as my sensei, he seems really cool.”

There is a flash in Naruto’s blue eyes, but it’s covered up so quickly that Obito thinks he imagined it. “Well, he is pretty powerful, one of the strongest in the village.”

“Really?” Obito asks, eyes going wide and an excitement bubbling inside him. “That’s so awesome!”

“Yeah,” the blond reaches out and ruffles his hair, “now go wash up, we can train after dinner.”

Chapter Text

“Did you hear? They were spotted again, this time on the border of Suna.”

“Really? What were they doing?”

Obito steps past the merchant stands, ignoring their gossip as he rushes to meet up with his team. They have a mission today, their very first since they started training together as an official squad. He could barely sleep last night for his excitement.

“Sorry I’m late!” He calls out, waving his arm to grab their attention. With a heavy breath he comes to a stop, “Sakura wouldn’t let me go without breakfast but Naruto and Sasuke couldn’t decide because Naruto wanted ramen but Sasuke-.”

Minato holds up his hands, a placating gesture as much as it is silencing, “It’s fine, Obito. Just don’t do it too often, okay?”

“I’ll try my best, sensei,” he beams, using the smile to cover up his embarrassment.

“You’re family sounds fun,” Rin tells him as they start walking to the Hokage tower.

“More like stupid,” Kakashi huffs. “Who eats ramen for breakfast?”

Rin gives Kakashi a hard look before Obito can say anything, turning bright eyes and a sun filled smile on him as she turns back to continue their conversation. “You should introduce them one time.”

“Oh,” Obito scratches the back of his head, “I’m not sure they like meeting new people, but I could ask.”

 

 

They argue for an hour when he tells them that night. Not the kind they normally have either. This one is hushed and fast with hand signs that Obito doesn’t know mixed in with serious faces as they debate. Obito feels something thick and bitter in the back of his throat, a pressure sitting in his eyes, and a hyper awareness that has his ears straining without his command. Because he caused this. And it’s already too late to take it back.

“Obito,” Sakura gets up from the table, a fierce look in her eyes, “would you tell your team that they’re welcome to come over tomorrow?”

He’s not so sure he wants them to anymore, but he can’t back down now. “Alright.”

She nods, hand coming down onto his shoulder as she starts herding him back to the table, “Now tell us about your first mission.”

“It was stupid,” he bites out, “we had to find this stupid cat and-.”

And there is laughter in green eyes, with two sets of shaking shoulders on either side of him.

He blinks, “What?”

“Memories,” Sasuke tells him, reaching out and poking him in the forehead. He rubs at the spot, a pout on his lips and a glare in his eyes.

“We had to do the same mission,” Naruto clarifies. “Tora, right?”

Chapter Text

He opens the door after missions the next day to find the house sparkles. Obito blinks a few times to clear his vision. None of them are particularly interested in cleaning, and although it’s never truly dirty, their home had always been on the messy side.

“Obito,” Sasuke’s voice carries from down the hall. “If you don’t put your shoes away neatly we’re going through survival training again.”

Obito certainly does not squeak. Such an act is extremely un-shinobi like and he wouldn’t anything of the sort. (Although he does put his shoes away with care.)

“I made them clean everything,” Sakura hums from her position on the couch, book in hand. She sits happily atop the tangles legs of the other two, who are both sprawled unceremoniously on top of one each other.

“I didn’t even know some of that needed to be cleaned,” Naruto whines out from underneath Sasuke.

“That’s because you never bothered cleaning your old apartment,” Sakura sniffs.

Obito can’t help but smile as he clambers over to them, Naruto letting out an exaggerated grunt when he climbs to sit on Sasuke’s back. “My team said they’d be here in an hour,” he tells them as he shifts to get comfortable.

“Good,” Naruto says, “we still have time to sleep.”

Sakura doesn’t protest their laziness for once, only squirming until she can rise from the couch without difficulty. “Obi-chan do you want to nap with these idiots or help me prepare the rest of dinner?”

The words are said sweet as honey, a question that is anything but a choice. “I’ll help.” Because there is the promise of dish duty in her gaze and he’d rather not get stuck with Naruto and Sasuke while doing it.

“Are you excited?” Sakura asks him as he follows her to their small kitchen and starts gathering vegetables from the fridge.

“I guess,” he mumbles, “I just… Is this really okay?”

Sakura blinks at him as she ties a bandana over her hair and forehead, “What do you mean?”

