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scared of the stars

Chapter Text

Most people who had only seen Kakashi imagined him perfectly. 

They’d tell their friends about him, the mysterious guy who often just sits on a thick branch, half of his face covered by black fabric, one eye covered by his headband. He would seem casual, comfortable even, and stare into the pages of a book. An old classic, they’d think. Maybe even poetry. They would imagine the images written on the paper and dream about the mysterious silver haired guy. He wouldn’t acknowledge those who passed, because he would be too engrossed in the story he was reading. 

«Probably sensitive!» They would say and dream about his voice. 

«Probably handsome!» They whisper and try to peek under the mask. 

The sensitive Kakashi, who would mostly be found reading a book. He would read a certain book again and again, then go back to a previous one, then reread that one. He must be the ideal boyfriend. 

Well… they’d imagine him almost perfectly.

 

Kakashi would ignore everyone who tried to get his attention, not because he was so invested in the story and didn't want to be interrupted, but because he was too lazy and uninterested for human socializing. He was extra careful to cover his mouth during the time he read. No way did he want people to see the crazy grins he made, luckily it was hard to read his expression with one eye covered up. 

What he was reading was not poetry, though Kakashi could start a debate about it. To him it was poetry. A classic. Not the kind he was forced to read at school, he hated those, although he did finish them. 

Was Kakashi sensitive? He would never show that side of him to anyone, but he may be on the inside. 

Was Kakashi handsome? That depended on who you asked. Most would say yes, though it wasn’t something he’d brag about. It was better to make people think he didn't care, that way others got more annoyed. 

He viewed himself as the ideal boyfriend. He wouldn’t have minded dating himself. He was a chill guy, and as most people say - though of course, he wouldn’t admit it himself - he was pretty good looking. 

Okay, maybe people were wrong about it. 

 

 


 

«Ey, Kakashi!» a voice shouted, dragging him out from his thoughts. He looked down from his spot in the tree, balancing his book on his knee. 

Sakura stared up at him, eyebrows raised and hands on her hips. He could hear he scolding voice already, and wasn’t feeling it right now. 

«Hey, Sakura. I see we have both walked on the path of life and ended up in the same place. Namely this tree, maybe its best I stay here to make sure everything goes okay.» He said, forcing a smile and remembering to squint his eyes so she could see it. 

She sighed and closed her eyes, probably hiding the fact that she was rolling her eyes. 

«Maybe you should put that book down and prepare for when you’ll move into the Hokage office?»  She suggested, though her tone wasn’t friendly. Tsunade had affected her in more than just her strength. 

Kakashi let out an exaggerated sigh and covered his face with his hand as if he was a damsel in distress. 

«The war has taken too much of a toll on me. I simply can’t do that just yet. Tsunade has been so great the last years, I'm sure she can act the role a little longer?» He said and hoped his laziness would make Sakura give up. 

She hadn’t moved, neither had she spoken. The birds sang their song while flying past, the kids were screaming and laughing while playing soccer. He could imagine it all so vividly from all the times he had sat at this exact spot. 

«You don’t have to push us all away, you know?» Sakura responded, this time not angrily. He suspected she was trying to put on a comforting voice, but it sounded forced and unsure. 

That was how he had felt lately, forced and unsure. He had forced himself to go on missions, forced himself to eat, forced himself to stand up from his bed in the morning. He had even forced himself to read when normally he had to force himself to put a book down. 

She continued talking «I know you’re still sad about Obito, we all are. I think it could help you to talk about it. To-» 

«There's nothing to talk about.» Kakashi interrupted and jumped off of the tree. He gave her a small smile and a wave. 

«I think I should go get dinner. Tell Tsunade Ill talk to her later, please.» He said and walked off, not waiting to hear her response. He knew her enough to know she wouldn’t pester if he said he didn't want to talk about it, but he didn't even want to say that. Saying he didn't want to talk about it only meant he confessed that something was bothering him. They all had their own worries, and he didn't want to put his emotions on top of them. 

He wanted it all to go back to how it used to be.

Though how far back, he didn't know. To when team 7 got formed? To when he was on a team with Rin, Obito, and Minato? 

He wished he could go back to both at the same time, though that would’ve been impossible. 

He wished Obito was here. That way he would get some of both, he could continue completing missions with Naruto and Sakura, and at the same time have Obito there. 

He sometimes wished he could forget Obitos expression and words when he crumbled up right in front of him. 

But his nightmares would never make him forget. 

Had Kakashi been reduced into a depressive loner after the war? Yeah, he pretty much had, and no one blamed him for it. 

And you know the best thing to do when you are feeling like shit? Make yourself feel even worse by visiting the place he should stay away from. 

The memorial stone, which still had Obito's name engraved. It was a warning for everyone to never forget what had happened, what could happen again and what is currently happening some places in the world. People die. Sometimes in horrible ways. That was the world that Kakashi lived in. 

He just so dearly hoped Obito's name wouldn’t be removed.

 


                                                                         

Even after several years of visiting almost every day, the feeling he got from the stone still comforted him. If he was overwhelmed with anxiety he would stay here and just touch the stone, dragging his fingertips over Obito's name. Sometimes he would talk too, imagining that his past teammate would listen. 

Obito had eventually turned into a comforting idea, someone Kakashi had relied on to stay by his side, even after death. If he was alone he knew he always had Obito to watch over him, the same way Rin watched over Obito. 

This idea had been destroyed during the war when he found out that he had been alive all this time, and that Kakashi had truly been alone. 

Now he was too scared to hope history would repeat itself, scared to think of the possibility that Obito would suddenly come back, alive and well. 

Chapter Text

Does Obito regret sacrificing himself? 

No. 

Did he want to do more with his life? 

Sure. 

He had had one goal for half of his life, and now that was gone. His dream was destroyed in front of his eyes, and by none other than he himself. He had to admit it was pathetic. To think one would waste so much time on something that wouldn’t be accomplished. Well, it did get accomplished, though not in the way he had so dearly hoped. 

If someone had asked which moment he had fucked up, he would answer truthfully. 

He had forgotten. His list of fuckups had gotten so long that half of his life was one big blur. 

He was one big fuckup. That was Obito Uchiha.

What a legacy he left behind. Destruction and fear. People had died because of him, and he had been so far behind that damn mask that he hadn’t even cared. Hadn't mourned. 

At least he managed to have a proper conversation with Kakashi before he left for good. He was happy Kakashi hadn’t come with him to the afterlife, it wasn’t his time yet. He had a lot to do. Especially now in the aftermath of the cold war. 

Wow Obito. You sure are amazing… 

 

There was one thing he knew for certain, and that was that he would do it again. In a heartbeat. 

Not the whole raging on the world and starting a war part, that bit he would gladly discard. It was the last few hours of his life. He would help Naruto and his friend again. He would have given Kakashi his eyes again. 

Maybe he`d do something more. Maybe he would have left a more positive mark of himself in the world. 

Kakashi had forgiven him, even wanted him to continue living. That was enough for him. 

 

Rin looked at him, a suspicious look in her eyes. She was leaning backwards, her arms keeping her upright on the green grass. The sky was bright blue, as it always was here. The faint hue of a cloud would pass by every now and then. Birds were chirping, singing their songs. Did they know they were dead? That their singing and calling for a female bird would be in vain. 

Obito furrowed his brows and ignored the silent question hovering in the air. He didn't have an answer, neither did he truly want to give one. 

He adjusted his goggles, having forgotten the feeling of its shape engraved into his skin by the tightness. Sometimes, you don't miss something until you remember it. 

«Stop it,» Rin said and clutched the fabric of his sleeve. Worry etched her brow.

Obito glanced at her, but looked away immediately. He hated seeing her sad, he hated that he was the reason she felt like this. 

«Stop what?» He asked and adjusted the way he sat, subconsciously moving further away. 

«Stop reminiscing on what could have been.» She replied, making him freeze. Was that what he was doing? 

He bit his lower lip and finally looked her in the eyes. She hadn't changed one bit from how she looked when she was alive. Her eyes were still filled with affection. Her cheeks were painted purple like when she was alive, but now they were permanently pigmented on her skin. Her hair hadn't grown longer either, having maintained the shape that framed her face perfectly. 

Obito was happy she had watched over him all these years. He was happy that when he thought he was all alone, there was still someone by his side. In a way, Rin had been his guardian angel. 

He wasn't in love with her anymore like when he was a kid, but he appreciated her and their connection was deeper than what had been. It wasn't romantic or sexual, but that didn't mean there was nothing there at all. Rin was his hero.

Though he would have lied if he said he was completely happy with how it was. 

«I'm not. Everything is okay.» He murmured and looked away. 

«You don't have to lie to me. I know you, Obito. I know you better than you know yourself.» She said and playfully poked his shoulder, trying to get a smile out of him. 

It worked, though it was far from genuine. 

Obito had been dead for two weeks, and with each day that went by, he felt more and more miserable. Rin had said he would get over the initial shock of it all, but Obito wasn't sure they had the same experiences toward this. Sure, they had both been killed, but they weren't the same people. They approached life differently and were both in different stages of their lived when they died. One would have thought Rin would be the sad one of the two since she had died young.

She had died without any regrets. She had died while walking the path that was right for her. 

Obito had died after making mistakes after another. His path was shaky and unstable. 

He had a thousand regrets, and they lingered on his mind like an invisible curse mark. 

For the first time these two weeks, he let a tear fall.

 

A blinding light enveloped them, silencing every noise and canceling all senses. Rin shielded her eyes, trying to look between her fingers, though failing. Obito was completely stunned, staring at the shape of a man standing in front of them. The light didn't have the same effect on him as everyone else. The man approached him, though he wasn't walking, but levitating. He was sitting in the air as if it was the most normal thing ever. A pair of horns protruded from his forehead, several circle shaped markings were drawn on his collarbone and around his neck. He wore a long robe and a staff in one of his hands. 

«I Am Hagoromo Otsutsuki, or The Sage of Six Paths as you like to refer to me.» He spoke, voice deep and calm. Obito started shaking, nerves catching up to him together with the confusion. Was he finally getting the punishment he deserved? Would he be dragged to another world, one filled with darkness and people whose hearts were filled with their own hatred rather than love? 

«I am here to take you back to the world of the living.» Hagoromo said.

What? 

Chapter Text

It was late. The sun was peeking up from the trees while paying its goodbyes for now. Most of the kids had returned home from playing with their friends, and the only kids who stayed out where genin who had late missions. The teenagers and adults were all either at their homes or out drinking with comrades. Intoxicated laughter echoed through the streets, and every now and then, a brawl would ensue.

Kakashi was the odd one out.

He was standing beside the memorial stone, not particularly thinking about anything, yet not fully gone into his emotions either. Those who didn't know him well would mistake his look for something distant, a glazed expression resembling that of the dead. Those who did know him well, on the other hand, they knew that deep behind his dark eyes was longing. A heavy longing mixed with anguish. He was still in grief, and no one knew if he would ever get out of it.

He touched the stone, something that had become a daily ritual since the war ended.

No, scratch that. It was something that started when he was thirteen and thought Obito had died.

How pathetic wasn't he? He was supposed to be a ninja, but let his emotions take over the second he remembered his past best friend.

He chuckled darkly to himself and shook his head. He would see them again, eventually. Once he died he would join his dead teammates, and everything would be back to normal.

He had cheated death once before, during Pains invasion on the hidden leaf. Maybe that was the wrong thing.

He turned around to leave, not wanting anyone to see his solemn state. It was almost night, and the only things that clutched to the day were the orange beams clutching to the sky.

Then, a heavy thud came from behind him. He jumped around, retrieving a kunai and moving up to uncover his left eye, though he froze when he remembered his Sharingan was no longer there. He furrowed.

Someone laid in front of the stone, face against the earth and dirt covering his hair. He took a wary step forward, not letting his guard drop for even a second. He tried to listen out for any footsteps from the shadows but came up with nothing. He couldn't sense any chakra either other than that from the body in front of him. He leaned down and gently pushed the person's shoulder, trying to wake him up. He wasn't moving.

A groan vibrated from his throat, making Kakashi freeze. It didn't sound threatening.

Kakashi sheathed his kunai and used both of his arms to turn the man around. He was heavier than he looked. Dirt was covering all of his features, making it nearly impossible to see what he looked like. It hadn't rained and there was no soil beneath them. It was beyond him how he looked so tattered and dirty. Maybe he was a ninja who had used a teleportation jutsu to get here. 

Kakashi wiped his cheeks and forehead, trying to get it off, though he eventually gave up and used his own shirt instead, not caring that it was getting dirty.

He stilled, staring down at the face that now was clear as day. He recognized that nose, those cheeks, and lips. The scars that covered half of his face were as clear as they had been the last time he had seen him. He hadn't managed to put the pieces together earlier, because of the white hair, but now he felt stupid for not recognizing who it was.

«Obito?» He whispered, not daring to talk out loud in fear his voice would fail him.

The man didn't respond, though his even breaths alone comforted Kakashi.

He couldn't believe what he was seeing. Obito was supposed to be dead. Kakashi had himself seen his body turn into ash in front of him. This had to be someone else. A lookalike maybe. Did Obito have a secret twin brother he didn't know about?

Now he was squeezing his shoulders, needing every reassurance possible to know he was fully there.

 

It hadn't even taken him a minute to get Kakashi to the hospital. People jumped out of the way, staring at him bewildered. He didn't have time to stop and apologize. This was an emergency, and he needed the best of the best.

While still holding Obito with both of his hands, he kicked open the door to the office he knew Sakura stayed at most of the time.

«Sakura, you have to look at him!» He simply said, not caring for the rude glances thrown his way by fellow nurses and doctors.

«What?» Sakura answered, looking at him deadpan. Kakashi didn't have time for awkward pauses and instead ran up to her, showing Obito's body to her. She looked down, no stared for a few seconds, then paled at the realization.

«Isn't this-» she started, but Kakashi interrupted her.

«Yes. It is. Now please check on him!» Kakashi ordered and begged at the same time.

Sakura commanded for a few fellow doctors to prepare a room while inspecting Obito's face. She opened his eyes and checked how his pupils dilated, took his temperature and checked his puls. When a room was ready they moved him onto a bed, and to Kakashi's displeasure, he was kicked out for disturbing the workers.

His initial shock was disappearing, and he was finally able to fully comprehend what was happening. Or at least, the fact that someone who looked exactly like Obito was here. He didn't have enough information to know what was going on, and he silently begged that Sakura would have some answers.

After an hour - and several scowls from people who got annoyed at Kakashi tapping his foot repeatedly  - Sakura finally came out from the room. She had a board in her hands and was frantically writing, not looking at an anxiety-filled Kakashi.

She sighed to herself and finally gave him a look.

«Well,» He asked and stood up, trying to look through the window into his room and on her board at the same time.

She looked at the other people around, her agitation oozing out of her as obvious as Kakashi's worry.

«Come with me.» She ordered and walked to her office.

Luckily, no one was currently inside. They sat on opposite sides of her desk. She placed the board on the table facing him.

«I'll start with answering the question you have so obviously been wanting to ask me. Yes. He will be okay.» She said. His shoulders slumped by his relief, but before he could thank her she stopped him. «I have more to say, and ask. Firstly, where did you find him?»

He recalled what had happened only an hour ago and told her everything as detailed as he could. He left out the part about him sulking, but it was something she, unfortunately, managed to fill in for herself.

«We have no records to compare these to. We don't know his blood type or if he has any conditions. This can be someone who looks exactly like Obito, and we won't be able to know. Please, Kakashi, don't get your hopes up.»

She was pleading but trying to disguise it with practiced calm. Kakashi had been her teacher, of course, he knew her well enough to see through her.

«Does he have any injuries?» Kakashi asked, wanting good news again.

She scanned the board and shook her head.

«Other than a few scratches and… the ones we were already aware of when he was alive, no. Not a single broken bone, no concussion or damage to his brain. For now, everything seems fine, though of course things may come up if he wakes up.»

«When he wakes up» Kakashi corrected.

Sakura didn't say anything, only gave him a pitying look.

Then, the door opened and a man ran in, breaths uneven.

«He is awake!» He said but was pushed to the side by Kakashi running out of the room and towards Obito.

Kakashi's heart started pounding faster with anticipation. He could feel the adrenaline pumping through him, making him run faster than he had since the war.

He barged into the room Obito laid in and stilled when he looked at the bed. At the man sitting upright. He felt his legs weaken, and if the bed hadn't been right beside him, he would have fallen to the floor.

Chapter Text

There were two things on Obito's mind once he regained consciousness.  

The first thing was the voices bickering from left and right as if people were leaning over him and screaming in his face. It got so loud he clutched his ears, and if the people hadn't forced him to stop, he may have torn the skin and caused himself to bleed. 

The second thing he noticed was his vision, or lack of vision to be more exact. He tried to open his eyes, but he couldn't exactly see anything. He moved his fingers up to see if something was covering his eyes, but that wasn't the case either. It wasn't that he saw pitch darkness, he could see light from what he guessed was windows, but nothing more. 

Am I blind? He thought and touched his lids. And again, he would have touched his eyes with his fingers if the doctors hadn't grabbed his hands and restricted them. 

«I'll go inform Sakura.» One of the doctors said and by the sound of the tapping, he was running. 

«How are you feeling?» A girl said and stacked up a few pillows behind him. He leaned back and looked toward the light. 

His vision would probably return eventually. His legs and arms felt numb, but by each minute it felt like he was getting more and more comfortable with using his body. His sight would sure follow eventually. 

A door slammed open and someone ran in, but the sound disappeared as fast as it arrived. The only noise that laid in its wake was heavy breaths. He didn't know who they belonged to, though if he had to guess it was probably Sakura. 

He remembered the pink haired girl. She was a good friend of Naruto, and if he remembered correctly, she was Kakashi's student. 

Kakashi. That was someone he didn't know if he wanted to meet. That was a wrong way to put it. He wanted to meet Kakashi, but he didn't know what to say or how it would go. If he played his cards right, maybe he would be able to postpone their meeting as long as possible. Right now was not the time. 

«Obito?» The person said. 

Crap. Shit. Fuck. Obito cursed silently. He had not even considered that those steps had belonged to Kakashi. 

Without thinking he straightened slightly and tried to fake a nonchalant expression. He didn't know where Kakashi stood, because of his current predicament, so he covered it up by continuing to look toward the windows. 

«Please, Obito. Is that you?» He said and the sheer hope in his voice made Obito break his own rule and look over toward the voice. 

A hand touched his forehead, but it was too thin and feminine to be Kakashi. 

«Your temperature seems stable.» A girl - Sakura, he guessed - said. She didn't retrieve her hand, making him self-conscious. Then, she sat down on the bed. He moved his feet to give her more space. 

«Can you tell me your name?» She asked, words slow and even. 

«Obito Uchiha.» He simply answered. He knew this process was important and wanted to get all her questions answered as soon as possible. He wanted to stretch, walk, run, jump. He wanted to do everything. 

Kakashi took in a deep breath and Obito felt suddenly glad that he couldn't see him. He didn't want his once teammate to be relieved. He didn't deserve to get that reaction from someone.

«How old are you? And where are you?» She asked next. 

«I'm thirty-one-years old, and currently in the hidden leaf village.» He answered again. 

Another person sat down on the bed as well, and he guessed it was Kakashi. 

«Obito,» Sakura said again. Her voice had taken a completely different tone, almost stern. «Could you look at me?» 

Gladly, though at the moment he had a few difficulties doing exactly that. He tried anyway and stared where he thought she may sit. No one said anything. 

Wait, he was taller than Sakura. He had to take into account that he was taller. He looked slightly lower. 

No one broke the silence now either. 

«You know, Obito. Height is mostly differentiated with how tall you are from your heel to your hip. People are often the same from their hip to their shoulders. Since we are both sitting down, we can appear the same in height.» Sakura said and by the sound of it, she was writing something down. 

«This isn't something everyone knows though, so I won't judge you from staring at my chest.» She forced out. 

Obito's face reddened and he returned to look at the window. Shame was crawling around him. He did not want to be here right now. 

«Can you look at Kakashi?» She now asked, so he did. 

Kakashi hadn't said anything, but he felt where he sat on the bed, so he looked at where he guessed Kakashi must be. 

«Now, Kakashi, can you stand in front of the window?» Sakura instructed. Kakashi obliged.

That was when Obito saw it. He could see Kakashi's silhouette covering the light. Obito couldn't see much of the details, but combined with the way Kakashi walked and sounded, he didn't seem too pleased. The way he carried himself showed he was unsure, with the way he wasn't standing straight. He barely made any noise, just the slight intake of breath every now and then. 

Sakura started talking «I see. Obito, it appears that you've become visually impaired since the last time we saw each other. You have some light perception, but I'm not sure what else you can see until we get to take a few more tests. I need you to-»

«What happened?» Kakashi interrupted. Obito jumped by the harsh tone. 

If he had to be honest, he was surprised the question hadn't been bought up earlier. He had no idea where to start, so he tried from the beginning. Kakashi already knew he was in the afterlife with Rin, so there was no need to begin with that. He started with Hagoromo. 

                                                                                                                                  


                                                                      

«What do you mean by that?» Obito asked, feeling dumbfounded. Rin didn't say anything, but by the way she tilted her head toward the voice, it was apparent she heard it. 

The sage of six paths, or Hagoromo as he was called, gestured with his hand for Obito to come to him. He stayed still. No way was he leaving Rin here alone. He didn't know what the sage was going to do. All he knew was that he didn't trust him. 

«I am taking you back, Obito Uchiha. You see, your time had come. I never had a desire to take you back, but it seems that you dead will bring more negativity than positivity. Your death will affect the world badly eventually, and I need to stop that from happening. Yes, I am disrupting the order of life, but this is crucial. We need to get you back now.» 

Obito had yet to move. 

«I am not leaving Rin.» He said, hoping he looked as sure as he hoped. 

A hand moved to his back. He looked at his best friend, seeing a reassuring smile. Her eyes were still covered, but her message was conveyed anyway. 

«No!» Obito refused. He couldn't leave, not when he had finally met Rin again. 

«Obito. You are not ready for the afterlife, not yet. I will wait for your return.» One of her eyes opened slightly to give him a last look. «This time, don't come alone. I want all three of us to be together again. You won't let Kakashi be alone in the world of the living, will you?» She joked. 

Without wanting it himself, some force made Obito stand up. He tried to stop it, but it was as if his limbs moved on their own. The sage touched his shoulder, and away they went. The last thing he heard before darkness enveloped him, was Rin. 

«I will still watch over you.» 

Chapter Text

Listening to Obito talk about the other world disturbed Kakashi more than he would have thought. And he had been there. In a way. 

Obito looked down at his lap during everything. Kakashi wasn't completely sure, but he guessed Obito chose not to look at the window now that he had in a way been exposed. He fidgetted with his fingers, but his voice was completely even. Sakura nodded every now and then as if what Obito said was groundbreaking science. It was amazing, but there was too much going on for Kakashi to pay complete attention. He listened in, of course, but just to hear Obito's voice alone was enough to comfort him of all his worries. 

The last time he had seen Obito had been when Obito had used Kamui to talk to him from the afterlife. Their conversation had been short, but it had been the last time he had thought they would talk. He could still remember how it felt those few minutes when he had gotten both of Obito's Sharingan. It had been-

«Wait,» Kakashi said, though no one was talking anymore. Sakura looked over at him. Obito didn't look up, but it was obvious he was listening. 

«Can it be that the reason you can't fully see is that you gave me your Sharingan? Is it possible it messed with your vision somehow?» He asked, looking back and forth between Sakura and Obito. Obito furrowed his brows but didn't debunk the theory.

«That was what I thought as well, but we don't know for sure. I can't come up with any other reason though, but it's not like we have any other cases of people coming back to life. Not without Edo Tensei or Rinne Rebirth at least.» Sakura interjected. 

Sakura asked Obito questions for another half hour, but mostly to be sure his memory was all well. Kakashi wanted to stay and have a proper conversation but had to leave due to a mission. It was a three-man cell, and he was working with Naruto and Kiba. 

It would be an easy mission. They were supposed to deliver a scroll from Tsunade to some fishermen a few villages down. Apparently, it was an approval to sail on certain parts, but Kakashi didn't care much for the details of the content. All cared about was the mission itself, and who would want to get their hands on it. 

Strong noses were needed, so Kiba and Kakashi were immediately chosen. Naruto would leave too, but more because he was bored than anything else. Kakashi had wanted him to study for the next Chunin exam, but he had refused, saying he had crammed enough for a lifetime. 

Kakashi highly doubted that but found it wiser to not say anything. 

 

They were all three at the gates to the village, going over the plan one more time. 

«And then, Naruto. What was it you were supposed to pay attention to?» Kiba joked and ruffled Naruto's hair playfully, earning a scowl. 

«I know, I know!» Naruto complained and pushed his hand away. «Absolutely nothing. I will leave the smelling and watching to the both of you.» 

Kakashi scratched the back of his head and placed the scroll in his pocket. He was already looking forward to their return.

«Unless you feel an enemies chakra, of course.» He added and walked out. Kiba and Naruto continued to banter from behind him. He was really tired of this. 

Maybe Kakashi should retire. Thirty-one-years is an appropriate age, at least in his opinion. 

He summoned a few dogs and requested for them to scout different directions. Kiba finally stopped talking and ran to catch up to Kakashi. 

«So cute they are!» He shouted and looked at Paku, who had stayed behind. Kakashi smiled to himself, looking forward to the reaction Kiba would receive. 

«Cute?!» Paku responded and stared up at the now startled Kiba. «Who are you calling cute?»

Kiba stuttered out a few words, taken aback. He looked over at Kakashi for help, but Kakashi ignored him and faked obliviousness. Naruto was grinning from where he walked and chuckled. 

«Sorry, little one, but you are wearing a headband and clothes.» Kiba tried to placate Paku by scratching him behind the ears, but the dog jumped away, nose high in the air. 

«Just because I'm smaller doesn't mean you can call me little one, I don't go around and call humans big ones.» Paku walked further ahead of the rest, done with the conversation. Kakashi was sure Kiba had a tear in one of his eyes, but just when he was about to comfort the kid he turned around toward Naruto.

«Naruto! That dog is mean to me. I need comfort.» He whined and waited for Naruto to catch up. Kakashi closed his eyes and shook his head. Kiba was more unstable emotionally than he had remembered. 

They walked on for a little while, Kakashi inspecting every noise and sound, while Naruto was talking - to no one's surprise - about Sasuke. Ever since the war had ended, his attention had permanently moved to his teammate. He was going on about what they'd do once Sasuke would be released from jail. Kakashi was sure Naruto had all his plans in alphabetical order.   

Eventually, the sun started to set and they were all getting tired (though of course, Naruto wanted to continue on). 

They found a suitable inn and Kakashi paid at the desk, where a girl only a few years younger than him stood. She was smiling at everyone, though especially to Kakashi. He tried to ignore her gaze, but it was hard when Naruto was playfully jabbing him with his elbow. Naruto had yet to grow out of his childishness. 

She gave him his change, looking into his eyes a little longer than necessary. 

They thanked and moved to their room, then got the beds ready for when it was time to sleep. 

«You're so lucky, dude!» Kiba complained and fell back on the bed he had chosen. «I am literally the only one who can't get a girl.» 

Naruto looked at him and folded his hands. 

He said. «It's not like I am any luckier than you. Sakura would never look at me that way!» 

Both Kakashi and Kiba looked at him, neither saying anything for a while. 

«What?» Naruto asked when the silence got too thick. 

«I am talking about Hinata, idiot,» Kiba muttered and yawned. Kakashi blocked out the rest of their conversation, not wanting to be involved in a conversation about girls. It wasn't that he didn't care about women, it just very rarely interested him. The only time he even thought about relationships and such was when he was reading any of his books. He had been in relationships before, sure, though they were most crucial to missions.

He stopped. Had he never been in a proper relationship before? They couldn't all have been fake.

Well, that was truly depressing. 

«Kakashi, I heard something from Sakura,» Naruto said and changed into his pajamas. Kakashi looked at him and waited for the rest. 

«Something about Obito. I didn't hear much, but something about his body being found. I didn't think that was possible when he died the way he did.» 

Kiba was looking over as well, curious as to where this would lead. Obito had become a controversial topic after the war. Half of the people liked him, while the second half couldn't forgive him for what he did. It was understandable. 

Kakashi briefly filled them in, though not as detailed as Obito was. It was fun to see their expressions through it all, to call them baffled would be an understatement. 

«You're kidding…» Naruto whispered, not looking at anyone. Kakashi was happy to say that no, Obito was indeed fully alive. Hopefully, he would be moving soon as well, instead of laying on a hospital bed all day long. He really wanted to get back to the village and talk to him some more. 

He needed some time away too though, to fully comprehend everything. 

Then, everyone's stomach growled at the same time. Neither had eaten since they had left. 

Kakashi stood up.

«I'll find some food to bring back here.» He said and left the room. He was sure he'd seen a ramen shop just outside the inn. Naruto would be happy with that. 

It wasn't a crowded street, luckily. Only a few people walked past, most of the groups of people who wanted to have a fun night. He stood beside the door to get out of the inn, holding it open and looking at the buildings and getting an overview. 

«Why are you here all alone?» Someone said. He looked over his shoulder and saw the woman who had given them their key earlier. Kakashi gave a small wave and faced her, not wanting to be rude. 

«I was on my way to get some ramen for everyone. You know if that shop outside is any good?» he asked and forced a smile. She giggled to herself and swayed a little back and forth. 

«Its actually quite popular here, want me to follow you?»

I am actually able to walk five meters on my own. He thought but smiled regardless. 

«That would be great.»

 

She walked closer than what would be expected as strangers, but it didn't look like she cared. Whenever someone stared at her she would grab his sleeve, looking at the ones staring, as if challenging them. If anyone came up to talk to her, Kakashi wouldn't act like a hero saving a damsel in distress. Would he help her if someone was going past her boundaries? Sure, but not for the reasons she wanted. He wasn't interested in a short romance, especially not with someone whom he didn't even know the name of. 

Though maybe that was what he needed. 

He looked at the sky for a second, already regretting his decision. 

He moved his hand around her waist and squeezed her closer, not looking at her when she tossed him a glance. It didn't seem like she minded though since she pretty quickly leaned her head against his shoulder. 

Yeah, totally regretting this.

He stopped at the ramen shop and ordered for three, though changed it to four when he felt her hard expression. If she wanted free ramen, she could've just asked. 

They got their order, the girl yet to leave his side, and walked back. 

Kakashi hadn't invited her along, but she followed anyway. He only hoped Kiba and Naruto wouldn't be too much tonight. 

When they had returned, Naruto and Kiba were in the middle of a pillow fight. Kiba was sitting on top of Naruto, a glorious smile on his lips while holding a huge pillow in the air. Pure fright was on Naruto's face as he took in the danger that would happen.

These people were seventeen, right? 

The girl chuckled though, so Kakashi continued in. 

«Calm down, calm down. I've got the food here.» Kakashi said and handed the ramen out. It was as if Naruto's nose followed the bowl. He pushed Kiba off of him, ignoring the angry grunts he got as a response, and placed his hands together in a prayer and looked up at the ceiling. 

«Thank you god for not having disappointed me.» He said, then chowed it all down. Kakashi was sure he had hearts in his eyes. 

The others hadn't noticed the girl until now, and both straightened immediately. 

«Hey, I didn't see you there!» Kiba said and tossed out one of his charming smiles, though he didn't receive one in return. He was apparently forgetting how idiotic he looked sprawled on the floor. 

«I didn't get your name earlier,» Naruto said, though not in a flirting manner. 

«Haruko!» She replied and settled down on the floor next to Kakashi, again, closer than necessary. Both the younger ninjas looked at each other, having a conversation all on their own. Kakashi really regretted this and wished he'd brush her off earlier. He shouldn't have held around her. Well, there was no turning back now.

He moved his mask away to eat and Haruko stilled where she sat. She was looking at him the same way Naruto stared at ramen. 

«Oh my!» She exclaimed, making both Naruto and Kiba look over. Kakashi had already placed his mask back again, earning disappointed groans from the others. 

Honestly, if they had only asked to see, it wouldn't have been a big deal. It was fun though. 

«So, Kakashi. Do you have a girlfriend?» Haruko asked, a too big smile on her face. He wondered how she would have reacted if he said yes, but chose against it. 

«I don't. I really don't have time for girlfriends when I am as often on missions as I am.» He answered truthfully. Her expression turned hopeful, but it soon disappeared once Naruto spoke. 

«I wouldn't go for him if I were you. He would probably always be late for dates, and he would probably read porn all the time, even when you're in the middle of a conversation.»

Kiba bawled laughter out, hitting Naruto repeatedly while bending over. Haruko was staring at Kakashi as if concerned for his health.

«Well,» He lazily said and leaned back, balancing on his hands. «Some people just don't recognize true art.» 

The sound she made was close to a mouse. 

She stood up and nervously looked at everyone in turn. 

«Sorry, I just remembered I am not allowed to be in the same room as those who visit.» She said and left, ramen bowl barely touched. 

«Yes, Naruto.» Kakashi said and Naruto dived forward to eat hers. 

 

The next day, they managed to complete their mission with no causalities, then it was back to the leaf village. The closer they got, the more Kakashi wanted to run. He had barely slept yesterday due to how much he wanted to return. He really wanted to speak with Obito, to see him, to help him back on his feet again (literally and figuratively). 

He had to do everything in his willpower not to run into the gates when he saw Obito stand there, new clothes and healed. 

Chapter Text

It was impossible to mix up Naruto with someone else. He was a loud kid.

He knew Kakashi would be on the same team as him, so he straightened and acted nonchalant like he hadn't been standing there the entire morning waiting for him. He had only been gone for a day, but during that day Obito had been able to regain complete feeling in his arms and legs. Tsunade had deemed him to be unthreatening, and even put him on trial to become a ninja again for the hidden leaf.

He was having difficulties adjusting to not having a vision, but it was understandable since only a day had passed. The village had changed a lot since when he used to live there, so he was trying to map out where everything was in his head from both memory and what he could get from his other senses.

The three-man cell stopped in front of him and it didn't take long until he was attacked by one happy Naruto.

«Obito!» He shouted and hugged him tightly. Obito's eyes were wide, taken aback by this. He hadn't thought anyone, especially not Naruto, would be that happy to see him.

He patted him on his shoulder, feeling both out of place and happy at the same time.

«Hello, Naruto. I hope you have been practicing hard while I've been gone.»

«He sure has. I am sure he has read more these past weeks than he has his entire life.» Kakashi said. Obito looked over at the source of the sound, feeling a new nervousness take over in anticipation. He hadn't had a proper talk with Kakashi yet, and he wasn't sure if he was dreading it or looking forward to it.

Naruto took a step back and, if Obito guessed correctly, stared at his eyes to see if they looked any different. He had heard they looked like they always had, only now without either a Sharingan or a Rinnegan. Black eyes.

«I have to report back to the Hokage, but do you want to walk around a bit after that?» Kakashi asked, and if Obito heard correctly, he sounded unsure. Did he only ask to be kind and didn't really want to? Or maybe he was unsure if Obito wanted to? Obito would have liked to see his facial expression.

«Sure.» He said, hoping he sounded more on the apathetic side than interested.

They walked through the village on their way to the Hokage house. Kakashi walked close to Obito, probably to guide him if they walked into a different road or up some stairs.

Kiba's voice had disappeared, so he guessed he had gone a different way. He was surprised at the fact he hadn't heard the dog Kiba constantly had with him. Naruto was chatting about stuff that had been going on while Obito was gone, but he had difficulties following.

«- so Kakashi will move into the Hokage office in a few weeks.» Naruto mused though a tint of envy was apparent. He sounded too happy. Obito felt slightly bad for him.

«So soon?» Obito said. He knew Kakashi would be the next Hokage, but he hadn't known it would be changed so soon after the war. It surprised him, but he genuinely felt happy for Kakashi. He himself was not able to live out his dreams, but it would be fine if Kakashi could. He wasn't too sure how Kakashi would do it, but that would be a worry for the future. Right now he wanted to support his friend. Or, his old friend.

A few kids ran in front of them, making Kakashi grab Obitos shoulders to make him stop and not walk into the wild pack of soon to be Genin. Obito froze, feeling confused at the unexpected help. He would've been able to sense the kids on his own and stop, wouldn't he?

«Sorry.» He mumbled and gave a nod. Kakashi released him, though slowly.

They continued to walk again, but the mood had turned somber. Even Naruto was now hesitant to speak.

They arrived at the Hokage office. Obito had to wait outside while Kakashi went to give his report, and luckily, Naruto waited outside with Obito.

Obito leaned backward against what he hoped was the gate circling the office. He adjusted his jacket, and if his memory wasn't lying, it felt similar to the green shinobi jacket Kakashi used in the war. It was far from the usual outfits he wore, but the familiarity of it all made it comfortable. He remembered how his old teacher, Minato, used to wear one too before he became the fourth Hokage.

«So…» Naruto said, kicking the dirt. Obito looked toward him. Everything was so bright, yet he couldn't see where he stood. All he saw was the light from the sun and some weird shapes that didn't make sense to him. He really wanted his vision back, and sooner than later.

«Kakashi filled me in on what's been going on,» Naruto continued.

Well, that was just great. Why don't you just scream it out to the whole world? Kakashi, I will even hold your megaphone for you… Obito thought, feeling bitter toward this new information.

«And I was wondering if you were okay?»

Naruto sounded genuine enough, and Obito did feel appreciative that someone worried about him. He had lived in a cave for several years, having his identity stripped off him and ignoring everything that even related to emotions. He had become fast at adjusting to new situations, and soon enough he would be properly back on his feet again.

«Yeah, well, it could have been better of course, but it could have also been worse.» He smiled at Naruto, who said nothing.

He had never understood how much a facial expression can say about what a person is thinking until now. Naruto could have been waving toward someone, and he wouldn't have the slightest idea.

«Mommy, look at that man. He has a weird face!» A girl said, probably no older than five years old. Obito froze, feeling self-conscious toward the scars on his right side. He subconsciously touched the slack skin, feeling the folds.

«Don't stare, sweety.» The mother said and if Obito guessed right, pulled her away. He wasn't used to people commenting on his appearance, due to the fact that he mostly wore a mask covering it up. He grimaced.

Naruto coughed, grabbing Obitos attention.

«So, some of my friend and I are going to celebrate Kakashi, since he will be the next Hokage and all, and I wondered if you wanna come?» He said, sounding hopeful.

Obito's mouth opened in surprise. No one had ever asked him to come along on things, not that it had even been an option. He scratched the back of his head in embarrassment.

Outside from when he met up with the Akatsuki, he had never even been at a gathering, not counting the times from when he was a kid.

He felt abashed by the fact that this was the first time. He also felt incredibly happy.

«Sure, Ill come.» He said, doing everything he could to not smile. «When is it?»

«This Friday!» Naruto replied. «Though don't tell Kakashi. It's a surprise. I'll fill you in later on the time and place.»

They waited a few more minutes, Naruto talking about their last mission. Once he found out Obito hadn't tasted Ramen in years, he freaked out and promised Obito he would force him into Ichiraku Ramen one of the next days.


 

«Sorry it took such a long time. Tsunade wanted it in detail.» Kakashi said, walking up to them. Obito startled, not having felt his presence at all. Naruto must have been surprised as well since he froze and made a weird noise between a scared cat and a frightened mouse.

«Kakashi! Don't sneak up on us like that!» He whined, probably pouting.

«Sorry, it sounded like you were having a fun conversation. I didn't want to disturb the happy mood.» Kakashi replied, then turned to Obito and patted his shoulder.

Naruto left, saying he had to meet up with Sakura and she would kill him if he were late.

«Now, I am very curious to what you are smiling about?» Kakashi mused, his hand still resting on Obitos shoulder. Obito hadn't realized he was still smiling and suddenly became aware of his cheeks hurting. Had he been smiling every since Naruto had told him about the celebration?

He forced himself to stop and shrugged.

«Naruto said something funny.» He simply said. Kakashi didn't say anything, but he made a noise that told Obito he didn't believe it. Luckily, it didn't seem like Kakashi would start digging and instead, he removed his arm from his shoulder.

They walked back the way they had come from, and Obito felt happy that he perfectly remembered the route.

«By the way, Tsunade informed me of what would be going on from now on regarding you. It appears that she wants me to personally take care of you until you are ready to live as a proper citizen again.»

Obitos brows raised and he looked over at him surprised.

«So I guess I am your guardian for the time being.» Kakashi continued, his grin obvious by his voice alone.

That bastard.

Chapter Text

«So what you are trying to say is that you don't trust him,» Kakashi stated and leaned back against the wall. Tsunade looked tired. The skin underneath her eyes was sagging and her cheeks looked hollow. Her hair had turned into an unbrushed birds nest. She squeezed her fingers against her closed lids, trying to wipe the sleep away. She yawned instead. 

«That is not what I am trying to say, Kakashi. I have a lot to do, especially now that missions are piling up because of the war. The war that he initiated, may I add.» She said and leaned back in her chair. Shizune looked worried from where she stood, throwing glances back and forth. 

It was true. Huge stacks of missions covered the desk, and a few even lingered on the floor. World-peace did not mean no fear. And the villagers had plenty of fear left. 

Kakashi sighed and scratched his head. It wasn't that he had anything against looking out for Obito, but he wasn't looking forward to telling him this. He wasn't sure of how much he had changed from his young self, but he was sure he still had plenty enough of angry temperament. He used to have a short fuse that got fired easily. 

«Fine, I'll do it. I will watch out for him and let him stay at my house. I won't spoon feed him though, or change his diapers.» Kakashi opened the door to leave but stopped once Tsunade spoke again.

«Oh, and Kakashi. Next week.» 

That was all he needed to hear. 

                                       


                                                                                                                                                                 

It was an early morning, and early mornings meant screaming children and arguing adults. He didn't mind the dogwalkers though, he liked those. The sun was shining and now a cloud was in the sky, it was a typical beautiful day. Kakashi would have preferred rain and clouds though, that way he could have stayed inside while reading his book. Showing Obito around wasn't that bad either though. 

He looked over at his quiet friend, at the scars on his face and eyes that weren't focused on anything. He didn't look dead in the eyes, but whenever Obito looked at him it seemed more like he looked through him. Most of the time their eyes never met. Kakashi could see by the way he walked, the hesitant turns and jolts when new noises were heard, that he was focusing a lot on not walking into a wall. Kakashi had tried to cough whenever he took a turn, that way Obito would know without feeling like his pride was damaged. 

«Would it be easier if you held my elbow?» Kakashi finally asked, faking nonchalance. Obito looked over at him, or tried to look at him, and seemed deep in thoughts. 

«Wouldn't that look weird?» He asked and gestured to everyone around them. Kakashi raised a brow and smiled slightly to himself. 

«And why would that be weird?» He asked, acting oblivious. 

Obito looked around them, though Kakashi wasn't sure why. 

«You know, maybe people get the wrong impression.» He whispered, leaning in a little closer, Obito must have miscalculated how close to lean in and he instead hit their foreheads together. Kakashi chuckled, touching his now sore forehead. Obito's eyes widened immensely and he raised his hands in apology. 

«I am so sorry!» He said and Kakashi wouldn't have been surprised if he had grabbed a bandage kit. 

Kakashi waved him off and said «no worries, but god, its probably impossible for people not to misunderstand now.» 

Obito's face paled and he shrunk in on himself. It looked like he was trying to hide his head in between his shoulders. Kakashi grabbed his arm and placed his hand on his elbow. 

«I don't think anyone will care anyway. So, where do you want to go? Are there any places, in particular, you want to know where is?» he asked and swung their hands back and forth, but stopped pretty quickly after he realized how weird it must look. Kakashi was for some reason more happy and energetic than normal, and if anyone saw him in such a happy mood they would probably think something was horribly wrong.
Well, could anyone blame him? He had gotten his old friend back, the same one he had viewed as his idol for several years. 

«Can you show me your favorite places? Since I am not familiar anymore, I don't know what to expect or look for.» Said Obito, smiling. A single dimple appeared on his unscarred side, drawing Kakashi's eyes down toward it. 

It was impossible not to stare. It was the quite opposite. Kakashi had problems looking away. He had missed his friend so much and thought all hope was lost. And here he was, standing right in front of him with a glint in his eye. 

He had thought he'd be content with simply seeing Obito during the war, for Obito to turn back to his old self, even if it was for only a short moment. 

He had been wrong. Obito had been here for no longer than a day and already Kakashi couldn't fathom how he had survived all these years alone. 

«If I am going, to be honest, I don't have any particular favorite places. I am at the same places every day, in my house, reading at my favorite tree or visiting the memorial stone and the graveyard.» 

Did he just say out loud that he spent most of his time visiting Obito and Rin? Yes, he did. Was he regretting it? Oh, yes.

Kakashi squeezed his eyes shut, cursing his own stupidity. He had definitely created a somber mood. 

Obito only smiled, a small one, but an appreciative one. Kakashi gulped and looked away as if it was a reflex. 

«Can we go there?» Obito asked though Kakashi wasn't sure if he meant Rin's grave or the stone with his own name engraved on it. 

He nodded still and walked toward the graveyard, but when Obito realized where they were going he shook his head. 

«I would have visited Rin if I hadn't met her in the afterlife, but I know she is well and waiting for us. I saw her only two days ago, remember?» He teased.

It didn't take long for them to get to the stone. Kakashi would call this one of his favorite places, but in a sense, it had turned into a second home. He hadn't been the nicest to Obito or Rin when they were kids, but he liked them. To him, they were the closest to what he had as a family, including Minato. 

They had all died, yet Kakashi still felt the most comfortable when in the presence of something revolving around them. The memorial stone had been a magnet, drawing him in. He had thought Obito was dead, and that stone was the only thing that could connect them.

He had been wrong. He was happy he had been wrong. 

Obito grazed the stone with his fingers, sliding his palm downwards to feel each name, sometimes reading them out loud. There were plenty of names they both recognized, plenty of people they had seen on the street, had shared missions with and talked to. They were old and young, women and men. 

Obito stopped and Kakashi read the name he had stopped on. 

Obito Uchiha, it read, though almost unrecognizable by kunai made cuts, shaped like the scars on half of his face. Some had not forgiven him yet and reacted by trying to destroy his name. 

He had been here enough to recognize the placement. Obito must have guessed it was his name by how damaged that one engraving was. 

Then, Obito looked up at Kakashi, white hair falling into his eyes. 

«I am happy I got a chance to atone properly.» He said, a real smile on his face, the corners of his eyes wrinkling. Even though half his face had been ruined, even though war still remained with his white hair and tired eyes, Obito was utterly beautiful in every way. 

It was at that moment Kakashi almost lost his breath.

                                                                                                    


 

 

If Obito were to move in temporarily, he would have to know where everything was. Kakashi's house wasn't the cleanest, and he didn't have much of a system to where everything laid. 

His books were alphabetical though, but he doubted Obito had much need for them since he couldn't read at the moment. 

Did even Obito read porn? 

Kakashi showed Obito around the house, explaining where everything laid and helping him move around. 

Had Obito ever been interested in anything sexual? Kakashi wasn't sure.  He must have. He was a guy too. 

Obito didn't ask much, but nodded after every instruction and moved his hands around, as if creating images in his head of the place. 

Kakashi could honestly not imagine Obito in the Akatsuki outfit, reading porn and wearing an orange mask. The very thought alone made him pull at the corners of his mouth, but he forced it down and continued to explain his too short list of house rules. 

«So as long as you stick to that, I won't have any problems with you staying here,» Kakashi said and sat down on a wooden chair beside his desk. He looked expectantly at Obito for his response, since he was wearing no emotion on his face. 

«So you're telling me that,» He started and faced where Kakashi sat, or close enough. «That as long as I don't mess up with your collection of poetry or wake you up at night for nonimportant reasons, I am free to stay?» 

«Exactly,» Kakashi replied. 

No one said anything for a few seconds, but after the long silence, Obito burst out into laughter, leaning forward and hitting himself on one knee. 

Kakashi's brows furrowed in confusion and he reimagined their conversation to find out what was so funny. 

«I don't quite understand…» he confessed and stood up from his chair. «Is there something I am not getting?»

Obito straightened, but laughter was still bubbling up his throat. He grinned to himself and used a few seconds to get himself back on track. 

«What's funny is that you're letting me stay as long as I won't touch your porn. I've met a lot of weird people, but you Kakashi, honestly takes the cake.» Obito said, but only managed to properly pronounce half of the first sentence before wheezing again. 

Kakashi had to admit he felt utterly offended. 

Chapter Text

The first night had been peaceful. Well, as peaceful as nights got for Obito. He managed to sleep a good amount, but like always he felt jittery the first hour after he woke up. Kakashi didn't question his behavior, and Obito really didn't want to talk about it either. He had just properly reunited with Kakashi, and the last thing he wanted was to put a damper on the mood. 

His childhood friend, on the other hand, wore the biggest smile imaginable, or that was what Obito guessed if it matched his overly energetic voice. 

It felt forced though, which was why Obito was shaking more than usual. Kakashi luckily didn't seem to notice. It would be over in a couple of minutes anyway. 

«You're a housewife.» Was the first thing Obito said when he entered the kitchen and heard all the cutlery and food moving around. Kakashi was cutting something on the cutting board (it smelled suspiciously like onions), and jumped around cheerfully. 

«I live by myself, so of course I had to learn how to make food for myself,» Kakashi answered and slid the onions in a small bowl, then started cutting something else. Some kind of fabric was moving together, making a swishing noise. He didn't remember having heard that sound from Kakashi before and doubted it was from his usual clothing. He could distinctively remember it from his old home though. Images of his grandmother moving around the kitchen and humming on an old song entered his mind. 

«And the apron?» Obito guessed and moved his hands toward the direction he believed the table was. He found a chair and settled down.

The sweet smell of egg and soup filled the kitchen. 

«I found it at a market in a neighbouring town. I think it enhances my hips?» Kakashi joked and (from the sound of it) playfully twirled, but stopped at the bored expression he got as a response. He continued to cut more vegetables. 

Obito rolled his eyes and moved his elbows to the table, then leaned his cheeks in his palms.

 «Normal people make noodles or something for breakfast, not whole meals.» Obito retorted, not caring for the rudeness in his voice. 

«When have I ever been "normal people" though?» Kakashi mused and moved more vegetables into another bowl. 

Was he making dinner for a whole family? 

He was about to ask, but then Kakashi stopped what he was doing and the next thing Obito heard was parchment moving and dogs barking. 

Something wet suddenly touched his ankle, and he jerked his leg away, clutching to his knee and touching the spot that had been touched. 

«What the-?» He started, but the same creature returned and jumped up onto his lap, making Obito almost fall off of his chair. He waved around to get something to grab on to and stuck to the table, using it as a lifeline. The creature moved around and touched his shoulder with its paw, its nails sharp.

Kakashi started laughing from where he stood, though Obito didn't share his amusement. 

«It's only a dog. I didn't know you had such an inconvenient fear» He said and put something down on the ground, a sound of a bunch of dogs eating followed. 

The dog in Obitos lap desperately licked his face and neck and every inch of exposed skin it could reach. Obito felt as if he would drown in dog saliva. 

«Okay, okay. Play times over, time to eat! Please!» Obito begged and gently pushed the dog off, though it jumped down on its own violation. The only thing he could hear was a bunch of dogs eating and drinking and eating drinking. He imagined their lips flapping against the food and bubbles growing in the corners of their mouths. 

Chills went down his spine, making him cringe. 

«Seriously?» Kakashi asked, catching his attention. Obito settled in his seat again and brushed his palm against his pants, hoping he wasn't covered in dog hair. 

«I am not scared of dogs. I just don't find them too pleasant.» Obito said, not completely lying and not completely telling the truth. 

Yes, there was a story there, no, he did not feel like talking about it. 

«Sure,» Kakashi said, stretching out the word. The chair from the opposite side of the table moved and Kakashi sat down. Plates were placed on the table and the smell intensified. 

It smelled good. Very good, actually. 

Obito fidgetted with his thumbs, holding himself from diving forward into whatever was served in front of him. 

«I call this «Kakashi's specialty»» He said, voice filled with amusement. «Its tomato soup and egg, but don't let the wonderful smell and boring name deceive you, I have a little something extra hidden inside.» 

Yeah, because Obito wasn't already nervous before. 

He searched around for a spoon and, although hesitantly, filled it with what he hoped was only tomato soup. 

He moved it toward his nose and smelled, looking for anything that felt remotely different from what should be in there. 

He came up empty handed, so he tried a sip. 

It was warm. The sweet taste lingered in his mouth for a moment before he swallowed, feeling his entire stomach heat. 

It didn't take too long until half the bowl was empty and he had eaten the egg almost without a single bite. 

Kakashi wasn't making any sound, so Obito guessed he was watching. He didn't mind, as long as he didn't completely look like an animal with the way he ate. 

«If I knew you'd be that hungry I would have made something yesterday before bed,» Kakashi said, astonishment in his voice. 

Obito didn't say anything as his mouth was full, but he shook his head and continued eating until the end. 

That was when the special ingredient showed itself. 

Obito chewed the content that had been resting in the bottom, trying to understand what it was. It was soft, and the liquid had separated it from itself. 

«What is that?» Obito asked and scooped up some more. 

«Nothing special, just avocado.» Kakashi said from the other side of the table, finally eating his own breakfast. 

«Who the hell puts avocado in tomato soup!?» Obito said and dropped the spoon. 

It wasn't bad, but the logic didn't make any sense. 

«You still ate it.» Kakashi retorted, probably feeling happy with himself. 

Obito felt lied to. Cheated. Betrayed. 

 

They ate breakfast, and through the entire time, Obito did everything he could to avoid the dogs. He didn't know how many of them were there, but if he had to guess at least fifty. 

Kakashi must have been a lonely man. 

Then, a knocking sound echoed through the apartment and both guys senses went on immediate alert. 

«Who could that be?» Kakashi mumbled and pushed the chair away to stand up. Obito stayed where he was, but made sure to listen in. 

A voice. Probably a woman. 

Obito didn't recognize it, but he hadn't talked much to people outside of the Akatsuki and others related to the old organization. He sipped the very last of his soup and avocado remains, wanting a distraction from Kakashi and his friend. He wanted peace and quiet. 

«In the kitchen?» The female voice said and Obito straightened so that whoever it was thought he at least looked a little presentable. 

Feet moved and steps followed. It didn't take long until he heard someone stop just outside the door. 

«Obito?» She said, doubt clear by her voice. He again didn't recognize it and felt very uncomfortable by the fact. 

Was she someone he knew from his childhood? 

She took a hesitant step forward, and Obito moved to face her. She could now clearly see his right side, his scarred side. She took a deep breath, but no disgust was apparent. She only seemed alarmed.

«Right, you can't see me. You probably don't recognize my voice either.» She said, more to herself than anyone else. «Well, that's just perfect.» 

Wait.

«Well, I am sorry for going blind and not being able to recognize your voice for, if I have to guess, several years.» Obito argued and leaned back in his chair. Something felt familiar by her tone. A vivid picture formed in his head, but he couldn't perfectly place it. 

«You better be sorry. I told you never to leave and what do you do? You leave. For years. And what do you do when you're gone? You throw a temper tantrum and join an organization.»  She says, and if Obito were correct, she had probably carefully practiced her lines on the way. 

«And start a war.» Kakashi threw in from where he stood in the hallway, but no one paid attention to him anymore. 

Obito stilled and now, the picture in his head was perfectly colored. He knew who it was who stood there and a part of him didn't want to remember. 

He didn't want to hear her disappointed voice. 

«Anko?» He asked and before he knew it he was walking forward and into her open arms. 

He held around her, feeling like he was about to sob into her hair. 

Purple.

Anko and Rin used to be good friends when they were younger, and the three of them often hung out together. Anko had known about his crush on Rin. She even tried to help him at times. 

They all knew how well that worked out for everyone. 

«I've missed you so so much» Obito mumbled into her hair, feeling like he was about to start shaking. He hadn't shown this much emotion in a while, and it felt weird. He had felt overwhelmed when he met Kakashi again, but he held it inside then. 

He didn't want Kakashi to know how he felt when they reunited. Anko, on the other hand, was not someone he would be able to fool. 

«Our little baby…» She muttered back. 

She had a tendency to call him a baby. He hadn't liked it then, and sure as hell wasn't too fond of the nickname now. 

«Okay. that just ruined the moment.» He said and moved away.

She chuckled. Her voice was deeper now than before, stronger. She had always been someone who cared herself with strength, but so often uncertainty tinted her tone. Now, she spoke as if she had never had a single regret in the world. 

He hoped that was true. 

«What are you doing here?» He asked and sat down in the chair. It was still unbelievable that she was here. He knew they would meet eventually since they were in the same town and all, but it was weird for it to actually happen. He never thought he would meet any of his past friends when he teamed up with Madara and promised to help him with his plan. 

«What am I doing here? I wanted to get here the second I found out you were alive, but I, of course, wasn't allowed yet because you needed to readjust to normal life.» She said the last words sarcastically, throwing as much venom into them as possible. 

Obito felt Kakashi lingering in the hallway and folded his arms. 

«I can take care of myself you know? You don't have to decide stuff for me just because you've been appointed as my temporary guardian.» Obito said and hoped his emotions got through. He didn't want to start a fight, but it wasn't fair that Kakashi decided on stuff without consulting him first. 

«What makes you think I was the one refusing her to meet you? Aren't you a little judgemental, Obito?» Kakashi answered lightly, obviously amused.

«It was him,» Anko confirmed and Obito nodded to himself. Of course it was him. 

«But Mr. Grumpy? It would be nice to give us some alone time. I won't grab him and run out the window if that's what you're so scared of.» Anko sat down on the chair opposite of Obito and, after a few tormenting seconds, Kakashi turned to leave. 

Neither said anything, which Obito felt happy for. 

He recalled all the moments he could remember from when they were kids. 

Anko would sometimes hide behind houses and fences, then shed jump out and scare Rin to death. Rin had actually grown so paranoid that she ended up looking behind every house and every fence for a couple of months. Anko found it hysteric. Obito tried to help Rin get over her temporary fear. He could well remember how Kakashi scoffed every time Anko did it and called her childish. He would sometimes call her out on it before she managed to jump out. Once she tried to fight him because of it, but he was too lazy to oblige. 

«How is she?» Anko asked. The three words were the only words penetrating the silence. Those words meant so much and so little at the same time, depending on who told them and who listened. 

«She is well. Still dead, of course, but well. She is waiting for everyone and refuses to move on until then.» He said and was happy it was the truth. He couldn't see Ankos expression, but by the lack of response, he knew it was positive. If she was angry or sad she would have immediately lashed out. 

«Of course. She is so stubborn.» She said, a serene tone in her voice. 

Obito wished he could communicate with her, that way he would relay a message to her from everyone. 

Obito touched his spoon, moving it around without eating anything. «She misses you.», He said. 

Anko moved slightly, taking a shaky breath. Anko would be happy he couldn't see her. She hated crying in front of others. 

«I want you to tell me everything. From when we all thought you had died when you were thirteen to the day Kakashi found you on the ground.» She said. Most would have mistaken it for a rude demand, but Obito knew it was a request. A wish.

«None of it will be pretty. I have done a lot of things I regret. I regret most of my life.» He said truthfully. 

Anko hummed to herself, taking in his words.

«I know you have done a lot of shitty things, and even today, I can fully forgive you for it. But I still care so much for you, no matter what. Nothing you can say will make me start to hate you if that's what you're worried about. I am prepared for anything.» 

And so she got her wish fulfilled. Obito told her everything. 

He told Kakashi everything  too since he was still lingering around and listening. Obito was fully aware, so he spoke a little louder than he would.