“It’s just…” he fidgets, the floor becoming extensively interesting in that moment. “You guys discussed it for hours yesterday and it seemed…” he doesn’t know how to put it.

A hand comes to rest on his head, “Obito, it’s fine. We were just moving some plans around. We would have done it anyway with how our missions are going lately, so don’t worry about it, ‘kay?”

“M’kay,” he mumbles, earning him a rough flick of the forehead. “Hey! What was that for?”

“What was what for?” Sakura looks at him with wide, entirely not innocent, eyes.

The hour flies by faster than Obito thought it would. By the time there’s a knock on their door the table is full and yet it still feels like something is missing.

“Go, go,” Sakura says, ushering him out of the kitchen, “I’ll wake the idiots.”

Even if they both know they are very much awake. But Obito appreciates it all the same, because this is the first time he’s inviting anyone into his home and the thought has him practically skipping.

He beams as he opens the door to see his team, “Hey guys, come on in.” Even as he says it he’s moving aside for them. “Everyone else is-.” There’s a loud crash cutting him off and he can feel the eyes of his team on him.

“Get up!”

“But Sakura-chan-“

There’s a few seconds of shifting, then a thump and finally nothing.

He rubs the back of his head with a chuckle, “Welcome to my home?”

Chapter Text

There is no sign of destruction when they finally enter into the dining area. Just his three perfectly poised guardians. He bites back a snort.

“So you’re the team we’ve heard so much about?” Sakura smiles, all candy-drop kindness with no hint of the woman that punched through several trees during their training. “I’m Sakura, and these two idiots are Naruto and Sasuke. It’s nice to finally meet you all.”

“The pleasure is ours,” Minato-sensei replies. Obito swears there’s a calculating glint in his sensei’s blue eyes, one he doesn’t understand. And the smiles plastered on the faces of his guardians are tense in a way he hasn’t seen before.

The static atmosphere follows them all the way through dinner, making the experience more awkward than Naruto’s cheer should allow it to be. And it’s not like the blonde doesn’t try, but his wide smiles seem dimmed for a reason Obito can’t place.

“How’d you meet Obito?” Rin asks after another tense silence goes on for too long - Obito has never been happier for her than now.

“The bastard’s an Uchiha.” Naruto points at Sasuke, “When he finally decided to get his head out of his ass and take responsibility for Obito he was stuck with us.” Naruto finished waving a hand between himself and Sakura. They all ignore the way Sasuke reaches around Sakura and smacks Naruto upside the head.

That definitely wasn’t the answer his teammate was expecting if the look on her face is anything to go by.

“They showed up when I was little and never left,” he puts in, because having this whole affair fall back into silence doesn’t sound anything close to satisfying.

“Three strangers show up in your house and you don’t think to question it?” Kakashi looks at him like he’s grown a new head - or never had one at all.

It causes his cheeks to puff out, heating up to something he can only call a blush as indignation makes his chest tight. “They’re not strangers,” Obito argues back. “They were family.”

“That you hadn’t met before,” Kakashi deadpans.

“It’s not unusual,” Minato hums, the first time of the night that the man isn’t giving his guardians a strange look. “Especially for clans as large as the Uchiha.”

Kakashi huffs, “That doesn’t change that he hadn’t met them before. They could be lying.”

“Why Kakashi-chan,” Sakura smiles, green orbs alight with teasing, “I’m so happy to see my Obito has someone who cares for his safety so much on his team.”

Kakashi does something then that Obito has never seen before; he blushes. For a second Obito thinks that he’s imagining it, but from Rin’s reaction and Minato’s knowing smile it’s very much real. He gives Sakura a wide eyed look, his dark orbs shining in adoration at his guardian; she truly is amazing.

“You three are shinobi, are you not?” Minato asks during the lull in conversation.

“We are,” Naruto says, although Obito can tell that it is slightly hesitant.

Minato smiles, lips closed and eyes sharper than Obito has ever seen. “Really? I have never seen you three before.”

Sasuke snorts, “And?”

“I know most chunnin and jounin in this village,” Minato says. “With the reserves you three have you’re at least jounin level.”

“Then we’re part of that minority,” Sasuke replies calmly, starting to rise to his feet. He gives Naruto a nudge with his leg, “We’ll start on the dishes, Sakura.”

Chapter Text

Wait,” Minato calls out to the two retreating shinobi. He looks Naruto in the eyes and it strikes Obito like lightening - his sensei and guardian look so alike it’s uncanny. “I never caught your last name.”