He talked about the day he had woken up to find some of his limbs destroyed. He explained meeting Madara, and the different Zetsus. He told about how he trained in order to return to the village, only to find Kakashi with his hands through Rin's chest. He told them about the following years, how he had offered Yahiko help and eventually, managed to manipulate Akatsuki from the side. He talked about his meeting with Itachi. He said everything. Not once did he hear them make a sound. They didn't gasp, sigh or say anything. They both waited patiently for the whole story. 

Obito wasn't trying to act like the victim. He said everything as brutally as it was and didn't sugarcoat it.  

He repeated his conversation with Hagoromo, then ended the story. 

He was happy Kakashi was listening in. He told them about how Madara was behind Rin becoming a Jinchuriki and was the reason behind her murder.

He hoped Kakashi found comfort in that. 

«It's weird,» Anko whispered. «How this was all done by the kid I used to know.» 

Obito's heart beat hard against his chest and it felt like all his ribs would claw themselves through. He felt his lower lip shake and forced himself to stop. 

He didn't deserve to cry. He had done so much wrong towards others. 

He hated himself for having thought that everything could go back to normal. It would never return to normal. Maybe it was good he couldn't see, that way he wouldn't be able to see the disappointed stared, the angry expressions. 

«Yet you are here, sitting right in front of me.» Ankos voice was breaking. Every word drowned in each other and she had to force them out. «You may have a different hair color, or you have more scars than before, but you are still the silly Obito who used to hang around Rin and complained about Kakashi. You are still you.» She was obviously crying now, and she blew her nose. Kakashi tried to imagine kid Anko with snot running down her nose. He couldn't. 

He didn't deserve these tears though. They should be shed for those who have suffered because of him. 

He spoke «Don't cry for me. I have caused too much-» 

«You have suffered too!» She interrupted him, slamming her palm on the table. «You have suffered as well, Obito. Yes, you've caused a great pain to others, but that doesn't mean you aren't allowed to cry for yourself. You are trying to improve as we speak. You are trying to change. that's enough reason to feel bad for yourself once in a while. I certainly feel bad for you.» 

She stopped, stood up and sighed deeply. 

«I have to go. I have an Ambu mission to work on.» She said and took a few steps toward the hallway. The steps stopped and Obito forced himself to look down at the bowl. 

«I am so happy you are alive, Obito. Please, be happy you are alive too.» 

Then, she left. She took her tears with her. 

                                                                                                      


                                                                                                  

One hour, two hours, three hours. 

Obito had completely lost all sense of time. 

He knew a while had passed since Anko had left. 

He was still sitting at the table, deep in his own thoughts. 

He didn't know where Kakashi was, and he didn't want to know either. If he had to guess, probably hanging out with some other friends. Obito was sure he was sick of the negativity Obito brought with him. 

Obito would have been sick of himself. 

The door to the apartment opened and Obito was ready for whatever followed. 

Maybe Kakashi would kick him out immediately. Maybe he would just shout at him. If he started a fight, Obito would let him beat him up without defending himself. He deserved a beating. 

Were blankets cheap? Maybe he could lay on a bench without one. He had clothes. 

«Obito?» Kakashi asked. 

He didn't sound angry. 

Obito made a voice low in his throat, acknowledging him. 

Kakashi moved into the kitchen and stopped when he stood beside him. 

«Have you been sitting here all his time?»  Kakashi grabbed the plate that sat on the table and walked over to the sink with it. 

Obito made another noise. Yes. 

Maybe he should speak. If Kakashi were to kick him out he at least wanted a last proper conversation. 

«What were you out doing?» 

That sounded way more suspicious and passive aggressive than he had intended. 

«Buying some stuff. I wanted to get back sooner, but I met a few people on the way who really wanted to discuss the next mission.» He put on the sink and placed the bowl beneath. «I met Naruto as well.»

Was Kakashi dragging out the inevitable? Why couldn't he just tell Obito to scram already? 

«I bought some snacks and a few board games. I thought it would be fun to have a game night once a week?» Kakashi suggested and wiped the bowl with a towel after it had been washed. 

Obito looked startled up at him. 

Once a week? Why was Kakashi talking as if he wanted him to stay there for a long time? 

Obito opened his mouth to respond, but no words came out. 

«You aren't angry?» Obito asked, feeling doubtful. 

«Why would I be? Nothing you said earlier was new information.» Kakashi answered and put the bowl on the shelf where it belonged. «But she is right, you know.» 

Obito perked up at that. Right about what? 

He voiced his thoughts and again for the billionth time wished he could see Kakashi's expressions. 

«You are still you. I think this is the first time you've truly been yourself for many years.» 

Obito wished Kakashi couldn't see his expressions. 

Chapter Text

Kakashi had done it again. 

It wasn't that he planned this, or even thought about it, but his feet seemed to move on their own. 

The memorial stone. 

The sky was a weak gray, covering the town by drops that would soon fall. The trees couldn't stand still and moved with the wind, their leaves falling off and going somewhere else, discovering new lands. 

The cold breeze kissed Kakashi's arms, making goosebumps erupt. 

He hadn't moved for two hours. He didn't know how long he would stand there.

Once he became Hokage, this would have to stop. He couldn't leave the office whenever he wanted to and come here. He didn't know why he was here even now. 

He leaned down and balanced his weight on his toes, grazing the stone with his knuckles. The name was still scratched, barely visible. He, of course, knew where it was. Someone could have erased all the names on the stone and he would still know exactly where it should be. 

Obito was back. 

So why couldn't Kakashi fully enjoy it?

Why was it that he felt as if he had to strain himself? 

He was happy, of course, but something stopped him from feeling like he truly was back. 

There was a wall between them, a big wall thicker than the one around the village. 

This did intend to try to work on it though. Kakashi was ready to face everything for it to go back to normal. He wanted it to feel like Obito had never left in the first place. 

He wanted the village to accept him again. He wanted everyone to look at him and smile, even knowing he wouldn't be able to see it. He wanted people to willingly walk up to him and wish him a good day or starting a conversation. 

People cowered when they saw him. Mothers held their children and moved them away. Some people changed the sign on their entrance door to «closed» instead of «open» just because he was around. 

Obito never noticed and saw, but Kakashi did. He had gotten more judgemental stares now than he had gotten his entire life. 

He was prepared for it though, and it was worth it to be with his best friend again. 

His idol. 

He hoped no one would directly attack Obito, not because Obito couldn't defend himself - Obito was definitely strong enough to defend himself - but because he knew he wouldn't. He would instead take it all in and accept his fate. This was originally only a theory, but his thoughts were confirmed by how Obito explained his past to Anko yesterday. 

It was weird how destroyed a person could be.                                                                                                   


                                                                                                    

Kakashi returned home to find  Naruto in his living room, chatting animatedly with a very taken aback Obito. 

He lingered in the hallway, listening in and watching. Obito had a look a mix between confusion and joy. It seemed as if he was holding back laughter. 

Kakashi smiled to himself and leaned against the wall, studying them from.

«Honestly, Sasuke can be such a drama queen at times, I wonder who he got that from.» Naruto grinned and scratched his cheek. «Well, I guess the two of you are technically related, so maybe he somehow got that part from you?» 

Obito burst out laughing, no longer being able to hold it in. He hit his knee several times, trying to calm himself down. Naruto smiled to himself, seemingly proud for managing to get him to laugh.

Kakashi was happy he hadn't interrupted them earlier. 

«So I am a drama queen, you say?» Obito asked.

«Of course! Remember, I saw your entire past. Some people would say I now know you better than anyone, and You Obito Uchiha is a full-fledged drama queen.» Naruto joked back, snickering. 

Seeing them like this, sitting on opposite sides of the table and effortlessly talking, reminded Kakashi of how similar they were. He had seen Obito in Naruto from the very first day they met, and every day that followed. 

He was in a sense happy they could meet outside the battlefield too. He wondered if they would have been friends if they were the same age. 

«Oh, Kakashi, why are you standing over there sulking?» Naruto said and motioned for him to come over. «It is your house, isn't it?» 

Kakashi smiled, looking at Obito for his reaction. Obito simply reached out to grab his bun. Probably his breakfast. 

Kakashi felt disappointed by the lack of reaction but smiled nonetheless. 

«Well yeah, but you both seemed so invested in your conversation it felt wrong to invade.» He said and walked forward to sit beside Obito on the couch. 

«So to get back to our original topic, do you want to come with me?» Naruto said and stared excitedly at Obito. Kakashi raised a brow and looked over at the Uchiha. He hadn't listened that long but could fill in the blanks enough to understand what Naruto had asked. 

Obito chewed on his bun, deep in thoughts. After a few seconds, he said, «I am not sure. I don't think he would be too happy to see me.» 

«Oh, don't worry. He can't see either at the moment!» Naruto answered happily. 

Not the point, Naruto. Kakashi thought and dragged a palm across his face. It is typical him though. 

Obito looked up at him intrigued. «Oh, really. What do you mean?» 

«The council and Tsunade decided he would have to wear a blindfold while in prison and on probation, in case he uses his Sharingan and Rinnegan.» 

Obito looked taken aback. Kakashi stared curiously at him, wondering what elicited this reaction. 

«Okay, I'll come with,» Obito said, and Naruto nearly fell out of his seat from excitement. «But! I can't promise I'll say much or anything at all.» 

Naruto furiously nodded, a big smile on his face. Kakashi hadn't seen him like this in a while. 

«Thank you so much, Obito! No one ever visits him, so I appreciate this a lot.» 

Kakashi scratched the back of his head, looking back and forth between his guest and roommate. 

«Well, I guess I'll come along as well.» He mumbled, waiting for Naruto's ecstatic shouts again. 

«Of course you'll come.» Naruto simply said and stood up. 

Well, that was rather disappointing. 

                                                                                                    


                                                                                                    

Kakashi wasn't one to visit Sasuke often. Naruto visited once every second day, and he was also the only one who was allowed to visit him that often. Sakura had tried to convince the council to let her visit just as often, but the declined, saying Naruto was the only person that would be able to hold Sasuke in place if things went wrong. They were talking about physical strength, but it was the same emotionally as well. 

Kakashi had felt strange visiting him. It felt as if it wasn't his place. Sasuke didn't cooperate much either and only responded with one word everytime he asked something. At times, he wouldn't respond at all. 

 He didn't know how the visit would go. Would he even acknowledge their presence, or would he simply speak with Naruto and no one else? 

They stood outside the one person jail. It was a mountain, with several guards standing outside on watch. Only one person was held here.

Naruto smiled at the guards and waved. They gave him a nod, then looked at Obito and Kakashi warily. 

«They're with me,» Naruto said and grinned at his friends. Obito tightened his hold on Kakashi's arm, probably feeling the dagger-like stares shot his way. 

They let them pass through, and everyone entered. 

The hallway leading up to the holding cell was long, moving downwards under the ground. 

It became tighter as the walls pressed in on them. The air became thicker and thicker until it felt hard to breath. Kakashi hated how affected he became everytime he passed through and looked over at an obviously unaffected Obito. 

It was obvious Naruto wouldn't care much for the pressure down there, but Obito? 

«Remember,» he whispered, continuing to drag his free hand across the rock wall. «I have lived in a mountain for several years.» 

Kakashi hadn't realized what that meant until that very moment. 

«I don't understand why I am not held down here as well. It doesn't make sense that the council and the Kages would let me go so easily.» He murmured, more to himself than anyone else. 

Kakashi did not know either, but he didn't care much. The most important thing was that he was back and partially safe. 

«You're so slow!» Naruto complained and sped up to get to his destination faster. 

Would Kakashi have acted like this too if it had been Obito? 

Probably. 

After a few minutes, they all reached the holding cell. It was a small barred room, filled with nothing more than a dirty bed and a toilet. Two Anbu guards sat outside, looking them all over. They let Naruto pass through and into the room, but stopped Kakashi and Obito. 

«I am sorry, but Uzumaki is the only one allowed to enter. Please cooperate and wait here.» One of the Anbu said. They both knew Kakashi though and didn't bother to look threatening. It was obvious they underestimated Obito as well, because of his lack of sight. 

«That's okay,» Kakashi agreed and faced Sasukes holding cell. «THere is no need to enter anyway.» 

Sasuke sat at the bed, hunched over and face downwards. His eyes were covered by thick layers of bandages and a sealing Jutsu that held it in place, even if someone tried to remove it. 

Naruto stood in front of him and smiled, then sat down onto the ground and leaned back on his palms. 

«You brought others?» Sasuke asked. His voice had grown hoarse, dull. 

«Yeah. Kakashi and Obito.» Naruto responded, voice so many layers softer than how he usually spoke. It was as if a wave of calm had fallen over him.  

«Oh, really. So Obito being back wasn't only rumors.» 

One of the Anbu looked at the other, confused. 

«I didn't think we were talking that loud»?  He whispered but stopped when they saw Kakashi glancing over. He gave an apologetic smile. 

Sasuke wasn't supposed to know anything of the outside world while he was down here, though Naruto broke the rule all the time, mostly informing about new ramen dishes at Ichiraku and such. 

Narutos chatting echoed through the cell. Sasuke responded every now and then, sentences longer than Kakashi had heard him speak since the war. He had refused to speak to answer anyone else than Naruto when the investigation team had tried to get him to talk. 

Neither Kakashi nor Obito said anything, but by Obito's expression, he was obviously listening in. 

«They both sound so… serene.» Obito commented and smiled to himself. 

Kakashi couldn't agree more. 

«Oh, and Sasuke! Kakashi will soon be Hokage, isn't that interesting? I hope they'll release you in time for the ceremony so you can watch as well.» Naruto said the last part especially loud, obviously hoping the Anbu would take the hint. One scoffed, but the other seemed to consider bringing the question along to the higher-ups. 

«There's no need to shout,» Sasuke muttered and gently kicked Naruto in his knee. Kakashi was sure he'd miss because of the blindfold. 

They talked a little longer, or, Naruto spoke and Sasuke nodded, not showing a single inclination that he wanted Naruto to leave. 

Eventually, it was time to leave, and Naruto walked closer to Sasuke and reached his hand forward. He stopped though, and his hand stayed once centimeter away from Sasuke's cheek. He seemed to be in an internal battle, and eventually, let his hand drop down to his side instead. 

Sasuke didn't show any sign that he had noticed. 

«Goodbye, Sasuke! Don't do anything stupid. Ill come back soon.» 

The Anbu opened the cell door and let Naruto out, looking disappointed that it was over. It must be boring to stay down there for several hours without doing anything, or having more companions than one other Anbu and a criminal who never spoke. 

They all turned to leave, but Sasuke said one more thing before they left. 

«Obito, could you come over here for a second?» Sasuke asked, leaving everyone frozen and surprised. Obito looked unsure whether to go or not. Kakashi turned to lead the way. 

«I want to speak with Obito alone,» Sasuke said again, sounding annoyed. 

Kakashi debated refusing to let Obito go, but he had already started to walk back, using the stone wall for leverage and reaching his other hand out to reach the jail bars. 

He leaned in and said something, but it was so quiet no one could hear. Sasuke responded, again nothing to hear. Sasuke did most of the talking, and Obito mostly nodded and threw out a word or two every now and then. Kakashi wished he could read lips.

Naruto didn't seem too bothered, but he looked over his shoulder every now and then to watch. 

After a few minutes, Obito came back and stopped when Kakashi took his hands and guided it to his elbow. 

He wanted to ask what that was all about but decided not to. 

They trudged back, welcoming the sun and fresh air. 

Kakashi couldn't shake the feeling of how dense the air was and remembered that Obito had stayed in a similar environment for several years, hiding in the dark. 

Chapter Text

People who said your senses heightened when you had one missing was talking bullshit.

Maybe it was true in theory, but Obito could smell and hear just as well as he used to. This morning he had tried to listen to a conversation Kakashi had had with Naruto through the wall. It was a soundproof wall, and Obito heard little to nothing. He had tried to smell what dish Kakashi ate from outside the room and the only thing he smelled was burned cheese. He was actually disappointed and had hoped he would be able to hear whispers from different streets or smell the sweat of his enemies.

Okay, maybe he wasn't too fond of the last idea, but he definitely liked the first one.

Tomorrow was the surprise party for Kakashi, and Obito had tried his best not to be too obvious about it. He had probably failed but refused to give up all hope.

He had no idea what to give him. The last time he had given Kakashi something it had been his eyes. He had actually given him his Sharingan two times, and the first time he had thought he was about to die, the second time he was already dead.

He didn't have his Sharingan anymore.

He had lost his vision as well.

He snapped himself out of the dark turn his thoughts had taken and instead focused on what was currently happening. He was sitting at Ichiraku ramen, listening to Shikamaru talk about the party and what everyone would have to do in order for it not to be obvious. Kiba was interrupting him every other sentence and Naruto was busy eating his seventh bowl of ramen.

Kakashi was on a mission, and from the sound of it, Obito guessed it would be a pretty quick one.

«-so is that okay with you, Obito?»  Shikamaru said expectantly.

Obito jolted up and looked confused toward the three pairs of eyes glued on him. He smiled awkwardly and shrugged.

«Yeah, sure.» He scratched his cheek and felt his face redden. «If only you can go over it one more time.»

Kiba burst out laughing, slapping Obito on the back and definitely creating a bruise.

Shikamaru sighed and dragged his palm down his face in annoyance.

«Ironic that you who were so excited just a few minutes ago aren't at all listening now,» Shikamaru commented.

Obito chuckled and hoped Kiba would stop hurting his back.

A bowl slid across the counter, and an annoyed naruto grunted. «Hey, Shikamaru, get your own ramen…!»

Shikamaru only started eating from it.

«Okay, here's the plan. Kakashi comes home later today, something that has already been confirmed. The party will be celebrated at Sakura's house, so we will be buying everything and preparing for tomorrow. I highly doubt we will be able to finish it, so we will all be there tomorrow as well. Kakashi will probably find it suspicious that no one of us is on missions and are all gathered in one place, so we will need you to distract Kakashi until then. Do whatever you have to do to get his attention away from us. At six o clock, you'll find an excuse to get Kakashi to Sakura's house, where we will be.» He took another sip from Naruto's ramen and looked back up at Obito. He imagined him wearing a challenging look. «You can do that?»

Sure! I just have to distract him for the next 25 hours. How could this possibly go wrong?

Obito did, for a few seconds, doubt his skills in distraction, but thought he knew Kakashi well enough now to know what he was interested in and how to make him not think of the rest of them.

«Yeah, I can probably manage.»

The curtain behind them slid open and a head poked inside, looking at the four occupants.

Immediately everyone acted like nothing was wrong and started randomly talking about everything from the weather to suitable places to bring your dog. Obito couldn't see who it was, only heard the shuffling. He guessed it was Kakashi though by how obvious the rest tried to act nonchalant.

Obito smiled, trying to make it as big as possible and turned around to face the newcomer. It was obvious to everyone within a mile radius that he was trying to hide something.

«Shall we go back?» Kakashi said to Obito before turning to Naruto «And Naruto, I don't recommend you eating that many bowls of ramen before a mission. You never know when accidents happen.» He said smugly.

«I'm not going on a mission today since someone else stepped in instead.» He happily replied, mouth full of food.

«I see, you are being lazy again,» Kakashi said. The shuffling of the curtain returned again, and with that, the soon-to-be Hokage exited the shop. The dark haired Uchiha jumped up from the chair and slammed his money on the desk before leaving too.

«Keep the rest.» He said, not knowing how much money he had left behind.

He eventually caught up to Kakashi and matched his pace with his, going back to their usual routine with him holding Kakashi's elbow. Obito had gotten Naruto to help him sometimes too with guiding him. He was starting to grow familiar with every turn and how many steps it took to get to each, but he still wanted to be sure before he started walking alone without training wheels.

He looked up at Kakashi's silhouette every now and then, wanting to say something but not quite sure what. He wasn't sure why he was feeling nervous, but he really didn't want to make a fool of himself for some reason.

«So…» He started, trying to act nonchalant. «How did your mission go.»

«Well, I want to lie and say everything went flawless and nothing failed. Unfortunately though, a chunin I went with misunderstood for some weird reason which way you should throw a shuriken and now I have cut on my cheek. I also have a bruise between and underneath my eyes because I broke my nose.» Kakashi answered casually, his voice not once changing tone. Obito widened his eyes and tightened his hold on his elbow.

«How did you, Kakashi Hatake, get a bruise on a simple mission? Wasn't it C-rank?» Obito laughed and imagined the fear in Kakashi's eyes the second he noticed the shuriken went the wrong direction.

«Yeah, but I had never thought the ones I should look out for would be my teammates and not the enemy.» He joked, and Obito felt completely at ease, except for the fluttering in his chest, but that could be easily ignored.

Okay Obito, you have to distract him for the next twenty-five hours. You can do that, right?

Right?

«So, we haven't trained together for a few years, huh?» Obito said, wanting to approach the topic casually and not too obvious. He didn't want Kakashi to be able to completely read his mind.

«When do you want to train?» He heard his friend reply and Obito had to do everything in his might to suppress the groan growing in his throat. He had hoped Kakashi wouldn't completely understand where he was getting at, but he guessed it was too late for subtleness now.

«I have all the time in the world, Kakashi!» He howled and hit his friend in the shoulder, harder than what would be considered as playful. He imagined Kakashi looking down at him with a raised brow, he would probably look all cocky while staring at him from under his nose.

«Obito,» He said, a warning tone in his voice. Okay, maybe Obito's imagination wasn't on point, but close enough.

«What? Am I embarrassing you? Oh no, what shall oh mighty Kakashi do now that everyone knows how easy it is to hit him. I mean, a chunin managed to cut your face open.» Obito continued to tease, to drive him further along. He wanted to rile Kakashi up. He would soon be Hokage, and he wouldn't be able to wander in the streets and joke with friends then. Obito wanted Kakashi to live a little before he would have to give everything up.

And fighting was the best way of living.

 

 


                                                                                                   

 

A jab there, a kick here. Obito tried his best to get as many hits in as he could manage, but Kakashi was swift.

Obito had the whole eyesight thing too, which definitely affected his fighting skills.  A lot.

He tried to listen in to where Kakashi moved, to how his clothes moved when he moved his hands and the ground. He felt extremely rusty, though he had gone on longer breaks without fighting before. Frustration built up in him and he bit his lower lip.

Kakashi moved forward, but Obito couldn't guess where he would aim until his elbow hit him in his shoulder. He managed to balance himself and not fall backward. The adrenaline rush sent all of his limbs on fire, and he reached forward to grab Kakashi's arm.

He got it and pulled him towards himself, then kicked upwards into his stomach.

Kakashi somehow managed to deflect it, and instead, Obitos knee met palms.

They continued to spar, Kakashi having the upper hand through the entire match.

Eventually, Obitos thoughts wandered somewhere else and his body moved on autopilot, as it usually did when he got deep into a match.

«Don't let your guard drop,» Echoed in his head again and again. He had been told those words yesterday when he was visiting Sasuke with Kakashi and Naruto.

A warning. A reminder.

He furrowed his brows and hit harder, catching Kakashi off guard and almost making him fall backward. He was getting accustomed to fighting without proper sight. He managed to connect the sounds with the little light he could see, the hint of a silhouette moving.

«You know there were people who supported the Akatsuki.»

Of course, he knew! He had talked to several followers. He had spies who weren't part of the organization.

«People who liked your point of views and would definitely try to achieve them. If they find out you're alive,»

«And why do you care?» He had asked in return, feeling resentful of his past self and wanting it all forgotten.

«Obito?» Kakashi asked, making them both stop the match.

«What? Tired already, Hatake?» Obito mocked. He was out of breath though. His lack of stamina must come from him being dead for a few weeks.

«You…» Kakashi began, and if Obito hadn't known him better, he would have thought he was nervous.

«I just. What did you and Sasuke talk about yesterday?»

Did he stutter?

Obito chuckled to himself, though humorless. He wasn't sure why Kakashi cared about what they were talking about, and why he was nervous to ask.

Obito gave a reassuring smile and walked forward to pat him on the shoulder.

«If you're worried you're student wanted to talk shit about you, then don't be. He didn't mention you.» He joked and heard Kakashi groan angrily. He was genuinely curious about what they were talking about. Was he worried? Didn't he trust Sasuke and thought he would say something bad? Maybe Sasuke knew sensitive information, and Kakashi was scared he would pass it along to Obito.

Obito frowned, feeling betrayed, but not sure why.

«He just wanted me to make sure Naruto was okay and told me he'd rip my limb off if I hurt him anyway. Okay?»

Kakashi didn't sound reassured, but Obito felt him nod. He stopped holding his shoulder and took a few steps back.

The good mood had been destroyed, and he didn't feel interested in sparring anymore.

Maybe Anko would be up for some practice.

«I don't think you're in a place to worry about others when you yourself have a seriously bruised face,» Obito said and tried to give off a carefree tone.

                                                                                                    


 

KAKASHI

 


                                                                                                   

Obito had forced Kakashi to show him around the town again. He had now done so four times, and yet Obito still wanted to go for another round. Kakashi was utterly confused, but just being with the dark haired man was good enough for him, no matter what his motives were.

The Obito he remembered always had a bad memory, so that could, of course, be the reason. It couldn't be that Obito was distracting him away from something happening, that wasn't like him. Obito would always forget it when something exciting was happening, like Kakashi's thirteenth birthday. Obito had immediately forgotten and covered it up acting like he just hadn't cared from the beginning.

Kakashi looked over at him again for the hundredth time that day and a small hesitant smile grew on his lips. He wasn't listening to what Obito was saying. He wasn't listening to the words, but rather his voice. The hum that became a background noise while Kakashi inspected his face. One thing that he liked about Obito not being able to see him, was that he could stare without getting caught. When Obito talked about something he liked he would get a genuine smile, and that was when his dimples appeared. Whenever he forced a smile there would be no dimples, and his eyes would look strained. Like two hours ago, after their match. This was something Kakashi had discovered while inspecting every inch, shape, and fold of his face. There was something else that he hadn't known until just recently, and that was the fact that half of his eyelashes on his right side were gone. People mostly looked right at the scars, not thinking about the other parts of him that had been changed the second he got crushed beneath the huge boulder.

Kakashi would do everything in his might to keep Obito away from danger. He wanted to be his crutch, his shield, his everything for as long as possible.

He felt Obito's hand on his elbow and felt happy he could provide him something. He would guide him until his eyes were okay again until they were okay again.

«Are you even listening?» Obito said, staring straight ahead with a deadpan expression. Sometimes he would try to look over at Kakashi, but then he would look ahead instead with a frustrated look. Kakashi wasn't sure if it was because he felt the most comfortable looking ahead, or if it was because he wasn't sure he was looking Kakashi in the eyes or not. If he guessed right, Obito felt ashamed.

«Kind of. I've picked up a few words. I got distracted by an adorable cat earlier and have been thinking of it ever since.» Kakashi said.

«And you didn't care to tell me there was an adorable cat here? You didn't think I would have wanted to pet it?» Obito asked grumpily, almost huffing out the words.

An apologetic grin grew on the Hatake's face and he scratched the back of his head with his free arm. Obito was scared of dogs and not cats?

«I'll tell you next time! I'm sure you want to go somewhere else though? Maybe we should go home instead and just, you know, chill.» Kakashi made quotation marks with his fingers on the last word but stopped when he remembered Obito wouldn't be able to see it. He was about to apologize but stopped himself again.

Better to just ignore that. He thought and cough awkwardly. He was making the situation awkward, and Obito wasn't even aware of it.

«I think we should be outside most of the day. You are always either on missions or at home, maybe you should be outside a little bit more. You should improve your social skills!» Obito responded and smiled cheerfully, something that was weird to see on him now. He suited it though, but the old childishness was completely gone from his appearance.

Kakashi was about to decline, but stopped once he saw two familiar faces a little further away.

He slowed his pace, not wanting to meet an overly energetic Guy and a silently judging Kurenai. They hadn't met Obito yet after the war- at least he didn't think so - and he wasn't sure how they would react towards him. They all knew each other as children, but Obito hadn't been the best of friends with either of the two.

«What is it?» Obito asked, a wary look in his eyes.

«Two old friends.» Kakashi simply answered and waved his free hand at the others. They had probably sensed their chakra from miles away, so there was no use in hiding now.

«Hi, Guy! Hello again, Kurenai» Kakashi tried to smile, though he knew it didn't look right and was grateful his mask covered it.

«Hello, Kakashi! Are you here for another race? I can go all night long!» Guy exclaimed and grinned widely, teeth so white they almost reflected all light back. He glances over to Kakashi's companion and for only a second his expression faltered. Kakashi could almost see Neji in his eyes. Guy was probably recalling the moment he found out what had happened, and who had caused it. Kurenai wasn't saying anything, her eyes instead glued on the Uchiha with pure malice. Asuma had died at the hands of the Akatsuki, and Obito had been their secret leader. Kakashi glanced down at her full belly, at the unborn child that soon would get brought into the world.

Obito shifted, probably growing more and more uncomfortable by the second.

You didn't need vision to know you weren't welcome.

Obito was looking down at the ground. Kakashi remembered the accident with Sakura when he had accidentally looked at her boobs instead. It was understandable he wanted to look away from people as long as possible. Eventually, he would have to look at people though.

«Hello, Kakashi. Obito.» Kurenai forced out, her teeth grinding together. Kakashi was getting uncomfortable himself and wished he had chosen the other route instead.

This was bad, really bad.

«Hello,» Obito said, and if eyes could fidget, that would be what they were doing. He looked frantic.

«So, fellas. What are you doing?» Guy asked but refused to look at anyone else than Kakashi. He talked as if Obito was there too, but he didn't act like it.

«Just looking around. We are both tired of the apartment and needed some change.» Kakashi answered. It wasn't often that he was the most cheerful person in the conversation.

«I see,» Guy answered.

This was really awkward.

«Don't you even have the decency to look someone in the eyes?» Kurenai said sternly. Obito jumped but did look up, although hesitantly.  The struggle was obvious in his eyes, and it was like every part of his body was shaking. Every molecule.

He looked at the top of her head, then moved down to her chin. There was no way for Obito to know exactly where she stood and how tall she was without touching her.

«Well, Kurenai, that would be a little difficult,» Kakashi said, breaking the painful silence that had been dragging on. She faced him, but her eyes stayed glued to the face she hated so much.

«What are you talking about, Kakashi? Are you seriously taking his side?» She spat out.

The Hatake sighed and dragged his palm across his face. He had completely forgotten about all the backlash that would come now that Obito was back. Just because he had forgiven him didn't mean everyone else would magically do so too.

«In this case, yes, I am taking his side. Anyone would stand behind someone whose ability to see had disappeared, right?» Kakashi said matter of factly and placed his hands on his hips.

Her brows furrowed again, but now in confusion rather than anger. She looked over Obito and took a long look at his eyes, how they weren't looking at her but over her, though it was obvious he thought he had managed to lay them on her. Her eyes widened in realization and she took a slow step back.

«Are you kidding me? He is blind?» She asked and let out a curt laugh. Guy was about to say something but abruptly stopped when Kurenai started laughing again. No one was smiling.

«Well, that sure as hell suits him right. I hope he didn't expect to come back to life and waltz in town without having to sacrifice anything. He sure is deserving of what's coming to him.» Then, she turned around and stomped off. Guy gave Kakashi an apologetic smile, but all ignored Obito and followed after his friend.

Obito hadn't said anything, and Kakashi didn't think he would in a while. The air around them had grown somber and the people walking past were starting to stop and stare. This could get ugly real fast. Kakashi had been so happy to have him back. He didn't want it to become interrupted by people who didn't understand.

«Let's go home,» Kakashi said, not waiting for Obitos nod before guiding his hand back on his elbow.

Neither said a word until they were at Kakashi's home and even then the sentences were short and emotionless. Obito didn't even try to make eye contact, and just hung with his head.

All the previous excitement had been drowned out by their earlier depressive encounter.

Obito looked dead, and it was not a look that suited him.

«I'm tired.» He said, the longest sentence he had muttered ever since they got home.

He walked past Kakashi, one hand dragging against the wall for guidance.

Kakashi could do nothing else than to stare at his roommate, who was lazily dragging his hand across the bed to find the shirt he normally slept in. Kakashi didn't even bother to look away while he was changing. He wasn't sure if he would have looked away or not if Obito could see him.

The same white skin that covered half his face was at his body too, his scars circling around like vines. When he moved the scars stretched and twisted, almost mesmerizingly. Kakashi's gaze traveled further down. Some scars were fresher than others, probably from his time in the Akatsuki.

It surprised him. He was so sure Kamui would make him impossible to scar if Kakashi's Sharingan wasn't there as well. He wanted to ask so badly but thought better of it.

He also didn't want to know. He didn't want to be reminded of what had been.

Kakashi walked around the bed to lay down as well. He wasn't tired but knew he wouldn't be able to concentrate if Obito was feeling down. He himself hated it when the unpleasant thoughts kicked in. He wouldn't let Obito suffer it alone.

«Good night.» He said and took a last look at his friend before closing his eyes.

 


                                                                                                    

Kakashi had always had trouble falling asleep. Sometimes it worked and he would get a few good hours of dreams, but then he will wake up two hours later completely awake. It wasn't that he had nightmares or anything. He rarely remembered his dreams, and when he did, they were the weird kind everyone had.

It was as if his body thought he was dying everytime he tried to sleep. He would jolt awake whenever sleep almost enveloped him and had to start from square one.

It had become the norm for him to wake up extremely early and sit by the window while staring at the people running by.

He loved it when it rained.

It was raining now.

The water drops pounded against the window, leaving vain like trails down. Kakashi liked to lean his forehead against the cold glass, to close his eyes and imagine. Sometimes about stuff he had been thinking about a lot, sometimes about nothing important at all.

Most often his mind wandered without his consent and the weirdest thoughts ran in.

He wasn't sleeping, but in a way, he was dreaming while awake.

He rolled his neck, getting the stiffness out and stretching his arms. No one was walking past his window, but it was in the middle of the night too.

He looked over at the sleeping shape on his bed, at the wild nest of white hair poking out. It was weird to see Obito with that color, but he didn't mind it. He actually thought it looked quite nice.

He smiled to himself and returned to his routine.

He tried to think about the next day. He didn't have any missions. He didn't have any plans. Maybe he could grant Obito his wish and practice his moves on him? Obito hadn't asked if they could train more, but something in his look told him he didn't feel content with only what they had managed earlier. They hadn't used any jutsus on each other, and he was curious about how his chakra would behave now that he had been brought back to life?

He still had muscles, which was evident by how many times Kakashi had seen him strip in front of him before going to bed. It was no secret he was in shape, something he had definitely noted earlier that day.

His arms were still toned and his stomach shaped well. His legs were well contoured. It was always impressive to see his back and how his shoulderblades moved, to look at every shadow and shape. It didn't matter that some parts of his body had been tainted by Zetsu. He was still hot.

Kakashi froze and his eyes opened.

What was he thinking? Yes, Obito was a physically attractive male, but there was no need to call him hot?

Kakashi stared at his reflection in the window and noticed his face had reddened. He felt hot as well, way more than usual. He leaned his cheek against the window and begged for the cold to cool him down. He was happy Obito was asleep.

He didn't know what to do once Obito woke up.

 

Chapter Text

«I don't understand the problem with just staying at home,» Kakashi argued, dragging the duvet further up. He was reading a book (a very good one actually) but Obito wanted them to go outside. He had no idea why he was so demanding right now, and would much rather stay at home, read, and drink some hot chocolate.

Kakashi also wanted to solve the mystery on whether Obito cared about smut or not.

«Staying inside won't be fun. We should go outside.» Obito scratched his cheek and waited two seconds, then widened his eyes as if he had gotten the greatest idea in existence. «Maybe Sakura's house! I am sure she would love for us to visit. Don't you think so too? Now leave that damn book and let's go.»

Obito was not the best actor. He had always been a direct person and was never good at keeping secrets.

«Or you could get back into the bed and try to read a book or two. I have quite the collection I think you'd enjoy.» Kakashi said and moved his eyes back to the page. He had read that one plenty of times and was looking forward to what he knew was coming.

«Kakashi,» Obito said and the white-haired man looked up. Obito had a deadpan expression, looking disappointed.

«I can't read those. You would have to read them out to me.»

Kakashi raised a brow and looked at him confused. «What are you talking- oh…»

Ohhh.

If you can't see, you can't read.

Obito didn't wait for his response and left the room instead. Kakashi was about to stand up and go apologies but stopped when he heard Obito laugh from the room next door. A wave of relief flew through him and he sighed.

Obito would have to go on without knowing about the glory the Icha Icha series brought on because Kakashi sure as hell wouldn't read those lines out loud.

 


                                                                                                    

Kakashi was royally confused, standing in front of a mirror and looking at himself. When Obito had suggested for them to go to Sakura's house he hadn't thought they would dress nicely. It wasn't as if Sakura had anything against the normal clothes they wore.

Did she?

He wore a white shirt and a loose blue tie, something he didn't even know he had until Obito had gone through his wardrobe and asked Kakashi what they were. When Kakashi explained and said it was a white shirt and a tie, he looked extremely pleased and told him to wear it.

Kakashi thought maybe they had belonged to his father once. He wasn't sure but had a distinct memory of his father coming home once wearing it.

Something loud banged against the wall in the room next door, making Kakashi look toward the open door.

«You okay out there?» He asked and readjusted his tie, not happy with how it hung. He should probably put on some pants as well.

«Yeah, sorry! I tripped over… a camera? Is this a wig?» Obito said from the room next door and Kakashi wanted to bang his head against the wall.

«It's a long story. Please don't ask.» He replied and went to get some pants.

«I honestly don't want to know.» He heard his roommate say.

Kakashi put on a pair of pants, his headband, then covered up the lower side of his face.

His hair was a mess, but it usually was, so he saw no need in fixing it. Obito eventually came back, frowning.

«I just remembered I kind of don't have any suitable clothes.» He sounded disappointed, making Kakashi even more confused.

Why was it so important to wear nice clothes today? Did Obito plan a surprise party or something?

Kakashi banged his head against the wall, making the dark-haired boy jump from the unexpecting noise.

Of course, he was planning a surprise party, and it was probably why he ate ramen with Naruto and the others yesterday.

Kakashi felt stupid for not realizing it earlier.

There was no need to expose them though, so he chose to act like nothing and play along. Obito seemed really excited.

«You can borrow some of mine if you want. I think we wear the same size.» Kakashi said and walked over to his wardrobe, looking through it and seeing if he could find something fitting. He wasn't sure what Obito liked to wear to parties.

Had Obito ever been to a party?

He thought it was probably better not to ask.

He found a wine red shirt and black tie to match, then some pants and a pair of nice shoes.

Kakashi looked over at his friend and walked up to him to give him the clothes, feeling curious about how he would look. Not that he didn't suit wearing pajamas.

Kakashi sat down on the bed, looked at himself in the mirror for a few seconds, then leaned back onto the bed and stared at the ceiling. He studied each brown dot and swirl from the wood, made pictures in his head and scenarios that could fit. He had probably laid there for a few minutes when he heard Obito come back.

«I would have put the tie on myself, but it was a little more difficult than I thought.» He murmured and held it in his hands.

Kakashi looked up and immediately froze, not being able to look away.

The wine red color fit him better than he would have thought, reminding him of the bright color the Sharingan had. The shirt clung to him perfectly and accentuated him at all the best places. He walked around in a slow circle, looking worried at Kakashi's lack of response.

The white-haired man had his focus somewhere else though, as his eyes were glue on Obitos ass.

«Okay, time to go!» Kakashi said and looked away, feeling frustrated with himself.

Those books must have a bad impact on him.

«What about the tie?» Obito asked and placed it on the bed.

«You don't need it,» Kakashi answered and walked to the door. «Sakura's place, right?»

 


                                                                                                    

 

Kakashi was avoiding looking at Obito.

Obito was a friend, a childhood friend. It wasn't right for Kakashi to think of him like that.

What if Obito would start to hate him?

Kakashi would have to suppress these thoughts as much as he could. He could definitely not act upon them, or his friendship with Obito could end up destroyed.

«I've been thinking,» Obito said, voice barely above a whisper.

Kakashi nodded, looking up at the bright blue sky. Some of the people walking past looked curiously at them, not used to the type of attire they wore.

«Do you think they invited Kurenai and Guy?»

Kakashi looked over at Obito for the first time since they exited the house and noticed the worry etched between his brows.

Has he worried about meeting them this entire day? I hadn't noticed…

«It makes sense to bring them to the party, they're your friends after all.»

Obito was so deep in thoughts he hadn't even noticed that he was telling Kakashi about the party.

«I doubt they'll try to confront you. Maybe Guy will try to make some light conversation, but Kurenai will probably only glare.» Kakashi looked down at his feet and tried to imagine how everything could go, and truly hoped no one would initiate a fight of some sort.

«I know they were rude to you, but I hope you can understand where they're coming from. Guy lost one of his students in the war, and Kurenai lost the man she loved most to one of the members in Akatsuki. Give them some time, and maybe they'll eventually warm up to you.»

Kakashi hoped it didn't come across wrong or judging. Kurenai and Guy had both been his friends and he started hanging out with them more after Obito disappeared. They weren't replacements for Obito, but they helped a lot and gave him a sense of ease in the past.

«Remember, Kakashi, I knew them both when I was a kid as well. We weren't friends, but I've talked to them both several times. Guy even kicked my ass during the Chunin exams.» Obito scratched his scalp and opened and closed his mouth several times, silently testing his next words out.

«I have watched everyone since I left. At least once a year I've come here to look and spectate. I, of course, didn't have good intentions in the past, but I wanted to see what was happening to everyone. I witnessed Guy and Kurenai grow up once every year, Asuna too.» Obito grunted and scratched harder. «I am not the best with words. What I am trying to say is, that I understand it. I get that they resent me, hate me, and I won't try to make excuses for why they should forgive me for what I have done. Even if it was in the past, it still happened, and it cant be changed.»

Kakashi had no words. He had no idea that Obito had come to visit every year after he left. He had watched everyone.

Even him.

He wasn't surprised that Obito didn't expect forgiveness. Kakashi was sure Obito wouldn't mind it if no one ever forgave him.

«Oh shit,» Obito said and looked over to where Kakashi stood. «I told you about the party!»

Yeah, no shit.

«I'll act like I heard nothing.» Kakashi smiled, feeling happy for the conversation change.

They stopped outside Sakura's door, both feeling more and more nervous, though for different reasons.

Kakashi moved his hand to knock on the door, but it burst open before he managed and two faces popped out.

«Congratulate for becoming the next Hokage!» Two voices screamed and Kakashi felt his entire skeleton shudder.

Naruto and Kiba were grinning from ear to ear, then they grabbed Kakashi and Obito and pulled them inside the apartment.

A grumpy Shikamaru sat by the stairs, wearing the same clothes he always wore.

«Sakura was supposed to open the door, then the rest would hide and scare them once they were inside. We went over the plan a thousand times earlier.» He said and leaned back against the railing, yawning.

«Who's got patience for that?» Naruto complained and continued to drag Obito in, who looked very confused at the turn of events.

Kakashi wanted to go home already.

«Why do you ruin everything?» Sakura said and slapped Naruto on his shoulder, though she only got a grin as a response.

Shino and Hinata were there too, standing beside the stairs and smiling at them. Hinata paid special attention to Naruto, though she tried to hide it by looking away every few seconds. Lee and Tenten were standing beside Guy, who grinned at Kakashi and nodded to himself. Tenten and Lee didn't seem to notice them since they were excitedly talking. Since Hinata, Shino and Kiba were there, Kakashi guessed Kurenai were there too. She was nowhere to be seen though.

He said hello to everyone and hugged them, thanking them for coming and surprising him with a party.

He made sure to pay attention to Obito too in case something went wrong, but he seemed to be happily chatting with Naruto and Kiba. 

«I can't believe my rival is soon to be Hokage! I need to catch up.» Guy said and pointed his thumb at himself. «Maybe I'll be the seventh Hokage?»

«Don't you dare!» Naruto shouted from the other end of the room, then continued his talk. Guy chuckled fondly to himself.

Kakashi grinned in return «Good luck.» He simply said.

Guy looked surprised at him, then smiled a peaceful smile «I can never tell when you're genuine or sarcastic, I guess that's something inbeded in your character.»

«What do you mean?» Kakashi said and faked surprise, widening his eyes.

Guy talked about his last mission, complaining about how unprofessional some people could be. Kakashi was falling out of the conversation every now and then, but nodded anyway and tried not to seem disrespectful.

He lost his patience though.

«Anyway,» He said and Guy stopped his sentence, looking at him curiously. «Where is Kurenai? Will she come?»

Guy glanced over at Obito for a second, but it was so fast Kakashi may have seen wrong.

He walked forward and slapped Kakashi on his shoulder.

«You should calm down more, stop worrying. I think you need a drink or two.» Guy said and dragged Kakashi toward the kitchen, where Sakura had prepared several bottles of both things Kakashi recognized and stuff he had never heard about before.

Guy grabbed a bottle and two shot glasses, then poured the liquid in. Kakashi tried to read the label, but Guy moved it out of the way.

«Stop thinking. You think too much.» Then he handed Kakashi one of the glasses and kept one for himself.

He looked at Guy suspiciously, not sure about the whole situation.

He took the shot though, feeling the strong liquid burn his throat.

Before he managed to place the cup down on the table Guy was already grabbing another bottle, identifying them all and searching.

«What are you-?» Kakashi started, but Guy held out a finger, silencing him.

«Have Obito ever been drunk before?» He asked and moved to look at another bottle. Kakashi hoped Sakura didn't own all these bottles.

«I don't know. We don't exactly talk about alcohol.» Kakashi admitted and looked over his shoulder to make sure everything was okay. Obito was laughing at something Kiba said, and Naruto looked embarrassed.

«What do you think he will talk about when he is drunk?» Guy said and was looking at Obito now too. Kakashi stared at him and felt an itch grow in his stomach.

«Are you kidding me? Do you plan on getting him drunk so that he will spill a secret or something?» Kakashi turned to leave but got stopped by Guy holding his arm.

This was getting frustrating. He could excuse their behavior from yesterday, but this was getting childish and idiotic.

Where was Kurenai anyway?

«I understand that you trust him, but you are almost the only one. Kiba and Naruto are too naive to doubt what he is doing, and Sakura is someone who will do whatever Tsunade or you tell her to do, so she won't think twice about forgiving him.»

Kakashi rolled his eyes and tried to leave the kitchen again, but Guy moved in front of him and blocked his way.

«Okay, sorry, I went too far. I apologize» Guy said, though it looked as if it physically pained him to say so. «I won't try to force anything on him.»

Kakashi considered his apology.

He didn't believe him.

But if he tried to get Obito to drink, he would personally stop it.

«Another drink?» Guy asked, sounding genuine for the first time that day. Kakashi looked over Guys shoulder at Obito, feeling reassured that he was talking with people he trusted.

«Sure, another drink,» Kakashi replied.

Chapter Text

More and more people had arrived, but none had introduced themselves to Obito. They hadn't talked to Naruto or Kiba either, so Obito was sure everyone wanted to stay as far away from him as possible.

Naruto and Kiba continued to talk, acting as if nothing was out of the ordinary.

«It's so typical! I don't get why they would refuse to let me bring Sasuke along. Kakashi was his teacher too, so he has just as much right to come as everyone else. If he wanted to break out he would have done so ages ago.» Naruto whined, probably pouting too.

Obito grinned and patted his shoulder, holding in his laugh. It was rather fun to hear Naruto talk about Sasuke since it was so different from how Sasuke always talked about Naruto. Obito remembered it when he met Sasuke and bandaged him up after he had killed Itachi. He hadn't mentioned naruto once, but it was obvious he was thinking about him. He was watching when Sasuke reunited with Sakura - and tried to kill her but was interrupted by a bothersome Kakashi - and then Naruto after that. His demeanor had changed, though it was subtle. Naruto's words had hit him in a way no one else had, even if others had said a lot of the same.

It was interesting, how Sasuke kept it all inside, while Naruto seemed to prefer to let it all out.

«Well, maybe this is an opportunity to talk some more with... I don't know, maybe Hinata?» Kiba hinted. Naruto said nothing and Obito wasn't sure if he was considering it or not.

«I am not sure. It feels weird after the war. I know it shouldn’t.» He sighed. «I am not even sure what we would talk about. We never really talked outside of missions.»

Obito couldn't relate.

«You know what, Naruto. You think too much. The words will come by themselves and without knowing it you'll be having long conversations. Maybe you'll ease up a little if you drink a little first?»

Kiba walked away, leaving a surprised Naruto and a confused Obito behind. He arrived almost immediately after and the sound of clinking followed.

«Guy was guarding the good stuff like a hawk in there, but I managed to get something. I don't think I have ever seen Kakashi drink either.» Kiba mumbled and placed a few cups at the table.

Kakashi? Drinking? That would be an interesting sight.

A part of Obito wanted to go to the kitchen to see how affected Kakashi was but decided against it since Guy was in there.

«I am not the best with romance and everything, but I don't think its smart to get tipsy in order to start a conversation with someone,» Obito said and searched for one of the couches with his hand, then sat down. He heard creaking noises from beside him and opposite.

«Don't worry, I do it all the time!» Kiba said from the opposite side of the table. Naruto must have been the one sitting beside Obito then.

«You know what. I'm in. But,» Naruto slid two cups across the table. «Only if everyone goes all in.»

Obito hesitated, not sure if he should. He usually stuck to a beer or two every once in a while. He didn't drink much.

Obito was a lightweight.

But he was also an adult.

«Wait, aren't you too young to drink?» He asked his companions, finding the last few excuses he had not to. It wasn't that he didn't mind drinking, but he lost his sense of judgment too fast too easily and wanted to think clearly when so many people who disliked him were gathered in one place.

«No.» Kiba lied, a defensive tone in his voice.

«Okay then,» Obito said and reached forward to grab the cup Naruto had slid toward him.

«Bottoms up,» Kiba said, and that was what they did.

 

It didn't take long until Obito felt the familiar heat clawing its way up his feet. He was sure that if he tried to stand up he would probably be dizzy. Kakashi was nowhere to be heard. Kurenai hadn't arrived either and he had started to hope she wouldn't. She had a kid, so maybe she had to stay at home and take care of her.

Sakura was hysterically laughing at something from the kitchen. He heard someone else speak but didn't recognize the voice.

«You have to stop doing that, Sai!» Sakura yelled, but still continued to cackle.

Obito definitely didn't know who that was.   

Naruto turned around in his scene, seemingly restless.

«Oh, Kakashi! Guy! Get over here.» He shouted and motioned for them to come over.

Well, thank you Naruto. That is so kind of you.

Obito crawled a little in on himself, not wanting them to come over and not wanting to show how exposed he felt.

If he only could see them, it would be easier. He couldn't wait until he got his vision back. He would have to talk with Sakura about it again soon.

«Hello everyone. I recommend not drinking too much since I am sure most of us have missions tomorrow.» Guy said and sat down, luckily not on the same couch that Obito and Naruto sat on. Kakashi sat down too, and by the sound of the creaking, it was in a chair.

«You're drinking,» Kakashi said, voice low and probably only audible to Obito.

«Yeah, is that wrong?» Obito retorted and took another sip for dramatic effect.

Kakashi said nothing for a few seconds, an answer enough.

«I think you're ready to go,» Kiba said and Naruto jumped, having forgotten why he even wanted to get alcohol in his system.

«Why is everyone so interested in my love life? What about yours?» Naruto complained, folding his arms.

«I don't think you quite understand. We don't have a love life, so its fun to have one through you.» Kiba said, sounding so serious no one knew if he meant it or not.

Naruto started stammering, saying incoherent sentences.

«W-well then. What about Kakashi? It looked like he had one on our last mission?» Naruto said and pointed toward his ex-teacher.

Obito startled, looking toward where he thought Kakashi may sit.

No one said anything and he felt more and more nervous the longer it took for Kakashi to deny it.

Why wasn't he saying anything?

Come on, Kakashi. Only a few words. Just deny it.

«I wouldn't call that love. That was just a short fling.» He said, making Guy and even Shikamaru - who had yet to leave the stairs - burst out laughing.

Obito was not laughing.

A short fling. Did Kakashi have short flings on missions?

Obito reached forward for his glass again and found another bottle. He didn't care what it was. He just needed something to distract himself with.

«Fine, you win,» Naruto said and stood up to find Hinata.

The couch felt unbearably empty now that Obito was the only one sitting on it.

The rest talked and joked, but Obito didn't feel involved, didn't want to get involved either.

He wished Anko were there, then they could both sulk somewhere. She would probably have left early and moved on to a shady bar instead. He would have joined.

Everyone moved to the floor instead, where there was more space. They were playing some sort of game where one person read a sentence from a card where a word or two was missing, then the rest handed out cards of their own with words that could be filled in. Obito didn't join for obvious reasons.

Naruto had yet to return. Shino had arrived as well, so it meant Hinata and Naruto were alone.

He guessed the alcohol really did help.

 

It had all started out so calmly. They laughed, they played, people teased each other. It wasn't until most were really affected by the alcohol that the laughter turned into a quiet hum and all the voices blended together.

Obito's legs felt like liquid and his stomach was twisting itself in knots.

He didn't mind how much he was drinking, neither did he care for the burning sensation in his throat.

He didn't want to think right now, didn't want to feel. Obito wasn't sure why he felt like this, why he filled his glass before it was even empty.

Without realizing it himself he was laughing with everyone else, having forgotten about Guy in the room. Having forgotten there were people who didn't like him. Or maybe he just didn't care anymore.

His laughter rose until his stomach was hurting. He was grinning so widely his cheeks ached. He wouldn't be surprised if two bruises appeared there in the morning. He voiced his thoughts and laughed harder. Kiba had stopped talking. Guy was laughing louder than anyone else.

Obito couldn't hear Kakashi but could feel his presence from beside him. He knew Kakashi had been drinking with guy earlier, and still wondered how drunk Kakashi was.

The thought of Kakashi made his face grow warmer, but he didn't mind. He felt, for some reason, self-assured, and didn't care what anyone in the room thought of him.

He felt so at ease he could have spilled all his secrets and wouldn't have minded one bit.

He didn't though since he knew he would sort of regret it later.

His thoughts moved back to Kakashi again and suddenly he wanted to get closer, to feel him.

What did that girl have that he didn't have? The one he had apparently hooked up with.

Obito had come back to life and the first thing Kakashi does is whore around with women?

Maybe Kakashi had always been a player with girls and Obito just hadn't noticed.

He moved his hand onto the floor and reached out beside him, searching. He met Kakashi's knee and brushed the fabric, letting his hands stay there.

The contact alone brought him great comfort.

Would Kakashi mind if he hugged him?

Probably. He wouldn't really know until he tried though.

He crawled toward his childhood friend and without saying anything, leaned forward to put his arms around Kakashi's neck. He leaned forward and his cheek grazed Kakashi's.

Kakashi smelled like honey and a small hint of wet dog.

All his limbs moved on their own accord and without fully being aware of it, he was in Kakashi's lap.

Kakashi wasn't saying anything, and no one else seemed to react to the situation, so Obito hugged him tighter.

«Thank you so much for forgiving me.» He mumbled into the crook of his neck, feeling hair tickle his cheek.

He could feel Kakashi's stomach tighten from beneath the cloth and he felt Kakashi smile. 

It would have been better if they were alone, but this could suffice as well.

«Hey, Obito, I thought it was you who said it wasn't smart to flirt while drunk!» Kiba howled.

Obito didn't care enough to respond.

Something settled on his back, heavy.

Obito closed his eyes and leaned his head on Kakashi's shoulder, enjoying the moment.

It didn't take long until he fell asleep.

 

Chapter Text

Guy was reluctant to talk about Kurenai, so Kakashi stopped pestering. He wanted to get to the bottom of it but knew it wouldn't help and would probably make Guy leave instead.

Kakashi grew increasingly bored with each drink but didn't want to be rude and say so, so he instead smiled and continued.

He took down the fabric covering his mouth and took another sip, happy Guy wasn't the kind that would beg to see what Kakashi looked like under the mask like a few certain someones.

He turned around to catch a glimpse of the living room, making sure everything was fine. Obito, Kiba and Naruto had all moved to sit on the couch instead.

Kakashi was extremely relieved that Naruto and Kiba accompanied Obito since if they were here, he would probably have a harder time.

Kakashi was distracted Guy so that he wouldn't make Obito start to drink. It may be that Obito had a very clear head when drunk, but Kakashi didn't want to take any chances.

«So are you ready for tomorrows mission? It will be your last.» Guy said and leaned against the fridge, looking at Kakashi wearily.

He had forgotten. Tsunade had sent him a letter with the instructions, and also requested for Obito to be brought along. Kakashi found It weird but didn't question it. It would be fun to see how Obito performed, and he was sure the Uchiha would be happy to hear the news.

«It will be interesting.» Kakashi simply said and moved the glass to his lips.

He was already tired and really missed his bed at the moment.

«Give me, give me!» Sakura said and moved to grab Kakashi's glass. He hadn't even noticed that she had arrived. Sai followed after, almost tripping over his feet. If Kakashi had to guess, he had never been drunk before. Danzo was probably very angry from where he was buried.

Sakura was laughing, but Kakashi couldn't fathom why. Sai reached for her and then, Kakashi saw he was aiming for her stomach, trying to tickle her.

«You have to stop doing that, Sai!» She said and almost tripped over her feet, making her laugh even louder.

Kakashi was very confused about what was happening.

«Oh, Kakashi! Guy! Get over here.» Naruto ordered from where he sat in the living room. Kakashi honestly didn't mind, since he could now watch over Obito and give Guy the death glare if he tried to pour something to Obito.

Maybe he was getting slightly paranoid, but it was excusable.

He looked over at Guy and received a smile and a nod in response, so they walked to where the rest sat. Sakura and Sai stayed in the kitchen, one laughing while the other walked around like a zombie.

«Hello everyone. I recommend not drinking too much since I am sure most of us have missions tomorrow.» Guy said and walked over to sit beside Kiba.

There was a chair at the end of the table, so Kakashi sat down and looked over at Obito, but froze when he sat the glass in his hand.

«You're drinking,» He simply stated, feeling his stomach drop.

He had been doing his best to hold Guy from doing something stupid, and Obito was drinking on his own free will. Now we really wanted to just go home.

«Yeah, is that wrong?» Obito said and took another sip, probably to get further on Kakashi's nerves. It worked.

Kakashi said nothing, not wanting to complain or tell him to stuff. Obito was an adult and could decide for himself, even if it was rather annoying at the time.

«I think you're ready to go,» Kiba said and grinned widely, motioning for Naruto to stand up. The nervous blond jumped and looked confused at Kiba for a second, then looked annoyed once realization hit him.

«Why is everyone so interested in my love life? What about yours?» He argued and folded his arms before pointedly looking over at Kiba.

«I don't think you quite understand. We don't have a love life, so its fun to have one through you.» Kiba confessed though it sounded as if it was public information everyone should be aware of.

Naruto looked away and opened his mouth to say something, though only meaningless words came out. Then, he looked over at Kakashi and pointed.

«W-well then. What about Kakashi? It looked like he had one on our last mission?»

He could see Obito jump from his peripheral vision.

Why don't you announce it to the entire world, Naruto.

Kakashi looked away from Obito, feeling frustrated at the leaked information. He didn't want Obito to view him as some sort of man whore.

He hadn't exactly hooked up with that girl, but he was sure no one would believe him if he said so. Maybe he would if she hadn't left because of Naruto's too on point description of him.

He looked back at Obito, who was furrowing his brows and looking down in his lap.

He really wanted to be home, laying in his bed while reading.

He wanted to tell Obito that it was wrong too, though it wouldn't look good in front of the rest.

Obito probably didn't even care, so he would just make a fool out of himself.