Naruto looks almost wistful before closing off, “No, you didn’t.” And with that the blonde ducks into the kitchen area and the sounds of water can be heard. Minato frowns slightly, looking pensively down at the rest of his dinner.

“His family is a hard subject for him,” Sakura speaks up, quiet in a way that Naruto won’t hear. “I apologize for his rudeness.”

“No, it’s fine. I just…” Minato trails off, and it’s the first time that Obito has ever seen a look even remotely close to sad on his sensei’s face.

“You two look alike,” Sakura finishes with a small smile, that knowing look in her eyes - always in her eyes. Minato blinks at her, and Sakura looks back down at her bowl. “He was an orphan.” She reveals, and meets Minato’s eyes with a silent conversation that Obito can’t catch even as he tries.

Rin shoots him a questioning look but Obito doesn’t have any answers.

 

 

 

The dinner ends soon after, the tension held throughout the night calmed to a small burble of what it once was, and although there is still suspicion in his sensei’s eyes as they say goodnight there is curiosity there too. (Obito counts that as a win.)

“I don’t think they like us very much,” Naruto is the first to speak as they shut the door and make their way back towards the living quarters.

Sasuke snorts, “Try suspicious.”

“They’re shinobi,” Sakura points out, “they’re meant to be suspicious.”

“’Sides,” Naruto flops onto the couch, “it just means they care enough about our Obi-chan that they’re willing to put even us under scrutiny.”

“But they didn’t need act that way towards you guys,” Obito huffs, ducking under the hand that’s reaching out to ruffle his hair. “You haven’t done anything to deserve it.”

“Every shinobi has done something to deserve suspicion,” Sasuke tells him, making himself comfortable by shoving Naruto’s legs off the cushions to sit down. “Remember that.”

“But-“

“No ‘but’s,” Sakura starts pushing him out of the room, “now go get ready for bed.”

“But it’s not that late!”

“What did I say about ‘but’s?”

He grumbles all through brushing his teeth and getting changed into more comfortable clothes, but Sakura doesn’t relent and before he knows it he’s being tucked into bed.

“I’m not a child you know,” he complains, because it’s the most he can do in this situation.

“By my standards you are,” Sakura leans down and kisses him on the forehead. “Now sleep, Minato-sensei said you have early training tomorrow, we wouldn’t want you to be late.”

“I’m never late!”

Sakura hums, “That’s not what Rin-chan says.”

“When did she tell you that?”

“She didn’t,” Sakura laughs as he whines in protest that she cheated. “Now sleep,” she calls over her shoulder, exiting the room.

Not even a minute later Naruto sweeps in, a glint in his blue eyes and Obito is about to ask what the blond is doing when Naruto holds a finger to his mouth for silence. He sits on the edge of Obito’s bed, “You’ll be going on your first mission soon,” Naruto tells him. “I want you to be prepared.”

“I am,” Obito huffs out.

Naruto chuckles, “I’m sure you think you are. But, out there…” he shakes his head, “it’s different. It’s not a nice place. They won’t hesitate to cut you down because you’re their enemy, never underestimate anyone, got that?”

“Yeah,” Obito says, because it’s not often that Naruto gives him talks like this, but Obito has fast learned to listen when he does.

“But don’t lose your kindness,” Naruto smiles down at him, small and warm before he looks down at his hands, and it’s then that Obito realizes his guardian is holding something. “I believe that our world can find peace. Not the kind we have now, but a lasting one between all the villages, big and small. That we just need to be brave enough to move towards it, and one day the shinobi world will grow an understanding.” Naruto shakes his head at this, “An old sensei of mine once said that what truly makes a shinobi is not how many they kill, but that they endure no matter what, that they never go back on their ninja way. It’s time you start thinking about what your way is.”

With that Naruto got up, placing a book onto his bed, and ruffling his hair with a found smile before walking from the room.

Obito reaches over and picks the small novel up, the orange color immediately catching his eye. In the dim light of his room he can just make out the title, ‘The Tale of the Utterly Gutsy Shinobi’.

Chapter Text

Obito decides that his ninja way will be to protect his precious people. He also decides that he’ll tell Naruto when he gets back from his mission. It’s the first one that he’ll have outside the village, and despite every warning he’s heard, he can’t help but feel excited.

It’s not a particularly hard mission from what sensei says; they just need to protect a small group of merchants from this part of fire country to a larger trading town by their western border. It’s apparently a fairly common mission, especially in times of relative peace. (Obito has felt the tension in the village rising. Has seen the way his guardians are gone more and more often. Knows that something is brewing on the horizon, but just doesn’t know what.)