«I wouldn't call that love. That was just a short fling.» Kakashi said and leaned back in his chair. Guy and even Shikamaru - who he had honestly forgotten about - started laughing. It even looked like Guy was wiping a tear away.

He glanced over at Obito, who looked even more irritated now than earlier.

Was he jealous? Kakashi wasn't sure if Obito had ever been in a relationship. Maybe he wanted to be in one and envied Kakashi?

No, that would be too idiotic and sounded narcissistic on Kakashi's end.

Obito then leaned forward toward his cup and grabbed the nearest bottle, then carefully poured some in his glass. He didn't say anything, and Kakashi kind of wished he did.

«Fine, you win,» Naruto suddenly said and stood up. Kakashi wasn't sure what it was all about and didn't bother to ask either.

Sometimes it was best to stay ignorant.

Kakashi didn't pay attention to the rest of the conversation and instead looked at Obito, waiting for the slightest sign that could tell him what he was feeling.

So far he got one emotion. Frustration.

Everyone moved to the floor, though Kakashi wasn't quite sure why, and continued to play there instead.

Kakashi sat down beside Obito, though kept a slight distance and sat a little behind him.

He didn't want to invade his personal space. Everyone was laughing louder and louder and it became so unbearable Kakashi started getting chills. He preferred the silence a bar had.

Neither Obito nor Kakashi joined, and no one questioned it.

Obito was drinking more and more, draining bottles. Kakashi was starting to worry and wanted to ask if they could leave but stopped when he heard Obito laugh.

He looked surprised at his friend, not expecting the noise. He knew Obito wasn't paying attention to what was going on around him, but he still laughed with everyone else.

He hoped he had only ingested alcohol, but started to wonder if someone had put something weird in it.

Or maybe Obito was just really weird when drunk.

Obito started smiling to himself, and then mumbled: «What if two bruises appear on my cheeks tomorrow?»

What the hell was going on inside his head? Kakashi thought, genuinly curious and disturbed.

Kiba froze from where he sat and stared at Obito with a horrified expression before touched his own cheeks.

Guy had apparently forgotten his resentment for Obito since he was laughing so much he sounded like a choked rat. Shikamaru looked like he would rather be anywhere but there.

Sakura was sipping silently on a bottle of wine, looking at all her cards. Tenten was sprawled on her lap, sleeping. There were people everywhere and Kakashi hoped they were breaking anything for Sakura's sake.

Kakashi was the only one who seemed remotely sober, and he had taken in his share.

Something moved and Kakashi looked toward Obito to see him desperately look at the floor, his hand inching toward Kakashi. He considered moving away but stayed where he was out of curiosity for what Obito was planning. Maybe he was searching for another bottle of whatever he was drinking. Obito's hand met Kakashi's knee and he stopped, having a serene expression on his face.

Kakashi's breath hitched. He had never thought he would see such an expression on Obito's face, and the sight made him both want to look away and stare on forever. He forced his eyes downwards toward Obito's hand instead, feeling so very relieved that Obito couldn't see him.

Kakashi was sure that was as much Obito would do, but then he crawled toward him, making Kakashi's heart beat faster. He felt paralyzed.

Obito sat in front of him and bit his lower lip, looking unsure for a second before moving his hands around his neck. He leaned forward and hugged Kakashi.

For some reason, the scars felt strangely soft. He had thought the edges would be hard and like plastic, but it wasn't like that at all. Obito sniffed his hair and Kakashi was surer than ever that Obito must have been the weirdest type of drunk that existed.

Obito continued to move and ended up sitting in his lap, looking comfortable and content.

Kakashi could still not say anything. He waited expectantly for what Obito would do next.

Would he kiss him? He wouldn't mind.

Obito moved forward and Kakashi closed his eyes, leaning in.

Then, Obito moved his head to one of his shoulders instead and hugged him.

Kakashi felt disappointed but ignored it when Obito spoke.

«Thank you so much for forgiving me.» He mumbled into the crook of his neck, his breath tickling him.

Kakashi's stomach tightened and his breath became uneven.

Of course, I would, idiot. He though and couldn't stop the smile from forming on his mouth.

«Hey, Obito, I thought it was you who said it wasn't smart to flirt while drunk!» Kiba said and placed a card in the middle of the circle they had all created. Kakashi wanted to know the context where Obito would say something like that, but the thoughts got drowned by new ones.

Was Obito flirting? He so dearly hoped so and moved his hand to lay it on Obito's back, feeling the warmth.

Eventually, Obito grew heavier and he realized the Uchiha had fallen asleep.

 

Obito didn't wake up again, and Kakashi didn't mind being a temporary bed for the guy. Naruto and Hinata had returned from where they were, him having an arm around her shoulders while she leaned close against him.

Kakashi was happy Sasuke wasn't there, though he doubted Naruto would have flirted with Hinata if Sasuke had been there from the beginning. Naruto stopped walking when he saw them and looked at Obito, then Kakashi, raising his brows.

Kakashi simply shook his head, silently daring Naruto to wake him up.

The blond then snickered and walked over to the couch.

«Shit,» A light voice said and Kakashi looked over to the stairs.

Sakura was leaning against the railing, her hair wild and unkempt. She could barely open her eyes and they looked red.

«Do you think we could borrow a spare room? I think it would be better to let him sleep.»

Sakura walked down the stair, over a sleeping Shikamaru, and over to Kakashi and Obito.

«Yeah, sure. There's one across the bathroom.» She pointed her thumb over her shoulder, but she managed to point in the completely wrong direction. Kakashi thanked her and stood up, taking Obito with him and holding him around his legs. Obito luckily leaned forward into Kakashi, or it could have easily gone very wrong.

Kakashi brought them up to the spare room and helped a sleeping Obito to bed, dragging the duvet over him and begging him not to wake up just yet.

Kakashi was not ready for the conversation he knew would come. He walked over to the other side of the bed and laid down, looking at the ceiling for a few minutes before trying to welcome sleep.

He reimagined the day, thinking about Obito looking toward him with sultry eyes while sitting in his lap.

He almost hoped Obito would forget it.

Almost.

Chapter Text

Nightmare-less nights had become a privilege, one that Obito did not have. It had been years since he had fallen asleep peacefully, years since he hadn't worried he might not wake up. Zetsu would often joke that he could fill a bathtub with the amount of sweat he produced while sleeping. Madara called it a weakness and told him to get over it. He should focus on his hatred rather than his fears. He had thought it would get better the older he got, the longer he had distanced himself from everyone. He had been wrong. He would see Rin, sometimes killed by the branches he created, sometimes by normal everyday things he socialized with. There was a time he had dreamt that Minato was actually Madara, and he was the mastermind behind the Akatsuki who had used Obito as a pawn since the beginning.

He often confused himself.

Obito tightened his grip on the duvet over him and clutched it tighter to himself. He could feel the bed beneath him, feel his hair stick to his damp forehead and his shirt to his back. All his senses were heightened, but he couldn't open his eyes. He tightened one of his fists to draw blood, digging his nails into his skin, feeling the pain and hoping he'd wake up as soon as possible. A drop of blood ran down his palm, staining his duvet, but his eyes were still closed.

«What?» he whispered, feeling his throat ache and sandpaper scratch the insides of his lungs. His heart quickened. He wanted out, he didn't want to stay in this dream anymore. He wanted to wake up and go to the ramen shop with Kakashi and Naruto, to go on a mission. He didn't want to be a caged animal anymore.

His breath quickened, his heart hitting his ribcage like a drum and trying to get through. It hurt it hurt it hurt and he wished he could open his eyes so much it hurt.

«Obito!» A deep voice said, making him freeze. Was someone else in the dream with him?

Someone touched his shoulder, making him wince. The palm on his skin spread warmth out to the rest of his limbs, and the contact alone made his heart slow down and his breaths even. His eyes were still closed though.

«Obito, listen to me. Breath slowly, in with your nose and out with your mouth.» The voice was soothing, so he obliged. The person moved his thumb back and forth, and Obito decided used the movements as a pattern for his breathing. His thumb moved, he breathed in, the thumb moved, he breathed out.

After a few minutes, his heartbeat was normal and all that was left was the restlessness in his bones. He both felt like he had just run a course and slept for years at the same time.

«Are you better now?» The voice said again. Kakashi, Obito now recognized. He tried to blink but still saw nothing.

«Kakashi, there is something covering my eyes,» Obito mumbled, not having the energy to move whatever it was away.

Kakashi stilled for a second, but he continued moving his thumb almost immediately after.

«There is nothing covering your eyes, Obito,» Kakashi muttered, the sound not quite a whisper yet he wasn't fully talking.

Oh, that's right. Obito couldn't see anymore.

He had been awake the whole time, thinking he was asleep.

«When did I wake up.» He asked, raising his hands in front of his eyes.

Kakashi removed his hand from Obitos shoulder, and for some reason, he longed for the touch again. «I am not sure, but I noticed you were awake about fifteen minutes ago.»

Fifteen minutes? He had been laying there for fifteen minutes, thinking he had been in a horrible dream that consisted of only blackness. He had thought he couldn't get out no matter how much he willed himself to wake. He wondered how it must have looked to Kakashi and was so happy he would never see it for himself.

His cheeks heated and he placed his palms over his face to cover it. He felt humiliated.

His cheeks were slightly wet. He squeezed his eyes shut, feeling like the day (or night) was only getting worse.

«You know, when I can't sleep or have a bad night, I usually sit in front of the window and stare at the neighbor houses. Sometimes some drunk friends will walk past, and its fun to imagine their lives.» Kakashi chuckled as if he had just told a fun secret.

Obito sat up and listened. He couldn't imagine Kakashi sulking. He was always a cool and collected guy in his head. Even in the war, he didn't let emotions get too much of him.

«Were you sitting there now, before… helping me?» Obito asked and felt strangely curious. Without noticing it himself he had been leaning slightly closer. He didn't pull back.

«You got me there,» Kakashi said, but he didn't sound amused. «I sit there most nights. Let's just say I don't fall asleep easily.»

Insomnia? Thought Obito, though he didn't ask it out loud.

Obito didn't know how close they were, but he could feel Kakashi's body warmth and breath on his skin. He wanted to get even closer, to know how his skin felt, how his hair felt and how it would be to feel Kakashi laugh against his skin.

Obito looked away, feeling his throat tighten. He was walking on dangerous territory. He should thank him and try to go back to sleep. He was simply tired, and the remainder of his anxiety was making his mind hazy.

That must be it.

«Thank you. For earlier.» He choked out and turned around to go back into the world of the sleep. To go to the place he really didn't want to go to.

«Wait-» Kakashi said and grabbed his shoulder.

Obito held his breath and stopped. He didn't say anything, but he didn't move further away either.

«Could we talk some more? Just until the both of us turn a little more tired» Kakashi asked, sounding… nervous?

The Uchiha smiled to himself and shook his head.

«How do you know I am not tired?» He said and leaned back against the wall and piled pillows again.

«Well, I'm not sure, it may be your wide eyes or the fact that you are shaking.» Kakashi countered. He wasn't saying it to be mean, but Obito still furrowed his brows at him and pursed his lips.

«Goodnight, Kakashi.» He said. He didn't go to sleep.

Kakashi waited expectantly for him to do so, his grin growing with every second Obito was sitting.

«So what do you want to talk about?» Obito said, acting as he had never said he would go to sleep. Kakashi forced himself not to laugh, but Obito could still hear small choked chuckles here and there.

«I don't know. Anything. What's your favorite food?»

Were they children writing in each others friend books?

He sighed, saying «probably, Dango.»

«Mine is broiled saury with salt, miso soup, and eggplant. It's the perfect dinner after an exhausting mission.» Kakashi replied, probably imagining the food at this moment.

«That's… specific.» Obito replied and readjusted the way he sat. The small talk was making him feel uneasy. It was something so unusual, but at the same time, perfectly normal. He wondered if this was how it would be from now on. If he would spend hours just talking about nothing in particular. He wouldn't have minded that.

«Your question?» Kakashi

As if Obito could come up with a question on the spot, though he would take the challenge. It would have to be a question better than what Kakashi asked, though that wasn't exactly hard. He closed his eyes, feeling the stinging remains of dried up tears. He knew Kakashi very well, even if they hadn't talked for several years. Obito had seen him every now and then, looking over the town for nostalgia purposes. No one knew this. Kakashi knew.

There was nothing for Obito to ask. Who was your first crush? That would be too childish and he didn't particularly care to know. What do you see most of the time when you look at the clouds? As if Kakashi would look at the clouds.

«A cloud,» Kakashi said, and Obito jolted, not expecting a reply. Had he been thinking out loud?

«That wasn't my question.» He corrected and continued to brainstorm.

What do you dream of the most? No, that could be interpreted wrong and as cheesy. He didn't want Kakashi to get the wrong impression of him, he had to keep up face.

Face? He though and opened his eyes.

«Could I touch your face?» He asked and looked over at Kakashi. He was curious as to how it felt, and it wouldn't be weird to ask since he was at the moment blind, right?

He didn't like to use this as an excuse, but he was in a predicament he could take advantage of.

Right?

«Is that even a question?» Kakashi said but moved to sit right in front of Obito. He sounded tired, he moved as if he were tired.

«Sure,» Obito said and straightened. This was the moment he had been waiting for. He had been imagining Kakashi's face in his head for years but never came to a proper conclusion because of that damned mask.  He raised his hands gingerly, rethinking his past actions.

Maybe this had been a mistake? He should choose to ask something else. What was he even doing? Kakashi would think him weird if he continued down this road. He should just turn around and go back.

Kakashi gently held Obito's hands, then moved them up to his cheeks.

Palm against soft skin.

Wait. Skin? Obito though, his face shaped into one of confusion.

«Aren't you wearing your mask?» Obito asked, his thumb grazing the warm skin.

«Who wears a mask at night?» Kakashi answered, his voice hoarse, confusing Obito by the sudden change of tone. He moved his thumb lower toward the other man's jaw, feeling each shape and inch under his fingertips. His thumb moved toward each other until he felt the corners of Kakashi's lips. Without being completely aware of his own actions he dragged one thumb across, stopping when he felt teeth. Kakashi was biting his lower lip.

Obito's heart jumped and he moved away.

«I think that suffices» Obito breathed and slouched further down on the bed. Kakashi didn't say anything, neither did he move. The silence grew thicker by the minute and the messy feeling in his stomach didn't help.

Eventually, Kakashi moved back, mumbling «Goodnight.»

He sounded… disappointed?

Still, the lingering sensation of his skin pricked Obitos fingers. He imagined Kakashi's face in his head and tried to fill in the blanks underneath the mask.

«I have one last question,» Kakashi said, voice muffled by his pillow.

Obito waited, listening. When he realized Kakashi was waiting for him to respond he made an «Mhm» sound low in his throat.

Kakashi breathed deeply, almost shaking.

«Do you remember last night?» he said, and it almost sounded as if he didn't want an answer. It was as if it was a question more to himself than to Obito.

«No, did something weird happen?» He said and pulled the duvet further up, feeling it against his chin.

«I was just wondering. Goodnight.» Kakashi replied. His breath turned even pretty quickly, and Obito guessed he had fallen asleep.

Obito fell asleep quickly too, with a smile on his mouth while he thought about last night.

Chapter Text

Kakashi sat at his usual place by the window, replaying the events that happened the night they stayed over at Sakura's house. It had been two days ago, yet he couldn't erase the image of Obito looking at him, his fingers slowly trailing his cheeks. He had been so enthralled he almost forgot why Obito even wanted to feel his face. He had raised his hands to touch Obitos but stopped himself before they reached his skin.

«Aren't you ready?» Shouted Obito from the hallway, overly excited for their mission. It would be his first for many years, and Kakashi liked the enthusiasm.

Sometimes he got a little too excited though.

«I'll just go like this. It's not like they have a strict dressing code.» Kakashi responded and stretched out his legs, feeling stiff all over. He had been lazing around too much lately, but he had declined every mission since Obito returned in order to spend more time with him.

«I refuse to believe all you do before a mission is waking up. You gotta do something more.» Obito said and walked into the room, staring him down and holding his hands on his hips.

«What do you want me to do then?» Kakashi asked, over exaggerating a sigh.

«For you to strangle my hips with yours and push me against the wall.» Obito mused, voice husky and low. Kakashi turned around and stared bewildered at his roommate, though feeling hopeful.

Obito looked confused at his strange expression and raised his brows questioningly.

«What?» He asked and leaned down to put on a pair of socks.

Kakashi looked Obito up and down, taking in everything he could before Obito was finished. «What did you say»?

«I said I wish for you to take things more seriously and to stop acting like a wall. You're too emotionless at times, it's creeping me out.» Obito looked disgusted at his socks, and Kakashi for a second thought it was because of him, but then he realized that Obito had grabbed a mismatched pair and one was much longer than the other, which only went up to his ankle.

Kakashi sighed in disappointment and hated his brain for playing tricks on him.

Of course, Obito wouldn't be so bold.

Maybe he should change into proper clothes and brush his teeth before meeting up with Tsunade.

And maybe he should smile some more since according to Obito he was as emotionless as a wall.


                                                                                                    

Obito was fidgeting, clenching and unclenching his fist. He tried to look calm, but his nerves were obvious. He wanted to become a proper citizen again and start to work for the hidden leaf, but he had begun a war and was even responsible for Tsunade almost dying.

Tsunade was staring hard at him. Her mouth was in a tight line.

This could either go well or very very badly. Guy was standing beside Kakashi, a cocky smirk in place.

«I have gathered you all here to inform you of your next mission. I thought you three would be the best option here and thought that your teamwork would work the best.» She said and looked through the paper in front of her.

«I know you didn't want to be on any other missions in order to spend more time with Obito, Kakashi, but I thought that maybe it would be okay if he came with?» She framed it as a question. It wasn't exactly a question.

Obito looked down toward Kakashi's feet and, though it was barely noticeable, the corners of his mouth moved upwards a bit.

Kakashi smiled back, even if Obito couldn't see it.

«I see,» Tsunade said, looking at the two. Guy coughed and Kakashi looked back up, seeing the sheet of paper Tsunade was holding out toward him.

«Yamato will work with you as well. I know Kakashi, it isn't an Anbu mission, but I think his skills will come in handy here.» She said and licked his fingers before looking through some other sheets of paper.

«I wasn't about to say anything.» Kakashi lied and smiled, tipping back and forth on his heels.

«Yeah, right.» She obviously didn't believe him.

Yamato joining in only meant one thing. She didn't trust Obito yet.

Obito's question echoed in his head, making him furrow his brow.

Then why arent I here too? Locked up like Sasuke?

That was, unfortunately, a valid question.

They all got the paper and off they would go. Guy joining in was also not something Kakashi liked, as it could lead to more conflict than what was needed.

Yamato stood outside, whistling to himself and looking up at the sky. Obito looked confused around for the sound but stopped once Yamato turned to them and spoke.

«Well hello comrades, this will be interesting.» He stopped and looked over at Obito. «Oh, hi! I don't think we have been properly introduced. I am Yamato, the guy you and your friends captured by making a snake eat me and then controlling me by making a swirly Zetsu take over my body. How are you doing?»

Silence had never been louder, and Kakashi's inner voice was freaking out. Guy was holding in a chuckle, looking away, but then giving up and looking back at Obito for his reaction. Kakashi was about to intervene and get Yamato to piss off, but Obito held one hand in front of Kakashi, then reached the other out towards Yamato.

«And I am Obito, the guy  you'll be working with from now on, so it would be best for the mission if you could keep your grudge against me to yourself for just a little longer.»

Kakashi's eyes widened, not expecting that response, and looked over to the others. Yamato looked completely taken aback as well and was even starting to smile. Guy looked absolutely furious and turned around to look away.

«Sure!» Yamato responded, sounding genuine.

Had Obito just made a new friend? Kakashi hoped so because that would make this mission - and Obito's life - much easier.

They were supposed to escort a princess to another land, something that would only be a B rank mission, but now that world peace was finally achieved Jonin didn't have much better to do.

She didn't really need to be escorted either, but from the sound of the request letter, Kakashi had to guess she was paranoid.

She and Obito would probably make great friends.

It didn't take long to get there, so they didn't hurry their walk. Obito held his elbow, as usual, something that had become so usual it felt weird when he didn't hold him.

Guy looked down at them now and then, cringing when he saw Obito's hand on Kakashi. Yamato was looking at Kakashi knowingly, grinning. He rolled his eyes at him and looked away, but felt himself blush nonetheless.

Damn his emotions.

«Okay, Obito, I would love to know more about you, so could you tell a little about yourself? Pre Madara and all?» Yamato asked and walked backward to face Obito, hands in his pocket. Kakashi was glad Yamato had grown more comfortable around everyone. He used to be so stiff and obviously secretive before, it was nice that he wasn't constantly in his Anbu mindset.

Obito bit his lower lip - which Kakashi looked intently at - and thought about the question. Guy acted like he didn't care, but an ear was obviously reserved for Obito's answer.

«I don't know what to say. I hated Kakashi?»

Ouch, that wasn't what he had hoped to hear. It wasn't new information. He wasn't exactly the biggest fan of Obito either as a kid, but to hear it so blatantly didn't soothe his nerves.

Guy suddenly snorted, but stopped himself and acted like nothing had happened.

«I think we have all hated Kakashi at one point. He isn't exactly the most likable guy, is he?» Yamato said.

«I am walking right here, you know?» Kakashi complained.

« I just really hated his guts. He always had this I-am-better-than-you-look and acted like we were all far below him.» Obito continued, earning nods from Yamato.

«Girls would so often fawn around him and try to get his attention, but you know how he turned them down? He looked at every single one of them and listed off what he didn't like about them! Eventually, he had to stop because all the girls arrived to class in distraught, crying.»

He did not do that! He just said one thing he didn't like about them, it wasn't a whole list.

«Aren't you exaggerating a little-» He said but got interrupted by Obito hitting him in the ribs with his elbow.

«Of course I should know. You wanted to prove to the teachers that it wasn't just toward those girls, but that you were rude to everyone, so you came up to me and told me what you hated about me as well!»

Kakashi stared at him open-mouthed, not believing his ears. He had given Obito valid criticism and told him how he could improve. How could Obito say something like that?

«I was trying to help you!» Kakashi retorted and waved with his arms, not knowing why.

«You told me I looked like a walking chicken whose head had just gotten cut off!» Obito shouted back.

Yamato laughed then, stopping his walk and holding his stomach. Guy wasn't facing them, but his entire body was vibrating.

Kakashi looked toward Obito, who looked confused back.

«I now understand what people mean when they compare others to an old married couple.» Yamato forced out, gasping for air. He was laughing more than Kakashi had seen him laugh before.

Obito started laughing too, though it was low and barely audible.

Kakashi let himself laugh too, enjoying the feeling.

 

They found the inn the princess stayed at, so they visited. She had gone to bed, so they all decided to get rooms and wait with the introduction till the next day.

Obito and Yamato shared rooms, while Guy and Kakashi shared rooms. Kakashi would have preferred to be the one staying with Obito, but he and Yamato seemed completely engrossed in conversation, so he would be evil not to let them continue it.

This way Guy wouldn't be able to poison Yamato's mind too, so it was a win-win situation.

They made their beds, laying on opposite sides of the room

Guy was looking at one of the walls, obviously wanting to say something. Kakashi was reading his book, obviously to wanting to talk.

Guy always had a problem with taking a hint.

«So Yamato and Obito seem to have become friends…» He muttered.

«That's true,» Kakashi said and went to the next page.

Her eyes wandered down his body, taking it all in.

Obitos eyes wandered down his body, taking it all in.

«I just mean that they became friends fast. I thought Yamato was rather closed to others, but they hit it off very well. Too well.»

Kakashi didn't spare him a glance, just continued to read.

He understood that Guy didn't like Obito, but there was no need to be all pity party just because he was getting more friends. If Kakashi had to guess, Guy didn't have much against Obito anymore either. It was probably mostly Kurenai influencing him in a bad way.

She bit her lower lip and walked up toward the man, moving her hands to his shoulders and pushing herself against him.

Obito bit his lower lip and walked up toward Kakashi, moving his hands to his shoulders and pushing himself against him.

«All I am saying is that Obito seem shady. Thats all.»

The man leaned down and grabbed her around her thighs, then pushed her upwards so that she could straddle his hips with her legs.

Kakashi leaned down and grabbed Obito around his thighs, then pushed him upwards so that he could straddle his hips with his legs.

«Good night.» Guy said and turned of the light.

«Good night.» Kakashi responded, not turning off his own light until he had finished the book.


                                                                                                    

«Thank you so much for helping me. I am not sure if I would be able to cross the country without anyone by my side.» The princess, a short girl with blond hair cut to her shoulders, said as she sat on a pillow. About ten guards sat beside her, but no one seemed offended by her words.

«Of course,» Kakashi said and bowed slightly with his head. «It would be idiotic of us not to come and help.» What he didn't say was that Tsunade would have boiled them alive if they refused.

She smiled wider, looking down on her lap. She wasn't old, probably only Naruto's age, and she looked rather fragile. Her skin was sunken in and her eyes seemed almost reddish.

Kakashi was getting a clearer vision on why they had been called in even if she obviously had protection enough. He was sure there would never be enough for her to feel safe.

She jumped by the smallest noise, looking frantically over her shoulder as if she was scared someone would sneak up on her.

When he had thought her to be paranoid he hadn't thought it was that bad.

«We will leave in two hours since I would love to be there as soon as possible. If you need anything, food or something to drink, don't hesitate to speak with my guards. I will stay in my room, but would prefer it if you came to me after you have talked with my guards first.»

That was being introverted taken to a whole new level.

They all smiled and nodded, making almost no sound at all. Obito couldn't see her, but even he had obviously been able to tell her problem.

«Did you sleep well tonight?» Kakashi asked him, catching him off guard. Obito turned around and smiled. He was touching his jacket often, and Kakashi guessed he was happy with it. He had never thought he would see anyone so happy for Shinobi clothes.

«I slept okay, but Yamato told me a ghost story right before we went to bed, so I was slightly on the edge.»

Classical Yamato. Kakashi thought, imagining how happy Yamato must have been to get a new victim to scare.

«I can tell you other stories if you want to? I have a beautiful book with me I can read from.» He said and grinned, waiting for Obito's reaction. He only stared at him judgementally before cracking a smile of his own.

Kakashi was again feeling warm inside, and this time he didn't mind it at all. He had started to not care for the feelings that would come every now and then - and thoughts for that matter - when he was around Obito. At first, he didn't know what it was, but now it was as clear as day.

It was obvious every time he smiled, every time he would shyly look down at his feet, every time he got that twinkle in his eye.

Kakashi Hatake was utterly and completely in love with an Uchiha.

Chapter Text

Obito was sure Kakashi was deluded.

The princess fed him untrustworthy information and he ate it all up without questioning it even once. She told him she had recently met a huge beast, one with its belly on its back and ears where its knees should be. Kakashi seemed really engrossed in the story and told her to go on whenever she stopped.

Who was Obito to judge? Maybe people had evolved into monsters while he had been trapped inside a mountain for years.

Or maybe the princess had a screw loose. Obito was sure it was the second.

He sighed and looked away, shaking his head. He didn't want them to think he was looking.

Not that it mattered anyway.

He walked away, blocking out the noise and walked toward where he heard Yamato talking. They were supposed to leave in an hour, and Kakashi was chatting up with a girl?

The guards put all her belongings in the caravan, where a small room sat with a bed and curtains blocking the view. That was the traditional style, so Obito didn't need to see to imagine how it looked like.

Guy, Kakashi, Yamato and he would probably guard each corner, scouting for people approaching.

«Really? I hadn't thought it would be that bad?» Yamato sighed, talking to someone whose voice Obito didn't recognize. He stopped beside them and tried to give both people a smile, but knew that from his luck, he probably missed.

«Yeah, she never completely recovered from that. She keeps adding more and more bodyguards with each year.» The man said.

He was a bodyguard too if Obito had to guess, and someone who the princess was close to.

«Oh, I am sorry, this is really rude of me. I need to introduce myself. I am Kai, one of the princesses guards!» The man said. His voice was very high pitched and it constantly sounded like his throat was shaking.

«Don't… don't do that,» Yamato said. «Ehm.»

Oh, gods, the man had raised his hand to shake mine, hadn't he?

Shit.

Obito raised his own and tried to give the brightest smile he could muster. He didn't want people to tell others not do certain things because he couldn't see it.

It was true though, he hadn't seen it.

Dear Sakura, it would be nice if you called me in for another examination soon.

«I am so sorry!» The man, Kai, said and grabbed Obito's hand.

His palm was sweaty.

«It's okay. I am Obito.» He said, cheeks hurting from smiling.

No one said anything for a few more seconds, though it was obvious Yamato wanted to break the silence by his fumbling with words.

«Oh, wow. You really aren't looking me in the eyes.» Kai marveled, sounding impressed and surprised.

Could you not?

Obito was neither impressed nor surprised. He actually wanted to get as far away as possible, but that wouldn't work without the reason for why he would want to leave being obvious.

He could practically hear Yamatos mouth widen and fingers fidgetting.

«That not too nice, is it?» He tried to joke and playfully hit their shoulders. Kai laughed as well and it sounded like nails scratching against a blackboard.

This guy better be happy they weren't alone or Obito may have done something he would have regretted.

Maybe he wouldn't regret it, but it was probably better not to put it to the test.

«Oh wow, you have a short fuse, don't you?» Kai said and Obito had never wanted to stomp away more than now. What was the guys problem?

«Sorry, ignorant people just really go on my nerves. Don't take it too badly.»  Obito forced out and finally walked away.

Where was he walking to? He didn't know.

He just begged he wouldn't trip on the way, because that would destroy the dramatic effect.           


                                                                                          

Obito had been chosen to take the upper right corner, while Kakashi took the left. Yamato walked behind him in the lower right corner, while Guy was behind Kakashi.

He loved not hearing Guy talk, because that guy sure loved to listen to his own voice.