And despite the few spats that he and Kakashi get into the mission goes with a hitch. They enter a village on a Saturday.

And it’s on a Saturday that Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura disappear.

If he had known that the talk he had with Naruto would be his last, he would have asked the blond to stay longer. But he hadn’t known, and so he all he had was that brief conversation as the last pieces he could hold onto of his guardians’.

At least, until they returned. Because Obito has to hold out that belief, has to hold onto the hope that one day, when he opens the door to his emptier house, they will be there. Roughed up, but smiling and there.

Only, it’s been five years, and they haven’t been back at all.

Obito is starting to think they never will be.

A hand claps down on Obito’s shoulder and he looks up to find Kakashi and Rin standing there, concern in their eyes as they take in the empty bottles of sake that sit like traitors in front of him.

“It’s worse than usual.” Obito hears Rin whisper as Kakashi helps him to his feet and starts dragging him towards the bathroom, which is probably a good idea considering the way Obito’s head is swimming.

“The idiots going to get himself killed drinking this much,” someone mutters, and Obito thinks it might be Kakashi, but it sounds so close to Sasuke’s voice that his heart clenches the same way his hand does in hopes to find another bottle of alcohol there to drown out the sound.

The next day, when he peels his eyes open, the sun is entirely too bright, and there are two warm bodies surrounding him. The hum of their familiar chakra makes his heartbeat settle back to manageable, and he takes great care in extracting himself from their ‘sandwich of support’. Rin’s words, not his.

There’s no mission today. Minato makes sure that their team isn’t called in for anything the day of and after the day his guardian’s left. All too conscious of what state Obito will be in for those days, and that Rin and Kakashi will be needed.

It’s not that he isn’t grateful, but it feels too much like he’s a burden for them. Like he’s giving them just one more thing to be worried about. It’s not right. That’s not what a teammate should be to their friends - a burden.

At the very least he should make them breakfast. He’s only just pulled out milk and eggs when an ANBU drops in through his window, entirely unfazed by the glass’s worth of milk that now trickles down their mask and uniform.

“Sorry?” Obito tries for, but the mask covers whatever expression might have been there.

“Hokage-sama wishes to see you, Rin, and Kakashi.”

Ah, so it’s someone he knows then.

“Tenzo?”

The ANBU doesn’t reply, simply turns on their heel and leaves the same way they came.

“Definitely Tenzo,” Kakashi’s voice sounds from the doorway. Rin is close behind him.

“You don’t suppose sensei would be willing to wait until after breakfast, do you?” She shuffles into the room, squinting down at the assortment of ingredients that Obito has taken out of the fridge. It’s a sad assortment.

“Or, we could go out to eat after,” Kakashi suggest as he looks down at the milk and eggs. “Obito’s treat.”

“Seconded.” Rin nods, turning to Obito with a look that dares him to say otherwise.

With a sigh he puts the milk and eggs back into his fridge, before turning towards his bedroom to drag on whatever clothes he can find in the next five minutes.

He can’t say he’s looking forward to whatever sensei wants to say.

Chapter Text

Obito is squished between Rin and Kakashi on the small love-seat that Minato has in his office. The blond himself was bouncing his and Kushina’s son on his hip, as Kushina was out on a mission with Sakumo and Minato didn’t believe in nannies that weren’t his team.

(As much as Obito loved Naruto - Kushina had asked him if they could use the name, apparently it was one of the characters in their favorite book, and Obito couldn’t bring himself to so no - the little nugget of sunshine was a terror to look after.)

It’s not until there is the flair of chakra that suggests a privacy seal that Obito really starts to understand that what they’re about to be told is serious.

“This is an S-class secret,” Minato tells them, glancing at Obito for a moment longer than the rest. It makes Obito’s chest feel sour with confused anxiety. “Obito, your three guardians showed up in my office two days ago.”

Hope turned fast into confusion and even faster into anger. How could they come back without telling him? Why would they go to Minato instead? And why wouldn’t Minato tell him?

“I don’t understand.”

Minato lets out a sigh, shifting Naruto to his other hip, “You three know about the rumors that have been going around for the past eight years or so?”

“The ones about the three mystery shinobi?” Rin asks.

Minato nods, “It’s them. And there’s one more thing.” Their sensei pauses here, a frown tugging on his lip and gaze flickering to Naruto for a brief moment. “They’re from the future.”

Obito isn’t sure if the sound of his heart hitting the floor or of his shouted, “What!?” is louder.

 

 

 

An hour, they sit and listen to Minato detail out every aspect of what the trio has done over the past ten years - apparently they came back before they even adopted Obito. There are mentions of coups, of Ame, and Kiri, of smaller nations, and peace, and missing-nin that Obito remembers disappearing without a trace. There is talk of Madara, and a shadow named Zetsu, of saving the world, and biju. It doesn’t exactly hurt to hear, as much as feel empty somewhere deep in his bones. A steady numbness radiating through his muscles that sits in his chest like ice. And maybe that’s worse.

His rational mind, which sounds suspiciously like Rin, says it’s the shock. The shock that they are back, and that Minato has sent the guards that stand vigil outside to T&I to get them. The shock that he feels their chakra signatures walking up the hall, three bright points against the greyness clouding his mind. Obito isn’t sure he remembers how to breathe.

But that doesn’t stop time, and the door opens without care for Obito’s own personal inability to deal.

They’ve changed. Sakura’s no longer wearing a wrap around her head and it reveals a purple diamond that Obito knows Rin has been trying to achieve for years. It’s framed by grey hair instead of pink, even as the rest of her shows no sign of having aged. Sasuke’s hair is longer and Obito swears he’s favoring one side, there are wrappings around his eyes and with the way they seem to sink in Obito doesn’t think they’ll ever come off. And Naruto, Naruto’s chakra is not as overwhelming as before - almost like there is something missing. There are scars on all their visible skin, and Obito swears he can see an overwhelming tiredness through the tears that won’t stop falling. Kakashi and Rin don’t hold him back as he gets to his feet. And for that he’s grateful, because he doesn’t think he’d try again if they stopped him.

They are here. Here and whole, and alive, and maybe it’s not the same as opening his door to find them filling the empty walls of his- their home, but it’s damn close.

“Sorry we’re late,” Naruto is the first to speak, rubbing at the back of his head, “we sorta got lost.”

Sakura smacks Naruto on the back of the head, the movement of her walking forward makes the hit harder than it would have been otherwise. She walks right up to him, smile soft and green eyes full of something indescribable.

Obito’s body moves without his permission, wrapping his guardian in a hug that is returned without hesitance. “Boys,” she calls out, because of course they haven’t changed, and it’s barely a breath later that there are two other bodies joining in the embrace.

He’s still angry. Can feeling is underneath the numbing relief and strange tangling joy that they are here. And he’s absolutely positive he’ll end up in a training ground within the day, because beating them up enough that they have to stay seems like an excellent idea. But, for now, this is enough.

Obito doesn't know how long they stand there for, but by the time they pull apart his tears have all but disappeared. The only trace that they were there at all being the shine on his cheeks.

“Minato should have explained most of it to you,” Sasuke starts, head tilting slightly as he speaks. “We left because we thought we would die. The mission we went on was practically suicidal.”

“We stayed gone because…” Naruto picked up, trailing off as he looked to the ceiling in thought. “Well, because we thought we’d disappear when we were born.”

“You see,” Sakura explained, “we weren’t sure what the consequences would be of coming back, we didn’t know if we would just… cease to exist when our counterparts were born. So we left.”

Obito doesn’t even get a chance to open his mouth before Rin is storming up and standing in front of him. “You left because you thought you’d die?” Rin seethes, “We’re shinobi, we might die every day! How did taking those years away make it any easier for him!?”

“Rin,” Obito murmurs, because saying her name any louder may turn her ire onto him instead.

“It’s why we returned,” Sakura shifts her weight, as if preparing to take a punch. Obito doesn’t blame her, the way Rin’s chakra is flaring makes the hairs on the back of Obito’s neck stand on end.

“That’s no excuse,” Kakashi presses in on Obito’s left.

None of the others seem to see the glitter of humor, and irony, which flickers over his guardian’s eyes. “We’re not making an excuse,” Sasuke says. “We’re simply telling you what we did.”

“Guys,” he speaks up, because his teammates won’t let this go if he doesn’t step in now, “it’s fine. They’re back now and that’s what matters.”

“Obito,” Minato murmurs so softly that he almost misses it.

“How aren’t you angry?” Rin demands are she spins to look at him, a fire in her gaze. It sends a twinge through his heart, because Rin is mad on his behalf, mad because she feels someone has hurt him and it means she cares.