Two guards walked between Obito and Yamato, and he could hear the heavy steps trudging after. For a moment, he considered asking Yamato if they could switch places.

He decided not to though, as it wouldn't look professional.

If he wanted more missions, he couldn't just change the rules to fit his needs.

«Hey,» A voice whispered, sending shivers down Obito's spine. He didn't show that he had heard the voice, and instead continued on. You never know, maybe they were talking to someone else.

«Hey! Obito!» The whisper rose, and the person was almost spitting him on his neck.

«What?» He asked, trying to keep his voice even and not sound frustrated.

«I just wanted to say I am really sorry. I didn't mean to be disrespectful in any way.» Kai swore and tapped Obito on the shoulder, though Obito couldn't fathom why.

«Yeah, sure. It's okay.» He replied and walked slightly faster. It truly was okay, but that didn't mean he wanted them to talk.

«That's great! I really wanted to have a proper conversation with you, so I am glad I got this chance.» Kai sounded earnest enough, not that it gave him any lucky points.

Obito sighed and slowed his pace, wanting to get it over with as fast as possible.

«So, I heard from another bodyguard here that you're an Uchiha, is that really true? I thought the only survivor was Sasuke Uchiha, the traitor.»

Obito was about to confirm that yes, he was an Uchiha, but Kai continued talking and interrupting him.

«I have heard about your powers and they all seem too impressive! I actually had a friend who was in the war and survived. He told me about everything he saw, and also explained what you did and how you did it. It's really impressive. Marvelous!» Kai almost jumped with excitement.

Was this guy telling Obito that what he did in the war was impressive? That it was marvelous? Obito sacrificing himself for the sake of the war was confidential information that only hidden leaf ninja knew about.

Which meant Kai was talking about the not so nice stuff Obito had done.

He was confused and was so happy Yamato walked behind them. Maybe Obito was simply misunderstanding the situation and Yamato had understood the conversation differently.

Kai confessed that the reason he was acting like a jerk when they first met was that he was really nervous and let his mouth talk on its own, something that Obito could relate to.

They took their next break, which delighted Obito a little too much.

The princess didn't exit her room and according to the others, she wouldn't. 

Yamato walked up to Obito chuckling silently to himself and patting his shoulder.

«The secondhand embarrassment was real. I felt so bad for you, but it was just too good not to interrupt.» He said and jabbed his shoulder.

Obito wanted to argue with him for being a bad friend but stopped himself.

They had only known each other for a day, and already they were talking like they had known each other for a while.

«Don't expect me to help you next time someone invades your personal space,» Obito said and pushed him away, earning a laugh as a response.

«Could you show me one time!?» Kai shouted and ran up to them. Obito felt his stomach drop, while Yamato was holding back his growing grin.

«Show you what?» The Uchiha asked, faking obliviousness.

«Some of your Jutsus, well. It would be great to learn something from someone as great as you!»

Obito could not see the guy, and he was forever thankful. He imagined him almost bald, except for a few strands growing out from the very top of his head. He would have an awkwardly shaved beard, and a mustache to match. He was probably skinny, too skinny for what was normal for a guard.

Kai touched his shoulders, fingers desperately gripping the cloth.

«Oh if that ain't awkward,» Yamato said. Obito looked curiously at him. Sure, it wasn't Obito's favorite situation, but he wouldn't describe it as awkward.

«I am talking about Kakashi. He is talking with a few other guards, but he keeps looking over here. He practically looked at Kai like a hawk when he touched your shoulders.» Yamato laughed.

Kai retreated his hands, luckily.

«Is that Kakashi your boyfriend?» He asked. Obito was praying they weren't speaking too loudly.

«What? No! What makes you believe that? He is a friend. A good friend. A childhood friend. My guardian. Us being together would definitely not work out. How could you even ask that!?» Obito argued and gestured wildly with his hands, feeling as if he had to defend himself. 

«Aren't you denying it a little too much?» Yamato asked, sounding curious. No one said anything, and Obito was content with that. His love life shouldn't be discussed. He didn't have one, and that was okay.

How could they even suggest something like that?

Kakashi as his boyfriend? That wouldn't work. He was always late, he was obsessed with dogs and he was as emotionless as a wall.

Kakashi was definitely straight too. He kept reading those smutty romance novels and Obito was sure he often hocked up with different available women around. Just lately he has even been with one while on a mission with Kiba and Naruto.

Sure, Obito could imagine it, but it didn't mean it would happen.

«You're blushing,» Kai stated and Obito turned around, touching his face.

He was, in fact, blushing.

He hoped Kakashi hadn't noticed.

 

«I see you've gotten new friends,» Kakashi stated, walking from his side of the corner. Obito threw a glance at him, contemplating his response.

He didn't seem too happy, which amused Obito.

A grumpy Kakashi was a fun Kakashi.

«Yeah, it was getting a little boring, you know,» Obito said and gave him a small smile, waiting for his response.

«I was walking here the entire time. You could have just talked to me if you wanted to talk to someone.» Kakashi groaned and Obitos smile widened.

«Yeah, but what would we talk about? We live together, so there's nothing new. As I said, it was a little boring.» Obito was walking on dangerous territory, but he loved pushing Kakashi's buttons.

«What do you mean boring? I am not boring.» He said, immediately becoming defensive. He almost sounded like a whining kid. A bottle of water opened and from the sound of it, he was drinking some water.

Obito smiled peacefully at him, feeling his eyes crinkle «I guess, but you know what they say: too much sweetness can be dangerous.»

Kakashi choked on his water, making him cough and having to stop walking in order to catch his breath and calm down. The entire caravan stopped and one of the guards looked around.

«Is an enemy approaching?» He asked.

Obito smiled so big he had to hide his face from everyone else. He had wanted to placate Kakashi before he became too grumpy but hadn't thought he'd illicit this kind of a reaction. He imagined Kakashi's facial expression in his head and was enjoying it too much.

«No, I am sorry. It's only a false alarm.» Kakashi admitted and continued his walk, making everyone else follow after.

He didn't say anything, but Obito could feel his stare on him.

Obito had gotten a new hobby, namely teasing Kakashi until he couldn't handle it anymore.


 

They neared the neighboring country and Obito roughly estimated that it would take one more day for them to get there. The sun had set and the only thing it left behind was an orange hue covering the sky. Obito loved watching the sunset, loved to see the sky turn different shades of different colors. He didn't say it though, as it was something considered cliche.

Kai and another guy had set up a campfire, one which had a fire as bright as the sky.

It was only too bad Obito couldn't see the sky, or the fire, anymore.

He could still use fire style Jutsus, but he had a hard time aiming at the appropriate target. Sometimes he burned more than he wanted, while other times he had completely missed the target. It felt like he was learning how to do it completely from scratch again.

So he had decided to ask Sakura to speed up the tests and make sure he got his vision back as soon as possible. He didn't care if it was a risk that could make it so he never got his vision again. Even if there was only a one percent chance he could see again, he would take it.

He sat down on one of the wooden benches that already laid in the forest from before they arrived. He couldn't see the fire, but he could feel the warmth tickle his arms. He could smell the burnt wood and ash scattering around.

The sound of steps echoed and little to Obito's satisfaction, someone sat down. He thought it must be Kai wanting to talk some more, but jumped by the unexpected voice.

«I don't like you. At all.» Guy said, kicking the ground. Obito didn't say anything and instead waited for him to speak what was on his mind.

«I don't believe this persona you have created either. You act more and more like the old Obito I remember by each day, but it feels fake. I won't be surprised if you suddenly walk up the Hokage tower while cackling maniacally.»

If Obito wanted to infiltrate the Hokage tower, the last thing he would do would be to make much sound, but he decided to not say that out loud.

«Kakashi may believe you. Yamato may believe you. The entire world may believe you, but I will not. I saw you first hand in the war and felt the anger radiating from you. You had so many emotions it was overwhelming. Why are you so calm now in comparison?»

It wasn't a question, but rather something Guy disguised as a question. He didn't want an answer.

Obito fumbled with his thumbs, pressing them against each other.

The cracking from the fire grew louder and louder until that was the only noise they heard.

Obito began a thousand sentences in his head, but none seemed right, so he went for the truth.

«When I was fighting you in the Shunin exam, I was so angry.» He began. Guy moved, looking over at Obito. He was sure he had caught the Jounin off guard.

«You were stronger than me, yet I couldn't believe it. I had trained for so long, done my best to catch up to Kakashi. Then you came along and ripped that fate away from me. I remember making a doll and grabbing a strand of hair from your head so that I could put it inside the doll and tear it to pieces. I didn't actually do, but not because I knew it was morally wrong, but rather because Kakashi found the doll and told me I was acting like a brat. My anger went from you to him then, and I took a lock of his hair instead.»

He was trailing away from his original subject. It wasn't his intention to suddenly talk about Kakashi. Luckily, Guy stayed silent.

«Once I became Shunin, I decided that I would fight you once before I became Jonin. I wanted it to be settled once and for all, even though deep down I knew you'd defeat me. It was actually one of the things I got most frustrated over when I stayed with Madara under the mountain. I kept thinking Oh how I would have loves to settle the fight, and I sure think I could win now.» Obito looked toward Guy, hoping that even if they couldn't get direct eye contact, he would still be able to understand the emotion on his face.

«So I hope we get to fight soon, to settle it. I know I am not Kakashi and it won't be the same, but consider us rivals as well.»

Yes, he had actually said it and knew that tomorrow he would probably regret it.

«And that is supposed to make me forgive you? You spew some nonsense about wanting to defeat me as a kid and just like that everything will be behind us?» Guy said through his teeth, frustration obvious in his voice.

Obito shook his head and this time, he spoke without thinking it through first, letting the words come by themselves «Your hate for me is completely justifiable. I understand it and if it had been someone dear to me that had gotten killed because of you, I would have probably acted out. I think you're actually handling this rather well. If it had been me I don't think I could hold back.»

And with that, Guy stood up and walked away. He stopped for a second, as if he wanted to say something, but continued on instead.

Obito could finally breath out

«I think you handled that rather well, too.» Kakashi mused from where he stood. Obito had sensed his chakra while talking with Guy but had ignored it. He doubted Guy noticed since he seemed too angry and frustrated to think of anything else.

Kakashi walked up to him and sat down at the now vacant spot.

Obito didn't understand how it was possible to feel hotter than he already was, but the heat radiating from Kakashi did something to him.

He didn't mind.

«So, I've been thinking…» Kakashi mumbled, picking something off of the ground. Obito tried to listen to what Kakashi was doing and by the sound of it, he was whittling a stick.

«Yeah?» Obito leaned his elbows on his legs and cupped his chin in his palms, feeling restless from the long walk they had trudged through.

Kakashi continued to cut through the wood, probably sending flakes into the flame.

«Am I really boring?» He asked and to anyone else, he would seem uninterested. Obito could recognize every tone he used though and knew he felt insecure. No one would look at Kakashi and think, oh! He's insecure! But that was the truth, and sometimes it was so unbearably obvious Obito wanted to hug him for hours and sing a soothing song.

He would never sing to Kakashi since that would probably cause more harm than good.

«Didn't I tell you?  Too much sweetness can be dangerous Obito waited patiently for Kakashi's next words and felt gravely disappointed.

«Yeah, but what does that mean?» He had said, placing his knife on the bench beside him and putting something on the sharp wooden stick.

«What do you want it to mean?» Obito asked and inched slightly closer. Obito's hair was brushing against his cheek. He would have to cut it when they returned home.

The fire continued to sparkle in the background, creating its own background noise.

Kakashi seemed to ponder for a moment, regarding the Uchiha.

«That depends on what kind of sweetness you mean.» He moved, his knee brushing against Obitos. «Open your mouth.» He requested.

Obito looked at him worried, scared he had found some sort of beetle or something. Kakashi was an adult. He wouldn't do that.

Obito obliged and opened his mouth. It didn't take long until something warm touched his lips, making him furrow his brows.

«Just a little wider…» Kakashi whispered, so Obito did just that.

Kakashi pushed it into his mouth and he bit it down, feeling the soft and sweet taste, with a hint of burnt sugar.

«Is this a marshmallow!?» He shouted and chewed, recognizing the taste of burnt sweets. So that was why he had been whittling a stick, he had been burning marshmallows over the fire.

«Jerk, I thought you had something evil planned!» Obito complained, though he reached out to grab the stick and found the bag of marshmallows.

«Yet, you trusted me anyway,» Kakashi said, probably smiling with a cocky smirk.

Obito threw him a lazy look, only caring about the marshmallows that would soon get into his mouth.

«But seriously, what did you mean by that sentence?» Kakashi asked, and the old softness returned as if his voice would fracture.

Obito was still annoyed by his stunt though, so he wouldn't comply and tell him everything that was on his mind.

«Like I'll tell you now! Figure it out for yourself.» He said, voice distorted by the marshmallow in his mouth.

Maybe he would tell Kakashi later, but he would have to earn it. 

Chapter Text

Jealousy was an ugly thing. It could consume you and make you think the worse things. Some would say you could measure the amount of control you have by how you react to jealousy.

Luckily, Kakashi had a lot of control.

He may have thought about going up to Obito and the guard whom he was talking with and force them away from each other, but he settled with silently watching.

Yamato could see his stares, and the grin growing on his mouth clearly showed how obvious it was.

If only the guard noticed. That would be perfect.

Unfortunately, he was handsome as well. He had well-toned muscles, and he dressed to accentuate. He had messy blond hair that fell naturally over his eyes, which were light brown. He kept a cocky smirk on his mouth, even when his tone showed otherwise.

He was the type of guy Kakashi hated.

Kakashi was not biased at all.

Kakashi had felt a sort possessiveness, and he did not like it at all. It wasn't as if they were dating or anything, yet he acted like a jealous boyfriend.

He should've stopped, yet he watched over Obito, listening in to his and Guys conversation.

Obito talked about him and it made him incredibly happy. It felt like he truly mattered.

The topic wasn't important. He had talked about creepy dolls and locks of hair, and Kakashi didn't care.

He felt like a fangirl stalking their crush. What was wrong with him?

Kakashi was in love. And what an annoying feeling it was.

His thoughts had grown increasingly worse at night too. The last few days he had even woken up in the middle of the night, mind filled with vivid memories of his dreams. Obito would not have approved of what he had been dreaming about, he was sure.

So he walked to the bathroom every night, making sure not to wake up the sleeping form lying beside him.

Kakashi used to have difficulties sleeping at night.

They seemed to disappear with each night Obito slept over.

«I know its important to get time to yourself and clear your thoughts and all, but maybe you should sleep some more?» Yamato asked, coming up behind him.

The sun was rising, casting its beams across the land and signaling a new day. The orange glow heated the water, calling for the fishes to come up.

It was early, too early for what he was used to.

«I had a good rest,» Kakashi said. He spoke the truth. Last night he had fallen asleep the minute his head hit the pillow.

«I have a hard time believing that,» Yamato confessed and sat down beside Kakashi. They sat on a huge boulder, a couple of meters up above where the others slept.

«You should sleep some more too, I think you deserve it,» Kakashi said and grabbed a rock before throwing it out toward the ocean. It made a huge SPLASH noise, attracting birds looking for fish to eat.

«I will, eventually. Obito just made so much noise I couldn't sleep anymore.» Yamato inspected his side of the boulder, looking at ones to throw as well. He failed and groaned.

«What kind of noises?» Kakashi asked and found another rock from his side. Yamato eyed it warily and looked disappointed.

«The ones you should make in private,» Yamato responded and reached forward to grab the rock. Kakashi decided to throw it before he could reach.

He stilled mid-air, the rock hanging from his fingertips induced with Chakra.

Yamatos words sunk in and his face heated, all the blood running down south.

«Really?» He asked, more to himself than anyone else.

Yamato didn't seem to notice his sudden change of emotions as he grabbed the rock and grinned, feeling victorious.

He finally noticed the glazed look in Kakashi's eyes and looked away to hide his grin.

«Why am I not surprised?» He asked and stood up. «I think I am going to leave you alone for a bit.» Then, he left.

Kakashi dragged his hands down his face, trying to clear the image his mind had created.

He had to stop. He couldn't act like this on missions, especially not if Obito would join more times in the future.

He leaned forward over the boulder and stared into the water, where his reflection looked back. He was as red as the sky.

«Oh, sorry, didn't mean to interrupt your- Are you sitting there, staring at your own face?» Someone asked and Kakashi's head jerked up. He stared at the newcomer, not recognizing him.

His brown hair was pushed back, revealing deep-set brown eyes.

Oh, it was him. Kai.

«Sure, do you never look at yourself in the morning and wonder when your reflection is finally going to talk back?» Kakashi joked and leaned back on his palms.

Kai stared at him confused, sometimes looking down into the water.

«No,» he dumbly responded and shifted his weight onto his other foot. He looked uncomfortable.

It was clear he wanted to say something, and his reaction greatly amused Kakashi. He wasn't good enough for Obito.

«I have a question,» He asked and leaned down to sit, but then decided not to and stood up again.

It wasn't as if Kakashi would attack him.

«Go ahead,» He said and gave him his full attention.

Kai swallowed, then looked toward the sun.

«Are you and Obito dating?» He said, sounding apprehensive.

«Yes,» Kakashi responded, not caring that it was a lie. He just wanted this guy gone and as soon as possible. A white lie wouldn't do any harm.

Kai's eyes widened and he looked back toward Kakashi. His eyes moved over his head for a second, but then immediately returned toward his eyes.

«Is that so? Well, then I hope you'll forgive me.» He whispered.

«What are you-» Kakashi was about to say but got stopped by a hand suddenly covering his mouth and his vision go dark. He tried to rip the hands and whatever blindfolded him away, but something sharp hit his shoulder.

Then everything truly went dark.

 


                                                                                                   

A drop of water. Two drops of water. Maybe three. Yeah, definitely three.

Maybe it was blood. Maybe it was Kakashi's blood.

He honestly couldn't tell where the pain began and where it ended. He wasn't even aware of how he sat anymore. Maybe he was lying? Maybe he stood?

He could barely feel his limbs and didn't feel any sort of ground beneath him. He wasn't even aware what part of him was facing downwards.

Kakashi didn't bother trying to speak. He knew his throat was sore, scalding even. His lungs had a hard time functioning, and each breath got increasingly more difficult.

What the hell was going on?

Where did Kai go?

Where even was he?

«I am telling you, it definitely will work!» Someone said, voice high pitched and feminine.

«I want to believe you, but I don't think he is like that!» A deeper voice responded, one Kakashi recognized but couldn't place. 

At that moment, the only thing he could remember was his own name.

«It looks like he is awake.» The feminine voice said. Light steps followed, growing louder the closer they got him.

Kakashi didn't move, knowing it was futile to do anything at this moment. His best option would be to gather more information first.

Fingers touched his forehead and a sharp pain shot through his skull. He bit his lip, not wanting to make a sound and not caring about the blood.

Whatever covered his eyes disappeared, revealing a short woman, blond head tied back in a ponytail.

The princess? He thought, looking her up and down. She was wearing completely different clothes now. A leather jacket and pants. No dress.

«Hi, sweetums!» She shouted, the ringing in his ears growing louder.

Kakashi's eyes moved to the figure standing beside her.

Kai.

He looked resentful. His eyes boring holes into Kakashi's head.

«What is going on?» Kakashi demanded and flexed his fingers, finally regaining feeling in his limbs.

The princess looked back at her guard, smirking and wiggling her brows.

«Oh, Kai, should we tell him? I don't think its smart to tell him.» She asked and covered her mouth with her hand, hiding her grin.

Chills went up Kakashi's spine. He knew these people weren't powerful. Their chakra was almost nonexistent and it didn't seem as if they had any type of Kekkei Genkai or Jutsu.

Who were they?

Kai walked closer and leaned down before Kakashi, smirking at this tied up hands and feet.

«You are probably wondering what we've done to you, huh? I don't want to brag, but we are pretty good medic ninjas. I don't have much chakra, which you've probably felt, but I know my stuff when it comes to herbs and the effects. Any more drug than we gave you and you wouldn't have woken up.»

Kakashi's brows furrowed. This did not make sense. He was supposed to be a guard and she was supposed to be a paranoid princess who needed escorts.

«We can be pretty sly, right?» The princess boasted and continued to laugh.

Kakashi was not amused. Once he had regained complete control of his body, she wouldn't laugh like that again.

Kakashi remembered Yamato retreating to bed and hoped he had noticed or heard something going on. Kakashi was not in the mood for a kidnapping.

The princess and the guard misunderstood his silence, smiling at each other and nodding.

Do they know they are kidnapping the sixth Hokage? Kakashi thought and huffed.

Could it be that peace would never be attainable?

No, that was not correct. Naruto would find a way somehow, once he became Hokage. Kakashi would have to warm the seat for him a little bit.

«And now we wait?» The princess asked, looking expectantly at Kai.

«He will probably wake up soon, then he will come soon after. I made sure not to block out Kakashi's chakra network so that sensor types would be able to feel him.» Kai responded and walked away, the girl in tow.

Who would kidnap someone, intending only for them to get caught straight after?

Kakashi had, unfortunately, a feeling Obito had something to do with this.

His biggest fan had kidnapped his boyfriend after all.

                                                                                                    

Kakashi had stayed there - under some sort of abandoned underground - for about a two more hours after he woke up. It was getting annoying. The drugs didn't appear to be leaving his body soon either. It was a huge room, filled with metal boxes, tubes, and coffins with red exes on. Nothing made sense. He would probably have to investigate some before he left too. What was going on back at the camp spot? Had the other guards been imposters as well, working for a lunatic woman?

Obito.

What had happened with Obito? Was he okay?

Kakashi would have to make sure he inspected everything fast and thoroughly before he returned. He doubted anyone could hurt Obito, he was crazy strong after all.

It was more that he was worried about his emotions. Obito's mind had weakened immensely after he came back to life, and it seemed as if he put everything on himself on purpose. How would he handle another conversation with Guy? What about Kai?

What if Kai lied and said Kakashi had left?

What if Obito believed?

Kakashi managed to move a leg, feeling his entire body tickle.

Only a few more hours, and he would be up and moving again.

Chapter Text

Losing a loved one can be hard. It can eat you alive and make you blame yourself, thinking all the wrong things and remembering situations wrong. You can think things like «I wish we had done more things together» and, «I wish I never said those things a couple of years ago».

Life can suck sometimes. Sometimes you may want to make others life suck in order to put your frustration out on them instead.

Like Nejis killer.

Guy knew how he acted was wrong. Obito may be a bloodthirsty killer who didn't care for human life anymore, but that didn't mean he had to sink just as low as well. If he had been smart he would have ignored Obito. It wasn't as if he could see Guy either, so Obito would probably not notice it if he was there.

Yes. He was contemplating taking advantage of his lack of sight.

Or maybe it was all just an act? Guy could imagine Obito lying to get his way. He was manipulating Kakashi, Guy was sure. It seemed as if he had made Yamato and Naruto believe him as well. Yamato was an Anbu for god's sake! He should have known better than sympathizing with the enemy. Naruto used to have a good judgment, but that had obviously faltered during the war.

Guy didn't understand it. Kurenai and he had been the only ones vocal about this. He knew several other Jonin and Chunin doubted Obito's statements and wanted him gone as soon as possible, but they mostly just whispered to each other and silently judged.

They were proud ninjas from Konoha. They should have been able to stand on both feet and proudly say what they mean. They should have gathered pitchforks and chased Obito out.

Guy was trying to be obvious about his discomfort, and Obito responded with being kind. He made up a sob story about how he wanted to defeat Guy and dolls and expected him to suddenly forgive him?

It was madness.

Maybe Obito hadn't lied and it was all true. Maybe he had changed so much from when he was a child, that he used his memories to his advantage and slightly altered them to fit his own needs.

Obito was a sick person, and Guy would never forgive Kakashi for letting Obito back into his town.

He should have killed Obito again when he had the chance. He should have ended it all when Obito appeared before him, half dead on the ground.

«The princess is always so late at waking up.» A guard muttered outside Guy's tent, sounding tired. Guy rolled around, expecting to see Kakashi. No one was on the neighboring bed.

«Kakashi?» Guy asked and sat up, looking around for a lump in the bed where Kakashi had rolled under.

Nothing.

He stood up and exited the tent, not caring for the pajamas he wore. Some of the guards were walking around, carrying boxes filled with something heavy

Yamato was awake as well, helping to carry a box on the other side of the camp. They would have to leave soon.

«Oh, Guy!» Yamato said and waved him over. He obliged and put on a smile, ready to welcome the day.

«Could you help me with a couple of boxes? I almost dislocated my shoulder earlier. These are all heavier than I thought.» He laughed, a childish one people rarely heard.

«Sure! I could carry them all if you want to. This is only a simple task for Might Guy!» Guy said and jerked his thumb toward his chest, feeling proud of himself.

Yamato looked him dead in the eyes, growing more and more disinterested with each passing second.

«You know what, let me take that back. I don't need your positive energy so early in the morning. Could you go get Obito? I think he is still in our tent.» Yamato turned away, purposefully avoiding Guys expression. He knew Guy would complain and refuse.

He looked at the tent he knew Yamato and Obito stayed at, feeling his happy mood disappear like steam.

A shadow moved inside the tent. A silhouette.

Why couldn't he have chosen a different day to sleep in? Guy thought angrily and stomped over to the tent. He reached forward to move the curtain but stopped by the sound of heavy breathing. Please don't tell me Obito is doing what it sounds like he is doing.

Obito squeezed his eyes shut and turned to leave, not in the mood at all. The sound of sobs interrupted him, making his legs freeze to the ground.

He looked over his shoulder at the tent, trying to see through it at the person inside.

«Obito?» He whispered, though no response returned.

Without thinking he turned back and opened the flap to the tent, looking inside.

Obito sat hunched in the corner, his shoulders bent and head looking down into his lap. He was shivering, and his folded arms only heightened what was already obvious.

Obito was crying?

«Obito?» Guy said again, his voice turning soft. Obito looked up, his chin shaking and eyes frantic.

«Guy?» He asked, looking confused. It surprised Guy he was even able to register what was happening.

A flashback entered Guy's mind. Lee in the hospital yard, training with a glazed look covering his eyes.

«Are you okay?» He asked and fully entered the tent, closing the flap behind him so no one else could look inside. Obito looked unsure as if it was nothing more than a prank.

It should have been Guy who thought it was a prank. It looked painfully real though.

«Yeah.» Obito breathed out, his white hair sticking to his forehead. His cheeks were rosy, yet his skin was paler than normal. «I will come out soon and help with the boxes. Just give me a minute.»

Did Obito honestly think Guy would ask him to help with the boxes when he so obviously was in discomfort?

Maybe he would have if Obito hadn't said anything.

«I-» Guy started, but stopped when Obito looked him in the eyes.

It honestly looked like Obito wanted him anywhere but there. It didn't feel as if was only directed toward Guy but at everyone.

He did not want anyone to see him in such a state.

So Guy did as he wanted and turned to leave.

He hoped it wasn't the wrong choice. He didn't like the guy, but he wasn't completely evil either and would not force him.


                                                                                                    

Obito exited his tent a few minutes later, completely dressed in appropriate clothing and a smile on his face. His eyes weren't red and puffy anymore and he seemed calmer than ever.

Yamato looked over at him and grinned, shouting out for him to come over. Obito did, though slowly so not to bump into anyone.

Guy turned around, feeling bad for watching and comparing. Obito walked with Yamato, helping with boxes and chatting. It was as if nothing had ever been wrong.

«Where is Kakashi, by the way?» He heard Obito ask, readjusting the way he held the box.

Yamato looked around and his eyes widened. Guy doubted he had noticed the dog-loving ninjas absence until then. Guy hadn't noticed either if he had to be honest.

«I actually have no idea. I saw him earlier today, so maybe he is just in the woods, loitering around somewhere.» Yamato suggested. Guy wouldn't have been surprised if that was the truth.

A concerned look passed Obitos features, but it disappeared so quickly Guy was sure he had imagined it.

Maybe it was Obito himself who was the cause of Kakashi's disappearance.

Guy grabbed the corners of another box and pulled it up toward his chest, wanting to carry them all by himself. He could, at times, be a show-off.

The sun moved across the sky and Guy became again reminded of their fellow Jonins disappearance. Obito stood in the middle of the camp, staring up toward the sun.

Kakashi had said he had some light perception.

A somber look crossed his face, his brows tightening.

Why was he so worried? Was it that he constantly felt the need for attention?

«Get moving,» Yamato ordered and Obito complied.

Similar instances kept happening through the day, and Guy himself felt his nerves go near the edge. Kakashi was someone who was always late, but not when it revolved around a professional mission.

This wasn't like him.

The only other person who was worried was Obito, so Guy watched to see if he would act upon his worries.

He remembered their conversation from yesterday and how Obito had wanted for them to properly fight again.

Maybe they should try to fight another time? Guy wouldn't refuse or pass up on the offer if Obito threw his fist first. Guy wouldn't be the one starting. That would just look bad.

«Stop being lazy,» Yamato said and hit him once on the back when walking past, grinning at him.

He knew, didn't he? He knew about what guy was thinking of. He looked at Obito for the last time and moved to pick up another box.

What was even in these boxes? Why was it we would have to carry them into an abandomed mountain not too far away from here? Why were the boxes even here in the first place!?

Guy had so many questions, and no one handed him the answers. The guard, Kai, had completely disappeared as well.

The princess had not once exited her small room on top of the wagon.

This mission was starting to feel shadier and shadier with each passing minute, but they couldn't ask any questions. Ninjas didn't ask about details connected to missions except for the ones the Hokage provided. Lady Tsunade had said nothing about carrying boxes.

Yamato seemed to start questioning this as well since he looked at the guards more and more with each box he escorted.

Obito had completely given up and it was painful to see how much he wanted to run into the forest and look for Kakashi.

If something bad had happened, he would have gotten a dog to run there, right?

 

«Are you okay?» He said as he walked over to Obito. He jumped slightly, obviously in his own world.

He nodded, the confused look he had back in the tent returning.

«Yeah, sure. Don't think about what happened earlier. It's normal.»