“I-,” he licks his lips, “I am angry.” His gaze skitters towards his guardians, “But I’m happier that they’re home.”

And even as he says it he finds that it’s truer than he originally thought. Because even though he knows it won’t be the same as way back when they hadn’t left, won’t be easy to get used to them being back after so long of feeling pain at their loss, but they’re here. Home, and safe. And that’s enough to stifle his anger at their disappearance, at least for now.

Chapter Text

 

 

Obito isn’t sure how to feel. There are three spots of chakra in the field below, familiar but also not, the same way those three shades of hair are but not.

There are perfect replicas of his guardians waiting in a field. Thankfully, not for him. But Rin had practically tripped into his home the other day, waving about files and talking so fast Obito could hardly catch up.

Turns out Minato-sensei thought it would be best to reenact the past. (Or would that be the future?) On some level Obito understands, because his guardians make for a formidable team, but he questions it because of how they got that power. What they went through. What they lost.

That didn’t change the decision however. Apparently his Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura got a kick out of the news, a strange nostalgia overcoming their expressions at the time. Although they had shown a level of shock at the fact Rin was their sensei. Almost as if she hadn’t been before. Obito doesn’t let himself dwell too hard on what that means. The only candidates that Minato-sensei had with Rin and Kakashi, and for obvious reason Rin was best.

Kakashi appears next to him on his tree branch just as Rin’s chakra flashes into the field with a shunshin, drawing her new student’s attention.

“I guess this means Mei will be Kiri’s diplomat,” Obito says idly, trying to stop himself from thinking too hard about the fact that those are his guardians down there.

Kakashi hums, “Minato-sensei will be ecstatic.”

“Dibs on best man,” Obito smiles winningly at Kakashi, rising to his feet in an easy motion.

“Maa, I think that decision belongs to Rin, Obi-chan.”

“Don't call me that, Bakashi.” Obito suppresses a smile at the familiar start to their banter.

“I could call you my husband instead.”

And then his mind comes to a screeching halt, the only word that it manages is pathetic what? He looks at Kakashi with wide eyes, feeling distinctly betrayed for a moment because Rin promised she wouldn’t say anything. That his drunken confession was safe, and he’s positive he hasn’t told anyone else about how he was planning to propose and now that Hatake had to go and take that chance from him.

Besides, where is the romance in this? He had the perfect date planned out, with roses and sunsets and everything. But no, Kakashi just had to go and- and- Obito’s mind chooses that moment to catch up with him.

“You idiot,” he hisses out, drawing Kakashi in with a harsh tug and pressing their lips together with enough force to make their teeth clack through the bastard’s mask.

“Is that a yes?” Kakashi asks as they pull apart.

“Yes,” he huffs, a lightness spreading in his chest. “But you get to tell Sakura, Sasuke, and Naruto.”

Obito takes a large amount of pleasure at the way all the color drains from his fiancé’s face. But Obito has heard the stories, has seen the way they look at Kakashi. He knows that they’ll approve.

 

 

 

To say he hadn’t expected them to run Kakashi into the ground at training ground three would be an understatement. Not that he disapproves, or anything. It’s just that it’s entirely not how he saw the conversation going.

Sakura sidles up to him, watching with pride as Kakashi is just barely holding his own against her two teammates. “We’re just making sure he’s good enough, is all.” But the shark-smile and humor in her eyes says that there are other motivations that he’ll need to needle out of them later.

And then it’s like something just clicks into place, as if the answer had been there, right in front of him the entire time, and he only needed to reach out and grasp it. “He was your sensei.”

Sakura glances over at him, her sharp green eyes assessing, “Yes. Between Kaka-sensei, Sasuke, Naruto, and I, we made up team seven.”

“Minato-sensei told us-,” Obito shifts, unsure how to phrase what he wants to say. “He told us what you’ve done since coming back.”

Sakura hums.

“But why’d you come back?” He meets her gaze, “Was it really that bad?”

“The world was ending and we were the only ones left to stop it,” she says, flat and yet filled with more emotions than Obito thinks he could ever decipher. She looks away, at those still fighting, a smile slowly crawling its way onto her lips, “We came back to change the world.”

Obito casts his gaze towards Kakashi, and thinks of all the things that would have been different - the things he has gathered from small comments, from facts, and from the way his guardians will look at people and places. Thinks about what was so terrible that they needed all the power they had to fight it. Thinks about Minato dead, Rin gone, and war. Thinks about Konoha destroyed. 

“I’m glad you did.”