That did not soothe his worry at all. Why was he even worried? This guy didn't deserve it.

«And about Kakashi?» Guy asked.

You honestly need to learn to stick to your morals. He told himself. It felt like an eternal battle with doing what was right and what he wanted.

He should comfort Obito. He wanted to leave and let him sulk by himself.

«What do you mean?» Obito asked and searched for another box. There were no boxes left for a couple of meters, so Guy walked to the closest and gripped one end of it.

«Get over here and help me with this one.» He said and watched as Obito moved toward him. He found the box and found his side of it.

They both held it up and carried it toward their destination.

«What I mean is that you have looked like a kicked puppy this entire day, and its obvious Kakashi's disappearance is gnawing at you.» Guy should just shut up.

Obito almost dropped the box and stared at him in surprise.

«Wait, it's that obvious?» He asked.

As if it wasn't your plan from the beginning to get people to pity you.

«It usually is when you're standing completely alone, looking at the sky.» Guy admitted. The expression on Obito's face was completely hilarious. His brows rose and eyes widened. He seemed genuinely worried that someone had seen how worried he was.

«Please don't tell Kakashi. He will hold this against me for the rest of my life.»

Only more reasons to tell.

«There's a small step here,» Guy said and slowly descended it. Obito clutched his grip tighter on the box and carefully walked forward, testing the ground before putting his full weight down. They got past the step and continued walking straight.

«Thanks,» Obito muttered and hoisted the box up to get a better grip.

Guy suddenly remembered something else Obito had said yesterday, about how he had snatched some of his hair to put inside a doll. Chills went down his spine.

That truly was creepy and he was forever grateful to Kakashi for stopping Obito.

They reached their destination, a small-sized mountain with a narrow opening. The guards walked inside with the boxes and placed them outside a huge metal door. Guy and Obito did the same.

One lightbulb illuminated the ceiling, flickering with a weak battery.

«Let's go back,» Guy said and turned to leave, but Obito didn't follow. His brows were furrowed, and he looked concentrated.

«What is it?» Guy asked and sat on top of one of the boxes.

«I don't know,» Obito answered, then shrugged and acted like it was nothing. «Yeah, let's go back.»

  


                                                                                                  

Yamato seemed way more agitated than before, asking around and looking to see if he could find Kakashi. This set Obito on edge.

«Okay, I am leaving.» He stated and dropped the box he was about to take with him.

Yamato looked sadly at him «The mission-»

«Will get completed if you two stay here.» Obito finished.

Obito's eyes clearly showed he would not back down, no matter what. Yamato looked ten years older.

«I can go with him.» Guy suggested and wiped at his clothes, removing the dirt.

Yamato looked back and forth between the two, deep in thoughts. The other guards didn't even seem to hear the conversation and moved past them.

«Okay, but only Obito can go. Guy, you should stay here and help me with these boxes. There are not many left, but I doubt the princess will be amused if she sees I am the only one here.»

Guy opened his mouth to refuse, but Obito nodded and turned to leave before he got the chance. It didn't seem smart for a blind person to walk alone through a forest he wasn't familiar with, but it looked like he had a plan and followed a specific trail.

Before he disappeared out of sight Guy had to say something. Anything. He didn't know why, but he had the sudden urge to shout out whatever came to his head.

«Good luck!» He said and when Obito turned around and disappeared around a tree, he could faintly see a smile.

Chapter Text

Kakashi was pretty sure that he would not have as big of a problem visiting Sasuke now than he did the last time. He had gotten used to the thick warm air that sank in on him. The thought of Obito staying in a similar environment day and night for such a long time worried him even more now that he could fully comprehend what that meant. It had sounded so foreign when he told Anko his past. Now it felt all too familiar.

He had regained complete control of his limbs and actually felt better than he had done in a while. It wasn't often he got a proper rest.

The boxes stacked on top of each other had been holding his curiosity for a long time, so he decided to investigate.

Some were scattered on the ground alone, so he went to the first.

Kakashi sat down, feeling the stone floor dig into his skin. The box in front of him was heavy. The top was bolted shut by a few screws.

There were no sealing tags used, which only confirmed Kakashi's suspicion that the princess and Kai had very minimal experience in that field.

He made sure to listen out for footsteps or doors opening, but it was completely silent. He was sure he could have heard a spider run across the stone floor.

It didn't take long to get the lid open either. Kakashi grabbed the corners of the lid and slowly removed it, looking down into the box and preparing himself to take cover if it was a trap.

It wasn't.

The lid slid out of his grip, falling to the floor and creating reverberating noises.

Kakashi's eyes were wide, staring down at the content and not knowing what to do.

«This cant be…» He mumbled, looking at all the other boxes that filled the room. «Don't tell me all these boxes are filled with explosives?»

In desperate need of knowing what was up, he stood up and moved on to the next box, then the next, then the next.

Almost all the boxes were filled with explosives that had the potential to blow up villages.

He had skipped over a few boxes where a red X was painted on the side. There were three of them, and they sat in one of the corners by themselves.

He didn't want to investigate them but knew there was nothing else he could do.

He would have to check it out.

Hesitantly, he walked over to them, looking at each and every one of them in turn. Kakashi sat down beside the closest and shakingly moved his fingers to the top.

These boxes hadn't even been bolted shut.

He tightened his fingers around the edges and ripped the top off, ready for someone to jump out and attack him.

He hadn't expected hundreds and hundreds of pictures flying out as they got carried along with the pull. His brows raised at the expectancy of it all.

He grabbed one and looked at it, not knowing what to expect.

White hair, half-lidded dark eyes, mouth slightly open in anticipation for a piece of marshmallow.

Obito? Kakashi thought and looked closer at the picture. It was from the day prior when Kakashi fed a marshmallow to Obito. It was zoomed in on his face and nothing else. Kakashi looked over to another picture that laid on the ground. It was from the village when they were training outside in the fields. Obito was grinning to himself, his hands in front of himself to block an upcoming attack. Another picture laid on the ground as well. Obito was eating ramen together with Naruto, listening intently to what the younger man said.

«What the hell is going on?» Kakashi whispered and looked inside the box at the rest of the content. Some of them were of Obito sitting in Kakashi's kitchen, eating breakfast. Some were just him walking in the streets, holding Kakashi's elbow.

«This has got to be fanboy taken too far,» Kakashi said and looked over at the other boxes, dreading what the content may be. They couldn't all possibly be filled with pictures of Obito, could they?

Kakashi took a last glance into the one he had already opened and froze. At the picture where Obito held Kakashi's elbow, you could see them both fully. Obito was talking animatedly about something, Kakashi looking at him fondly and smiling to himself.

The only problem was, that a red X was scrawled over Kakashi's face.

There was a red X on every single picture Kakashi was in, and they all covered his face.

He moved on to the next box, ripping open the lid and staring desperately down into it.

These were older. You couldn't see Obito's face in any of them. Because he wore an orange mask.

Kakashi looked through them. At Obito posing as Madara. At Obito speaking with all kind of people with Pain by his side.

How did Kai and the princess have these? How were they able to take these without anyone noticing.

It was the same with the last box, though Obito wore a few other masks as well that Kakashi didn't recognize. He sighed, feeling frustrated and not knowing what to do with the information.

What were they up to? Why would they need pictures of Obito and a bunch of explosives?

He looked through the last bunch of pictures at the bottom of the boxes, wanting to investigate every single one for answers. As he grazed the bottom for more his fingertips felt something different, like a book.

Kakashi's eyes furrowed and he grabbed the book and looked at the cover.

«year 12» It read in black thick writing. He opened up to page one and recognized the date as the day Obito and he went to the party at Sakura's house.

 

I finally did it! I have taken all the pictures I could manage while hiding in Konoha. I cant believe I got this glorious chance to redeem myself, to fix what was done wrong. Obito Uchiha coming back to life is a clear sign! I have to do this! Haruka thinks I am being over dramatic, that I will only screw everything we have worked for if I continue this nonsense. This is not nonsense. This is righting what has been done wrong.

 

The entry stopped there, so Kakashi moved to the next page.

 

Obito and the copy ninja Kakashi Hatake have been getting a little too friendly. I wonder what Obito is planning. Maybe he wants to use him as an ally in a future plot? I don't trust that ninja and will be watching to make sure he won't be betraying Obito. Oh, by the way, we have managed to gather more explosives. Obito will sure be thrilled when he finds out. I am sure he will assist us and lead us. Haruka sent a request to the village in helping her cross the country. She will pose as a princess. I can't believe I will see Obito again soon! It will be the best day of my life. I have to make sure I give off a good impression. He wouldn't want to work with weaklings, I am sure.

 

«Again?» Kakashi asked himself, not believing what he was reading. Obito and this Kai guy had met before? Why hadn't Obito said anything? No, Kakashi couldn't start to doubt Obito now. He knew Obito fully trusted him, and he trusted Obito in return. This fanboy must have dreamt it all and mistaken it for reality. Nothing else made sense.

 

I met him! I actually met him! He did bring a few other friends, but they are meaningless. I would have preferred Kakashi gone since he is constantly around Obito and guards him like a hawk. As I suspected, Obito would not remember me. I had no idea he was blind though! I think maybe he would have known me if he could see me. There is no way he has forgotten me, right?

 

Kakashi closed the book and placed it inside his pocket. There was no need to stall and use up precious time here. He would have to look properly through it when he came home after he destroyed the explosives. Maybe there were other notebooks written earlier back? Maybe some from when Obito was in the Akatsuki?

The door slammed open, making Kakashi turn around and wave a few hand seals. A dragon made out of electricity formed in front of him and flew toward the person entering the room.

«Kakashi!» A voice shouted, one that belonged to neither Kai nor the princess, or Haruka.

He stopped it, making the sparks disappear in the tight air.

«Obito? What the hell are you doing here?» Kakashi said, feeling his voice tight.

Ignore the book. He reminded himself and forced a smile, though he failed.

«I am so happy you are okay! I knew I could feel your chakra. I am so sorry it took such a long time before I realized you wouldn't come back, but when I realized-»

Kakashi couldn't listen. All he could see was the orange mask and black cape with red clouds. He didn't actually know much about Obito. He had been honest and laid it all bare, but it could be an act too.

No! This is Obito you are thinking about. You finally got him back. Dont start to doubt him now.

«So here I am. Even Yamato started to get worried.» Obito said and smiled. He looked relieved, too relieved.

Why would he care that much? It wasn't as if he knew about everything written in the notebooks and pictures and wanted to cover it up? It couldn't be Kai had already spoken with him about everything? They had been talking a lot.

«Kakashi, what is wrong? Why aren't you saying anything?» Obito asked and sounded cautious.

This is obito this is obito this is obito this is obito.

«You shouldn't have come. You should have tended to the mission. I was fine on my own.» Kakashi said and walked to the door to look back at the room.

«Could you toss a fireball Jutsu in here? This should all be burnt.» It was more a demand than an answer, but Kakashi couldn't make himself talk in a kinder tone at the moment. He was confused and felt betrayed. He didn't even know if Obito was in on anything. He would have to read the rest when they got home and see if they had talked with Obito about anything.

He felt like an idiot. He couldn't even trust Obito without reassurance.

Obito complied and set the whole room on fire without questioning anything. Either he didn't know about what was in there, or it was all actually useless and he didn't care if it got destroyed. Kakashi prayed it was the first.

They turned to leave, but Obito grabbed his sleeve before they exited the mountain.

«What do you mean I shouldn't have come here? You could have been in danger and you expect me to have just ignored it and stayed where I am? I suspected you were in here. In a mountain. Do you remember who else got stuck under some damn rocks?» Obito was looking frantically everywhere.

Kakashi didn't get it. He couldn't see, so what was the point?

«I don't need your help. As I said, I was perfectly fine on my own.» Kakashi said deadpan. «And you can't see. I don't think the smartest thing for you to do is waltz around a forest alone. It was idiotic of you.»

Obito moved his eyes straight forward, toward Kakashi.

«What?» He whispered, his brown eyes wide. A stubble had grown on his face, not something Kakashi ever thought he would see on him.

«I was scared, Kakashi. I can still remember how I felt when I was under there, dying and thinking about a list of all my mistakes. I don't want you to go through that.» Obito said and dragged his hand down his neck, his voice cracking every other word.

«Well, I am sure my list is shorter than yours,» Kakashi said matter of factly and placed his hands on his hips. Obito was sputtering out nonsense, trying to say something but not able to.

«What is it that bought on this change of behavior? What happened!?» Obito asked, walking closer to Kakashi. Kakashi didn't take a step back and instead looked down at his childhood friend.

«Nothing happened,» He lied.

«Why are you lying? Don't you trust me? I know you, Kakashi. I can hear it when something is wrong.» Obito said frustrated, and for a second it sounded like he was about to plead.

«And what if I don't tell you? You will start another war?» Kakashi spat out and turned to leave. Right before Obito was out of sight he caught a glimpse of his expression.

He looked nothing more than a fragment of himself. His eyes had narrowed and the only thing Kakashi could see was emotionless balls and restrained words locked behind his mouth. He wouldn't say anything, and Kakashi knew it.

Because Kakashi had purposefully chosen the words he knew would hurt the most.

 

Chapter Text

Obito and Kakashi had not spoken once since their fight.

They didn't want to speak with each other either.

They walked with two meters between them, Kakashi walking in the front and taking the lead. Yamato was trying to start conversations, not aware of what had transpired. The mission had been canceled and the guards had admitted that they weren't really guarding. Apparently, Kai and the princess had bribed them.

Guy wasn't saying anything either, only watched silently.

Obito was slouching, his hands tugged deep into his pockets. He was thinking back on every encounter he and Kakashi had had, trying to understand the sudden change of behavior.

It wasn't like Kakashi at all.

He felt like a grumpy teenager who had just been dumped. How pathetic wasn't he?

This was their very last mission together and it had ended with them not talking to each other? Obito didn't know when Kakashi would become Hokage, but he was sure it was pretty soon.

«So that was fun, right? I think it would be really enjoyable if we all went out together again, just not on a mission.» Yamato said and slapped both Obito's and Kakashi's shoulders playfully. Neither responded.

«Yeah,» Guy said, sounding unsure.

«Yeah,» Yamato replied, more to himself than any of the others.

They were all greeted at their return, Naruto even stood at the gates and welcomed them all back.

«How did it go? I hope you kicked some ass.» He said cheerfully and laughed. Obito smiled, looking away.

Naruto was there mostly for Kakashi, and since it was obvious Kakashi didn't want anything to do with Obito at the moment, he decided to leave. Naruto made a confused sound as Obito left to walk in another direction.

He needed some time to think. He was sure Yamato would have walked with him if he had asked, but he didn't want to be with anyone from the mission right now.

The map in his head of the town was luckily very detailed. He only managed to trip two times, which was a clear improvement. He was completely alone with no elbow to assist.

«Hey, Obito?!» A feminine voice called out and Obito stopped his walk.

«Hi!» he said, hoping the person would introduce themselves before he made a fool out of himself.

«I am Ino. I know I haven't introduced myself yet. I really wanted to do so sooner at Kakashi's Hokage party, but then I got stuck with the store and-» She said, then interrupted herself. She giggled. She for some reason reminded Obito of Sakura. He wondered if they were friends.

«I am sorry. Sometimes when I am stressed I start rambling. It's a bad habit.» She apologized.

Obito shook his head and smiled, feeling himself ease up.

«No worries. Why are you stressed?» He asked, not expecting the sincere tone from his own voice. He had really not expected anyone to introduce themselves to him when walking alone.

«We got a little too many packages for the store. I love flowers, but sometimes it can get a little too much. I have to put them all at appropriate places before the day is over. Usually, my mom is here, but she has a bad day and I am left here alone.» He heard a rustling of plastic and imagined a bouquet of all kinds of colors. The only time he had bought a bouquet was when he was thirteen years old. It was for Rin.

He couldn't remember what it looked like.

«Do you want some help?» He asked. It wasn't as if he had anything better to do. He could either help Ino with the flowers, or he could walk around the village alone, moping and probably looking depressed.

«Really?» Ino asked as if she expected him to say it was a joke and leave. «No one ever asks to help me!»

She ran away, but soon came back and placed a watering can in Obito's arms.

«I will carry everything and put them where they should be, then you'll water the flowers, okay?»

Had she introduced herself to him because she hoped he would ask if she needed help? Obito grinned to himself and reached out with one hand to know where the door inside to the store was. It didn't take long until he memorized where all the shelves and flowers were. She walked back and forth a few times with flowers without speaking, as if she wanted to get in the zone first.

«So, I heard from Naruto you went on a mission. How did it go?» She said, the sound of a pot slamming against wood followed.

Well, that's one who goes straight to the point.

Not that she knew about what a fail the mission had become.

«Let's just say there were a lot of lies,» What he didn't say was that there were lies from both the people hiring them and a particular person who got hired.

«Oh, really? What happened.» Another pot slamming against wood.

Obito moved on to another plant and watered it, gently touching the flowers as well and trying to imagine what it looked like.

«The ones who hired us said they needed escorts when crossing the country. In reality, they never intended that. They transported a bunch of explosives, and also rather shamelessly. There was a point when most of us helped them carry it, so I doubt they suspected that they would get caught.» Obito answered, moving on to another shelf.

«Oh, really?» She mused.

Obito really wanted to hear Ino and Sakura have a conversation. He could imagine it being hilarious.

She clicked her tongue a few times, taking a small break from transporting flowers onto shelves. «Well, what do you think of Kakashi?»

Obito nearly lost the can. He turned around to her, then regretted it and looked back toward the shelves he was tending to.

«I don't understand what you mean.» He said, feeling his throat close up.

She laughed and chills went down Obito's spine. What had he gotten himself into?

«Don't be shy. You don't have to be ashamed for liking him! Yes, he can be kind of weird at times. He can be freaky too and is way too secretive for his own good, but he is a good guy deep down, though you may have to do some digging to get there.» She went on, listing up both of Kakashi's good qualities and bad ones. The list of bad qualities was longer than the one with the good ones, but in the end she said even the bad ones could be good in the right hands.

Obito had to agree, though he didn't want to say so out loud in fear his voice would crack.

He had grown comfortable with the thought that he had developed a crush on the Hatake, but that didn't mean he would say so out loud. He liked to keep his emotions to himself. It felt more personal then.

It wasn't as if he as bottling anything up.

«I forgot to tell you,» She said and sighed. «Sakura wanted me to tell you to visit her office later this week. I guess she wants to talk about your eyes.»

Obito had never received greater news.

Kakashi being okay after having been kidnapped used to be in first place, but it got dropped down a few notches because of his behavior.

Sakura would definitely tell him they had discovered a way to give him new eyes. She would say that it would be an easy procedure. If Rin could give Kakashi one of Obito's eyes at the age of thirteen, Sakura would be able to help him with his vision again.

Once he could see again, most of his current problems would disappear.

He stayed for another hour, watering every single plant in the store. Ino was extremely happy at the end, even saying he could get free flowers whenever he wanted.

Who would Obito give flowers to?

 

The walk home was more comfortable than he thought. It was late and the cold breeze felt good on his skin. A few drunk people sang and screamed from a couple of the houses, having the time of their lives.

Sakuras party. That was a day he wished he could have forgotten. He had lied and told Kakashi he didn't remember anything, but it was the complete opposite.

He could remember every smell and every thought, every noise, and every action.

He had fricking crawled into Kakashi's lap and hugged him until he fell asleep? Who even does that? Kakashi must have been so bored with him that night. Obito should have rather crawled under the ground with shame.

Obito had learned something else from Ino as well.

Kakashi would become Hokage sooner than he thought.

The day that followed, actually.


Kakashi


 

Tsunade was talking about the peace treaty, and why it was as important as it was to sign his signature on all the papers that laid on his desk.

The stacks were way too big. It was obvious she had purposefully ignored signing them. She had probably celebrated every night since she would now stop being Hokage.

Kakashi had to admit, it was rather discouraging.

He knew being Hokage was difficult and real work. Some of the stuff he would have to pay attention to was straight up ludicrous though.

The Hokage would have to taste every single meal from every single restaurant in town before it could be launched. Maybe Naruto would enjoy that part of the job, but Kakashi saw no point in it. He was no chef. He didn't know anything about cooking. Why would people depend on his taste buds to know if they would like it or not?

He sighed and dropped down onto the window sill. He was not looking forward to all the hours he would have to spend there.

Was it too late to decline the job?

He would have to force Naruto to become Shunin, and so fast. That way he could promote him to Jonin and give the Hokage position to him instead.

He was already planning how to approach the situation. He could invite Naruto out for ramen, then tell him that he would become the next Hokage. Maybe he should joke with him and act like he would give the position to Sakura or Sasuke instead?

Kakashi smiled to himself, almost forgetting his duties.

«I see you are enjoying this conversation about schools very much,» Tsunade said, leaning against the desk. The Hokage hat laid there as well, waiting to be put on somebody's head.

Kakashi could imagine himself wearing it. It did not sit well in his mind.

«Sorry. I didn't get much sleep on my last mission.» It wasn't a lie. He barely slept at all. They had taken a break at a hotel on their way back to the village, and all he could think about was his fight with Obito.

He could barely believe it had happened. It felt like a too real nightmare. It felt so weird. When he was there, inside the mountain and talking with Obito, it had felt like he couldn't trust Obito at all. It felt as if they were strangers.

Now, he didn't even care for the notebook. The people who had kidnapped him were all obviously not good in the head, and if Obito were planning a secret plot he would definitely choose better companions.

What was wrong with him? Kakashi couldn't keep his thoughts straight and wished he could erase history.

Someone laughed, making him look outside the window. He could see the entire town from there. It was always impressive whenever he looked through it.

There, on the street, stood Ino. She was outside her families flower shop. She was nodding and talking animatedly. Kakashi wondered with whom.

«Let's talk about something that obviously holds your attention: Obito,» Tsunade said, her voice growing stern. «How did he perform on your last mission?»

«If you want me to list up his qualities I wouldn't say this mission would give much to go off. It was only an escorting mission, one that failed.» Kakashi didn't look away from the window, feeling more and more curious as to who else was there.

«Did he follow orders?» She asked.

Now Kakashi looked over, feeling his brows tighten.

«Orders? If you wonder if he behaves then yes. He didn't go against anything anyone said.» It was the truth. Even when Guy told him to do something he did it.

«That's good. Do you know how well he can control his chakra and Jutsus?» She was looking down at her nails, scratching some stained paint off.

«He hasn't had the chance to use a wide variety of Jutsus, but those I have seen him do seem solid.» Kakashi was getting suspicious. Technically, it did make sense for her to ask those things. She was the one who made the decision to let him live. She was the one who let him roam free in the village. Kakashi may be Hokage tomorrow, but she was still Hokage today.

«That's all.» She muttered and stood up.

Kakashi looked a last time out the window, down toward the flower shop.

Someone walked out of the door and Ino walked toward them to give them a hug.

Kakashi squinted, trying to see who it was clearer.

It almost looked like… Obito?

Kakashi couldn't recall Ino and Obito ever talking. It was definitely an unexpected combo.

Kakashi waited to return home until after Obito was out of sight.

He was sure the Uchiha didn't want to talk to him, so he made sure to stay out of the way. He definitely hated Kakashi now. It was true what Obito had said earlier. Even if he was blind, he could still do things without help. He had met Ino, apparently helped her with the flowers, and was walking home. He did this all without help. He was walking in the right directions and taking the correct turns!

Kakashi pondered if Obito even needed his help anymore. Today had proven he didn't. He had managed to find Kakashi yesterday alone, walking through an unfamiliar forest.

Maybe Obito would be completely fine living alone.

 

Kakashi had expected to find a sleeping form on his bed, wild black hair pointing out from under the sheet.

Instead, he found an empty bed. The sleeping form was on the couch instead.

Kakashi felt his throat turn dry. He didn't want this to be a ball of snow that only grew bigger and bigger. He wanted the fight to end, but that wouldn't happen until they spoke to each other.

Kakashi knew Obito didn't want to speak with him, so he wouldn't force himself on him.

That night, Kakashi couldn't sleep at all. Whenever he felt himself drift off he startled himself awake.

He really was pathetic.


 

 

Chapter Text

Either the Hokages start work very early, or Kakashi was desperate in avoiding him. Obito heard him walk through the apartment, trying to make as little noise as possible. He could almost feel him hold his breath whenever he walked past the couch. He ate breakfast - though Obito was sure he barely chewed any of it - and left without uttering a single word.

It was 4 am.

Minato used to start at 7.

 

Obito considered not opening the door when the heavy knocks arrived and covered himself under his blanket. It was probably for Kakashi anyway, so it wouldn't make any difference whether he answered the door or not.

«Stop being lazy and get out, Obito!» Naruto shouted, kicking at the door this time.

Obito peeked out from beneath the blanket, feeling his mood instantly improve.

Naruto? He thought and stood up. He didn't care for the pajamas he wore and walked over to the door, locking it up and welcoming his first visitor in years.

Or, he was about to welcome him, but a heavy hit on top of his head and him biting his tongue was two things that made him reconsider.

«Honestly, I can't believe you. I was looking forward to hearing how your first mission in a while had gone and you flat out ignored me!» Naruto walked past him and into the house, inviting himself in.

Could Obito invite someone in, or wasn't that his place? Would Kakashi get mad?

Obitos brows furrowed and he almost slammed the door shut. So what if he got mad, he had to pull that stick that was so far up his ass out and get himself together. Obito was trying his best to regain a normal life and Kakashi completely blew him off and acted like a jerk.

«Yeah, sorry. Things didn't go so well on the mission and I didn't want to talk about it.» He said and sat down on the couch. Naruto sat down beside him, putting his feet on the table.

Obito couldn't see it, so it didn't happen. Kakashi never needed to know.

«But you can talk to someone you don't know that well about it?» He asked, making himself comfortable.

Well, you dug yourself a hole there, Obito.

«You've talked with Ino, huh?» He asked and recalled the conversation from yesterday.

«You're evading the question,» Naruto replied and playfully hit him with his elbow.

«You just did that too, you know?» Obito said and hit him back.

Neither said anything for a few seconds. Obito waited for Naruto to say something, and Naruto waited for Obito to talk first.

Eventually, one of them cracked.

«I was kind of worried,» Naruto said. «I know Guy isn't your biggest fan. I didn't know how it would go. I hoped Yamato would be fine with you, but then I remembered I would never have expected that reaction out of Guy and became even more worried. It was your first mission since you left the village and I knew it could be difficult. So when you walked off after you all arrived I knew something was up, so I asked if anyone had seen you and Ino told me she had.»

Obito wouldn't exactly say he left the village, though it was technically true. He nodded, thinking through what Naruto had said.

He kind of felt bad.

«I didn't want to speak with Kakashi.» Obito simply said. He hoped he wouldn't have to say anything else for Naruto to understand. If he and Kakashi had spoken after the mission Kakashi had probably told everything.

«Why didn't you want to speak with Kakashi?»

Or not.

Obito turned to face Naruto and leaned his head toward the couch pillows, thinking through all the answers he could give.

He wasn't completely sure himself. He wasn't scared of Kakashi. He wasn't worried that he would lash out on him.

«I think I just don't want to be a bother. Something is obviously annoying him, and I think I would only worsen it if I tried to speak with him.» It was the truth, even if it surprised even Obito.

And then he told Obito everything that had happened, starting with them leaving and ending with their return.

He skipped the part with the marshmallows though but told him about his conversations with Guy. He even mentioned that he had had a panic attack in the tent and guy came in and tried to talk with him.

Naruto was so silent he could have been sleeping; If he slept like the dead.

Obito counted the seconds in his head, waiting patiently for his reply and thoughts.

Eventually, Naruto readjusted the way he sat and spoke.

«That doesn't sound much like Kakashi if I have to be honest. Are you sure that was all that happened? It doesn't make sense that he would get mad just because you tried to find him alone. He isn't the type to get mad if someone worries about him either.»

Obito wholeheartedly agreed, but it was hard to look at it any other way when he had been there, hearing everything Kakashi had said.

Kakashi had even asked if he would start another war out of anger!

A ball of warmth grew in the pit of his stomach, and not the kind he usually felt around Kakashi.

He felt mad as hell.

«Okay, you need some change of scenery. How about this: I am going to help Konohamaru train a little, do you want to come with and join? Training used to help me a lot when I worried about Sasuke.» Naruto suggested, already standing up.

Obito really didn't mind the thought, so he went along with it.

 


                                                                                                    

Konohamaru was a cheerful kid, someone he could imagine Naruto getting along with. It was obvious he viewed Naruto as a role model. Obito could understand that.

«Your aim is still a little off. You gotta have a little more patience and properly aim before you can rush things.» Naruto said. Konohamaru was aiming Kunais at moving targets, obviously frustrated.

«That doesn't make any sense, Naruto!» He replied and tossed another. It hit the ground soon after. «If I am in a battle I won't be able to concentrate first and study the enemy. What if I get ambushed, I can't just observe and watch when they're running toward me.»

Naruto sighed and Obito could clearly imagine him pushing his palms against his eyes.

«Think of it like this,» Obito said, hoping he could get his thoughts across. «If you manage to hit a moving opponent now you'll be more confident later on, even if you studied it beforehand. Yes, you won't be able to take your time in a real battle, but if you can manage this then it will be easier, even if its just a little. It's about getting used to it.»

Maybe Obito should become a teacher. He could imagine himself in the position.

«That's great, Obito!» Naruto cheered, obviously pleased with the explanation.

«I am just more confused now,» Konohamaru said.

Obitos mood dropped.

Maybe he shouldn't become a teacher after all.

Without any of them noticing it, a few hours had passed, so they went to Naruto's favorite location.

Ichiraku Ramen.

Obito was disappointed that the shop didn't exist when he was a kid. Maybe it was a good thing, or else he would have stayed there day in night out.

Naruto, like the last time, ordered a bunch without even describing his order. He just shouted «the usual!», and the people who worked there knew exactly what he wanted. Konohamaru had asked for the same as Naruto, which only confirmed Obitos suspicion that Naruto was an important person to Konohamaru. He wondered about how they became friends but chose not to ask. Some stories were best hidden between the people it involved.

Obito would also rather just eat since he never ate breakfast and his stomach was complaining.

«Not the most nutritional meal to eat after a training session, but it sure is the tastiest,» Konohamaru said and chowed down.

«Of course it is! Happiness is important too, not only nutritions and vegetables and stuff.» Naruto got his bowl and dived down as well, eating as if it was a contest.

«That's why you are our favorite customer!» The man handing Obito his bowl said. It was the same people working there. A man and his daughter.

Obito agreed with Naruto. It was the perfect meal after a training session. He and Naruto had sparred, though neither took it serious enough to break a sweat. It was fun and Obito felt… light.

He envied Kakashi for having sixteen years of this. Obito knew Kakashi and Guy often sparred like that. He had heard from Yamato Guy would often dare Kakashi to do stuff with him, to see which one of them would accomplish stuff faster.

It was a sight Obito would have loved to see.

 

Naruto followed him back toward the apartment, not having anything better to do.

Obito knew he lived alone and pitied him for it. Naruto had lived alone all his life, and whose reason was that?

Obito scowled, feeling his chest tighten. If he could go back in time, he would have changed everything.

He would have convinced the rest to drop the Hanabi bridge mission, even if he would have to go to extreme measures. Then, he would take Minato and more Jonin to where he knew Madara was and expose him before he could find another Uchiha kid.

Why hasn't anyone invented a time machine Jutsu?

Maybe someone already had, but it caused so great damage the person who invented it went back in time to stop themselves from ever inventing it.

«I think you should talk with Kakashi.» Naruto suddenly said.

Obito jumped, having forgotten he wasn't alone.

«I don't think-» He started, but Naruto started talking again.

«I don't think that is the case. Maybe Kakashi actually wants to talk as well.» He breathed loudly, probably fed up with Obito. «Sasuke used to push me away all the time. He would be rude to me, ignore me and fight me. I wanted to stop trying to get his attention, but I didn't. I never stopped pestering him. So I don't think you should either.»

Obito didn't know what time it was, he only knew it was starting to get late. He could vaguely see the light bulbs from the streetlights, making it clear that the sun had set.

It had become winter, making the air grow colder. Obito didn't mind the cold. He preferred the chill breeze over humid warmth. Maybe it would even snow this year?

«Well, I guess I gotta go back. Please consider it.» Naruto said, then hugged him.

Obito knew Kakashi wasn't home, so he wasn't sure why he felt hesitant to enter the house.

Maybe Naruto was right. Maybe it could all be resolved if Obito took the initiative.

He entered the house and sat on the couch, waiting awake until Kakashi would come home. They needed to talk. This couldn't drag on further than it already had. Kakashi would tell him everything, even if Obito had to force it out of him.

Another hour passed. He hadn't moved. He imagined what he would say, how he would present his points. If he was doing something Kakashi didn't approve of, then he needed to know that so he could fix it.

They needed to communicate, but you needed two people to tango.

It was snowing outside, the small flakes being dragged with the wind through the village. They passed the house and down toward the Hokage office, where Kakashi was.

Obito's resolve didn't waver and he stayed awake in the living room.

What he didn't know yet, was that Kakashi would sleep at the office instead.

Chapter Text

No amount of paperwork could distract a distraught man.

Especially when it was about shame.

To say it curled around in Kakashi's stomach was an understatement. It felt more like a heavy boulder, weighing him down. He was feeling so bad he couldn't face Obito.

Yesterday, when his work was finished, he was about to leave his office. He took one step out the door and immediately the nerves took over.

He knew he was in the wrong. He also knew that they would have to talk about it eventually, but he for some reason just couldn't take the first step.

He was so sure Obito would never want to speak with him again. He was probably even sleeping over at Naruto's out of disgust.

So Kakashi ended up staying at the Hokage office the entire night, working ahead with his plans. It came to a point where he didn't know what to do since everything was signed and regulated.

When someone is bored, their mind might start to wander on its own.

Kakashi hated these times since his thoughts never pushed him in the positive direction.

He should think positive. He had to think positive.

Ino.

Ino had apparently become acquainted with Obito, which was great. Obito was slowly getting more and more friends, and he did it all on his own.

Kakashi had been worried he would have to bribe people to talk with him and was relieved that that wasn't necessary.

Obito could stand on his own two feet again, which made Kakashi happier than he could ever put into words.

It also scared him, since he wasn't sure if he was needed anymore.

Obito had proven again and again that he could do stuff alone. He didn't need Kakashi as a guide. He could handle problematic situations rather well.

Damn, his thoughts had led him down a bad path once again.


                                                                                                    

After another hour of moping, he came to the conclusion that he should probably check the mail.

It was definitely not an excuse. He only cared about the male- mail!

He sighed to himself and stood outside his door, dreading the moment he would have to open it.

It was 3 pm. A thick layer of snow had settled on the ground, his footprints reminding him that it was too late to turn back.

If Obito looked out the window and saw footprints that walked to the door, only to turn around and walk back, it would be too embarrassing for Kakashi.

He almost felt like knocking, even if it was his own house.

He knocked anyway, holding his breath.

He was extremely happy there were no windows on the door, or Obito would probably not even open the door if he saw it was him standing there. Not out of malice, but just because it was so stupid.

Eventually, he heard a few steps echo through the apartment, then stopping. Kakashi swallowed, just now remembering to practice what he would have to say.

He came up empty.

The door opened and Obito stood there. Kakashi was about to open his mouth so Obito could hear who it was, but stopped when he fully took in Obito's appearance.

His hair was disheveled, not the usual bed hair kind, but the way that made it look like he hadn't brushed it for weeks. His eyes were slightly red and puffy, though Kakashi was sure it was probably his eyes playing tricks on him.

Obitos bleary stare was probably all in his mind as well.

«Hi!» He said, surprised at how steady his voice was.

Obitos expression turned deadpan.

«Have you lost your key?» Obito said and opened the door wider to let Kakashi in.

«No.» He only said and kicked his shoes against the wall to get the snow off.

«Then why- you know what, I am not even going to ask,» Obito said and walked back toward the living room. Kakashi glanced inside, feeling like it had been ages since he last was there.

Obitos sheets were still on the couch.

«Had to work late?» Obito asked and grabbed a plate that sat on the table, then walked to the kitchen with it.

Obito really could manage himself.

«Something wrong? It looks like you've been crying?» Kakashi asked and stopped in the doorway to the living room.

He felt like an imposter in his own home.

Obito came back from the kitchen, wiping his hands with a rug. He looked at home like he belonged there. Kakashi wished that was the case.

«Yeah, no.» Obito yawned, covering his mouth with his free hand. «I didn't sleep last night, so I am very tired.»

The Hatake's eyes widened and he looked back on the couch. Had he stayed awake the entire night? Why?

He was about to ask why, but Obito was avoiding looking towards him, so he thought it was better not to.

He felt disconnected from Obito, and he hated it.

«I think you should move out.»

Obito froze. His eyes widened and he looked toward where Kakashi stood, looking unsure.

«What did you say?» He asked and started fumbling with the rag, his thumbs pushing into the soft material.

Kakashi repeated himself. «I think you should move out.»

Silence had never been louder. Kakashi could feel his heart pound harder than it had in a long time.

Obito didn't need him anymore. Once he had fully adjusted to his current predicament, it would be as if there was nothing different at all. Kakashi was sure this was what Obito wanted as well.

«I don't understand,» Obito dragged a hand through his hair, looking frantically down at the floor. «Are you kicking me out?»

«Of course not!» Kakashi exclaimed, feeling misunderstood. «I just think it would be the best if you lived somewhere else. You don't need me anymore, so nothing is holding you back.»

Obito said nothing and Kakashi was sure he would rip the rag in two.

«Everything is holding me back…» Obito muttered, barely above a whisper.

«What?» Said Kakashi, walking back and forth in the room. His legs felt restless. His brain felt like jelly.

«Nothing. I am gonna go.» Obito said and walked to the kitchen to put the rag on the table. Kakashi's eyes followed him, wanting to tell him to stay but also knowing he couldn't. This would be for the best. He was sure Obito wanted this.

They just needed a little distance, then everything would be great again.

The notebook in his pocket felt heavier than ever. It felt like a sign.

He was doing the good thing.

Obito stood at the door, his hand on the doorknob.

«You can pack first, you know. I am not gonna throw you out without letting you bring your things first.» Kakashi joked, trying to put some lightheartedness into the situation.

Obito looked over his shoulder at him, his expression blank.

«What things?» He asked, then left.

Kakashi had forgotten he had nothing to pack.

 


                                                                                                    

Obito


                                                                                                    

 

Obito had never felt as solemn before as he did then. He had hesitated at the door, not wanting to leave just yet. That was not the conversation he had wanted to have. That was not the conversation he had stayed up the entire night to have. He was about to tell Kakashi that he didn't want to leave, that he liked it how it was, but then Kakashi had joked about him not having anything to bring.

Obito was forever relieved Naruto was willing to let him borrow his couch for a day. He just needed a day to regain his thoughts and properly get the hang of the situation, then he would rent an apartment. It didn't matter that it would probably be in the poor parts of the village. He had lived under a rock, literally, a dirty small house would be heaven in comparison.

Naruto didn't look surprised when Obito arrived. He actually sounded very happy, since he now wouldn't have to eat alone.

Of course, they ate Ichiraku ramen, which surprised no one.

«So, how are things going with you and that Hinata girl?» Obito asked, blowing on some ramen hanging off his chopsticks. Naruto very loudly choked on his food, hitting the table while coughing.

«What did you say?» He asked, still coughing and drinking a well worth of water.

Obito felt confused. Weren't they dating?

«You and Hinata?» Obito repeated. Had he said something wrong?

«Hinata and I are just friends. I know we kind of hooked up at Sakura's house, but its all been cleared up. She deserves someone better than me anyways.»

Obito was extremely confused but chose to not force the matter.

There was something else he had wanted to ask of him anyway.

«Naruto, could you do me a favor?» He said, sipping the rest of the liquid in the cup

Naruto hmmd, obviously having his mouth filled with food.

Obito had been thinking a lot the last two days, and he had come to a conclusion on his way to Naruto's house.

He knew what he had to do since nothing else would work.

«Could you help me write a letter?» He asked, trying to be as vague as possible. He wasn't sure if Naruto would agree if he knew what Obito wanted to write.

«Sure, to who?» Naruto said and swallowed. He sounded genuinely interested.

«To Kakashi. There are a few things I want to tell him, but can't.» Obito knew he could trust Naruto, even if he wouldn't agree to write it. Naruto wouldn't rat him out.

«Of course. I have some paper here.» Naruto stood up and walked over to the cupboard.

«I want you to promise me something though, that no matter what I say, you won't question it or ask.»

Naruto stopped looking, probably staring at Obito.

He didn't know who else he would ask if not Obito.

Anko was the person he originally wanted to ask to help him, but he knew she would refuse. She would probably knock him out and get Kakashi to come over and tell him everything. She cared about him, but her methods weren't always in his favor.

Naruto finally spoke «Okay. I promise.»

 

Maybe it was childish of him. Maybe the best thing would be to confront Kakashi and really speak his mind. That hadn't worked so well this far though, so a letter was the only thing he could come up with. He would go up to Kakashi's house, walk in, and then place the letter on his table. Obito was familiar with Kakashi's schedule and knew when he would be home. It would be easy.

Naruto hadn't said anything while writing. He was silent through it all.

There were a few parts where Naruto was obviously hesitant, not writing for several seconds. He wrote it all though, and Obito trusted him enough to know he hadn't altered anything.

He was on his way to Kakashi's house, ready to put the letter there. Only a few hours had passed since Kakashi had officially kicked him out, so it felt too early. He knew it wasn't though.

He walked the few stairs to his apartment, holding his breath. The snow crunched. The birds were silent.

He couldn't believe it had only been three days since he helped Ino with the flowers.

Ino!

Obito stopped, remembering their conversation.

Sakura had wanted to speak with him about his eyes.

If they got fixed, maybe his situation with Kakashi would improve. He wouldn't have to give him the letter.

Everything would work out perfectly, he was sure of it.

Obito turned around and ran toward the hospital, already planning how he would tell Kakashi he had regained his sight again.

Chapter Text

Sakura hated giving bad news. She hated seeing the hope drain from peoples eyes and how their head would tilt downwards. The worst reaction came from those who acted like it was fine, those who faked a smile. Sakura would rather have patients cry openly in front of her because then she knew they would be better eventually. People who are open with their emotions have a better chance of healing. Whenever someone acted like everything was okay and laughed like it was nothing, she would worry for days, waiting for them to explode.

Obitos papers laid on her desk, crumbled from her gripping them too hard. She had read them all, again and again, trying to find a solution. She was a talented healer, but there were things even she couldn't do. She had tried to get Tsunade to find a solution, but one look at the papers and she simply shook her head, saying it was futile.

There was nothing they could do for him, and Sakura was the person who would have to tell him that.

It would destroy him. He had already gone through so much. They all had.

She gently pounded her head against her desk, hitting it again and again. She wished she had told Obito to keep his hopes down. Maybe she had? Her mind was filled with useless ideas. She had tried to hypothesize, she had contacted other more experienced healers, she had done everything she could.

Yet, she knew it was futile.

 

Someone knocked on the door, assistant shouted «Sakura! Obito is here to see you.»

Sakura felt her stomach clench.

«Bring him in!» She replied and gathered all of Obito's papers, trying to make it look at least a little tidy. The door opened and he walked in, smiling.

A pain blossomed behind her eyes and neck. She was stressed. She had focused her eyes on the paperwork too much lately, she was starting to get a headache.

«Hi!» He said, still standing.

«There is a chair about two meters in front of you.» She said, trying to sound cheerful.

He sat down, an expectant look in his eyes. He was eager to know what she was about to say. She wished she could have turned time forward. She wanted it to be the next day already.

«How are you doing?» She asked and leaned forward on her elbows. He opened his mouth to answer, then stopped and thought through his answer again. He looked torn.

«Could have been better.» Was his words, an easy and vague answer. 

Sakura could relate.

«Its good not to have it perfectly fine all the time, if we did, we wouldn't be as appreciative.»

Sakura was definitely not dragging out the time.

Obito looked slightly confused, thinking over her words, then nodded and smiled. She was sure he wasn't completely paying attention, he was probably too excited to hear the news. 

It was obvious he expected them to be positive.

Sakura could not give that.

She took a deep breath, then breathed out and started her very practiced lines. «I have been looking through your tests and read up what could be the cause for your blindness. Unfortunately, there were no positive results, and I was unable to find a single treatment that could work.»

He was still smiling, but the corners of his mouth were tighter now, more strained.

«I am not quite sure what you mean.» He said, blinking a few times too many.

«I am really sorry, Obito. Normally, a procedure like this is rather simple. We could have given you new eyes and your chakra would have been able to heal it, make it good as new. You giving your Sharingan to Kakashi is what manipulated your vision. You coming back to life is what made it permanent. Even if I gave you new eyes, your body wouldn't be able to accept them.» She said, feeling her own voice strain.

Obito was strong. He had been pushed down again and again throughout his entire life. Sakura was just scared that this would be the one time too many.

He was also, unfortunately, the type to hide away his emotions. He was keeping up a facade, trying to appear calm and composed.

Sakura knew the signs. He was far from composed.

«There is absolutely nothing you can do?» He asked, voice cracking halfway.

«I apologize.»

She wanted to hug him but knew better of it. What he needed wasn't a hug from her but from someone else. Obito would probably meet up with Kakashi after the meeting, then he would comfort him. They lived together, so there was no way Kakashi didn't know of this meeting. He would probably even be able to see the result on Obito's face.

This was the part of being a healer she hated.

Maybe it would have been better if he had received the news from someone else. Maybe he would have taken it better if it had been Kakashi or Naruto who told him this. Maybe he wouldn't have hidden his emotions in front of them.


KURENAI


 

Mirai was laying in her crib, sleeping. A bubble grew in the corners of her mouth. Kurenai leaned forward and popped it, then wiped the drool away. Kurenai didn't mind it when Mirai slept, the peace and quiet was something she looked forward to lately.

Having a child was harder than she had thought, especially when she was raising the child mostly alone. Shikamaru often helped out, which she was forever grateful for, but it would have been a lie if she said it was all fun and games.

Her eyes moved to the picture sitting beside the crib.

It was a photograph of Asuna. She remembered it perfectly. It was the day after he had met Shikamaru, Ino, and Choji for the first time. He was exhausted, and it was apparent in the picture. He was grinning wildly, a cigarette in his mouth and a hand scratching the back of his head. He also looked embarrassed, though Kurenai wasn't sure why. She had placed the picture there so Mirai could see her father from the bed. Kurenai also had a small hope that it meant he would be able to see Mirai as well.

She felt her eyes sting, a sign of tears that were about to erupt. She pressed her thumbs against her closed lids, breathing slowly.

She would have to stop reacting this way every time she saw the picture. Not a day had gone by without her thinking of Asuna. It had become worse since Obito returned, him being a living reminder of what had happened to the love of her life.

 

«Hey, Kurenai!» Shikamaru said from the door, entering her apartment. She sniffled once, then turned around and grinned at him.

«Shikamaru, could I ask you to do me a favor?» She asked, leaning back and forth on her heels. He looked suspiciously at her, his brows lowering.

«Depends on the favor.» He said and took off his shoes.

«I need to buy some groceries at the shop, could you take care of her while I am gone?» She pointed her thumb toward the child and grinned at him.

Shikamaru sighed, declaring his defeat.

«I knew it was too early to come.» He muttered, making her laugh and gently pat his shoulder. «Thank you,» She said, meaning it.

Shikamaru every now and then stayed over, eating dinner with Kurenai and Mirai. He said it felt as if Asuna was there too, eating with them and listening to their conversations. Kurenai wished she felt like that as well.

The shop was almost empty, except for the clerk standing behind the wooden counter. There were a few open boxes on the ground, filled with different kinds of vegetables and fruit. The clerk was always nice, smiling at her and occasionally lowering the price on some of her orders. She would still pay full price, knowing how hard it could be to make money at times.

Her bags were heavy, so was her mind. She was trying to think of what to make for dinner tomorrow. Maybe Shikamaru's favorite?

The river was sailing along beside her, an occasional fish jumping out every now and then. It was late. When Mirai grew older, they could all have a game night every now and then as well. Shikamaru would obviously win of course, but it could be a fun alternative.

To get home she would have to walk through a park. It was always beautiful to see, especially when it was nighttime. The lights would illuminate the trees and the river. She knew it was a place Sai often visited, he loved to draw there.

A figure sat on the grass, facing the river. She slowed her pace, squinting her eyes to see better.

Was that Obito?

She stopped a few meters away, looking at him. He looked solemn, his face heavy with concern. She took a step forward, the debris beneath her feet scattering. Obito looked in her direction, making her freeze.

He can't see you. She reminded herself. He was looking toward her with dead calm, barely any emotion in his eyes. She wasn't sure if he even felt anything, probably not. Someone who had done as much evil as he had couldn't possibly feel anything.

«I am sorry for interrupting your contemplating.» She said, her words as poisonous as venom. He didn't flinch. She wished he had.

He didn't say anything, just continued looking, then he turned back toward the river as if he had never heard her.

And he had the nerve.

«Aren't you going to respond when someone is talking to you?» She demanded, stomping one of her feet at the ground. Her groceries grew heavier, the handle digging into her palms. If she could push him into the river, chase him out, then she would be free. She would be free of Asunas indirect killer haunting her.

Kurenai dropped the bags onto the ground and walked forward, focusing her chakra. He was defenseless. He couldn't see. The odds were all in her favor. Even if he was blind, she could still perform a genjutsu on him.

She sent a picture in his head, a thought, but just as it reached him he stood up. Her teeth were clenched together, she was putting all her focus on him. Kurenai ran forward to attack him now that her genjutsu had taken its hold, but just when she was a meter away he turned toward her and grabbed her shoulder. Her eyes widened in surprise, not believing what was happening. Then, he pushed her down onto the ground, holding her down with his own bodyweight.

Her breath was knocked out of her, her body paralyzed with shock.

«How-» She started, taking deep breaths. «How did you know exactly where I was?»

She couldn't believe it. Kurenai was fast. She moved unpredictably. How could he know where she was when he couldn't even see her?

«I thought you were skilled with genjutsu?» Obito asked, voice flat and unemotional.

«I am!» She retorted. She felt stupid. She was still laying on the ground, Obito forcing her down.

«Then you should have known that I would know your exact location the second your chakra reached for me. I am an Uchiha, don't forget that.»

How could she?!

«Get off me!» She demanded. He looked wary at her, obviously not trusting her. «Get off me, then I can prove I can really get you into a genjutsu.»

She couldn't and she already knew it. They both did.

Kurenai felt her bottom lip quiver, her body shake. She should try to compose herself properly, it was only embarrassing to start crying in front of Obito.

«I hate you.» She growled, wanting to get it out. «So so much.»

He didn't look at her any differently. His expression remained the same.

«You may have Kakashi wrapped around your little finger, but I promise you, I will get rid of you.» A sob choked her voice, making her stop talking. She couldn't let her tears stop from falling now. Obito couldn't see her, but she knew he was aware she was crying.

It was just so typical.

Her entire body was shaking, so she stopped trying to speak. She squeezed her eyes shut, wanting it to be a nightmare she would wake up from.

Something touched her cheek, a thumb. She opened her eyes again. Obito's eyes were different now, sadder. It didn't look like he pitied her, but that he simply understood. He wiped the tears away, then stood up and brushed the dirt off his knees. She said nothing. She didn't even know what to say.

Obito shot a last glance in her direction, then walked away.

Kurenai sat up, but couldn't stand. She didn't know what to think.

Her walk back home took a long time, not because she was tired, but because she needed to get her thoughts straight.

She didn't know what to think of Obito anymore.

 

Chapter Text

Kakashi did not want Obito to move out. At all.

For a day? Maybe, that way he could be able to properly think things through. Kakashi had thought enough. He had come to a conclusion he felt happy with too.

He had done a horrible mistake, blowing things out of proportions and taking too much out on Obito. He was sure that if he had asked him, Obito would have given the honest answer.

He would have said he was not in on Kai and the princesses plans. Kakashi would have believed him. They would have been able to move on from this unnecessary conflict.

Of course, Kakashi had acted spontaneously again and again. He thought he had really thought about the situation, but he hadn't. He had found a stupid solution, then came up with several arguments supporting that.

He came up with a decision that Obito would have to permanently move out, then he came up with the stupidest arguments for it.

Kakashi was such an idiot.

The soft sheets underneath him felt hard, like rocks. His pillow felt like an uncomfortable box.

He felt horrible, tired and as if he had betrayed every simple principle he promised himself to follow.

He had made his mind. He would talk with Obito and ask him to forgive him. He would ask Obito to come back and live with him again. Even if Obito said no, it was worth a try.

He jumped up from the bed, thinking of where Obito could be. He made a small list in his head, moving on autopilot to his storage room. He didn't want people to talk with him while looking, he needed to find Obito as soon as possible, so he needed to remove all obstacles.

He found his wig and contact lenses, putting them all on. He actually felt a sense of excitement whenever he went into that costume, when he acted as Sukea.

It was really efficient. He had several times walked around as him, observing without anyone recognizing him.

After he popped the lenses in he put on the purple marks, his appearance already drastically changing.

He felt a sudden thrill when he acted like someone else.

He wondered if Obito ever felt like that when he either acted like Tobi or Madara.


 

                                                                                                    

Naruto's house was the most obvious destination, so that was where he went first. No one whom he passed on the streets recognized him, they all minded their own business.

A few people sat at a bar he passed, murmuring in low voices and talking amongst themselves. Kakashi managed to hear a few words before he was out of earshot.

«That Uchiha traitor gets released next week. I can't believe it.» A man said, voice slurred by the alcohol.

«One good deed in the war and the Kages all of a sudden forgives him.» Another man answered, almost falling out of his chair.

It was easier for people with problems to complain about others. It was easier to block their own problems by judging others.

Kakashi ignored them, not wanting to listen to opinions made by outsiders.

Of course, they had a point.

Sasuke had done a lot of bad stuff, something even Naruto would agree on. It didn't mean he hadn't redeemed himself though.

Kakashi could vividly remember when Naruto told him about his fight with Sasuke and how it had played out. It felt intimate, special, so much that Kakashi felt like he was invading their privacy by asking.

Naruto had a lot of fans, and they would often pile up around him, trying to touch him and talk to him and everything from A to Z. Whenever Naruto mentioned Sasuke though, a somber mood always weighted heavy on his fans. They often asked if Naruto and Sasuke were secretly dating, and to that, Naruto would grin and say that it was nothing like that.

Sasuke was neither a best friend nor a brother. He was a soulmate. He was someone he could count on, someone who saw his emotions so clearly Naruto had given up hiding them in front of him.

Kakashi often envied their relationship, wanting to have one of his own.

He had gotten something like that. Obito coming back to life was more than just a gift. It was a blessing and Kakashi was forever grateful to Hagoromo for bringing him back.

It was too bad Kakashi had destroyed what they had.

 

He stopped outside Naruto's door, trying to shake his own personality away and entering Sukeas. It didn't take long until Naruto opened the door, looking tired and sleep-deprived.

«Oh, hey, it's you.» He mumbled, trying to wipe the sleep from his eyes.

«Hi! I am here again to take a few pictures and make a few interviews. Obito Uchiha wouldn't be present, would he?» Kakashi asked, forcing his smile down. There was no need to joke around with Naruto, but it would have been a lie if he said it wasn't enjoyable.

«Obito? No, he is not here now. Why do you need to interview, Obito?» Naruto looked more awake now, more suspicious.

Kakashi smiled, feeling the purple marks crinkle. «Nothing special, just something for the paper.»

Naruto did not look convinced. It actually made Kakashi glad, since it showed Naruto was protective over Obito.

Obito didn't really need it, but Kakashi found it to be nice to know someone else cared like that. 

«If you are planning to sell the interview and the photographs to a shady company, then I recommend stopping. You won't get anything out of it.» And with that, he shut the door closed.

Kakashi had gotten the information he came for. He wanted to know if Obito was there or not, and he wasn't. Of course, Naruto could have lied, but Kakashi knew him enough to know when he was speaking the truth or not.

So the next stop was at Ankos house. She was one of the people Kakashi didn't click with. There was always a disconnect between them, even when they were kids, when Anko and Rin were good friends. Obito really liked her though. He always got really impressed when she was around, marveling at everything she said. She was a lier and made up stories a lot, but no one said anything since Obito's reaction was so pure and joyful.

Anko lived near the edge of the town, not too far away from the forest. Kakashi would never be able to understand her different fixations.

Like always, she was outside, laying on the roof of her house and watching the clouds. He didn't know what she was thinking about. He wasn't sure if he really wanted to know either.

«Excuse me!» he said, holding his hands beside his mouth.

«I already know you're there, Kakashi.» She sang, still not looking his way.

What a great costume that was.

He jumped up on to the room, standing beside her and looking up at the blue blue sky.

He didn't get cloud watching. He never saw shapes in them, only messy cotton balls. Maybe that meant he wasn't imaginative, it didn't really matter to him.

He liked stars though. He liked how they shone through the pitch darkness.

Obito was, in a way, like stars. When he was younger he always smiled, no matter how sad he was, no matter how much he wanted to cry. He could light up the darkest of situations without even trying.

When he was crushed beneath the boulder as a thirteen-year-old, he became a burned out star. His light vanishing and changing.

Kakashi wanted it back. He wanted Obito to regain the cheerfulness he once had. 

«Look who's depressed,» Anko said and grinned, a straw hanging out from her mouth.

«Me? Depressed? Never!» Kakashi said and grinned, the corners of his eyes crinkling.

Anko raised her brows and opened her mouth, feigning shock.

Anko could be fun, occasionally.

«You haven't see Obito lately, have you?» Kakashi finally asked and sat down onto the roof as well.

She looked at him curiously, shaking her head.

«Has my boo finally escaped from his boyfriend's clutches?» She joked, gasping. «I never thought I would see the day.»

Kakashi stared at her unamused.

«I am serious. Have you seen him or not?»

Maybe he should have skipped Ankos house. She probably didn't know where he was anyway.

He was starting to grow a little agitated.

«I don't know where he is. Probably avoiding you. I would have.» Then she closed her eyes, another way of telling him to leave.

He frowned but did leave. Maybe he was at Kibas? Maybe he visited Sakura?

He couldn't have gone to speak with Sasuke since Kakashi highly doubted he was allowed to do so.

His eyes were getting dry and head too warm, so he came to the conclusion to go home, change, then try to look for Obito at other places. He just hoped he hadn't fainted in a ditch somewhere.


                                                                                                    

Kakashi took a shower. His fingers were scratching against his scalp, getting the shampoo through. The warm water cascaded down his back, helping his stiff muscles relax. His neck was especially sore from slouching and signing papers all day long.

He finished up, grabbed a towel and tied it around his waist. He didn't care for the water dripping from his hair. He was in a lazy mood and could wipe it away later.

Just as he stretched, his arms high in the air, he saw a note sitting on his desk. He couldn't remember putting it there.

He walked toward it and picked it up, scanning the front. It looked like a letter. The ink was slightly smudged, but it was readable. His eyes scanned across the page, reading the first sentences.

His veins grew cold, his breath knocked out of him.

«What-» He said, but couldn't continue his sentence. He couldn't comprehend what he was reading. He didn't want to comprehend it. It was obviously from Obito, but he didn't understand how he could have written it.

Obito could not see. How would he be able to write as perfectly as this?

The writing looked familiar, but he couldn't place where he had seen it before, and who it belonged to. He wanted it to be a lie. He wished Anko could run in and claim it was a joke. He wished he could open his eyes from a nightmare.

This was no nightmare, and the letter in his hands was too real.

 

Dear Kakashi.

 

I have been wanting to write something to you for a while. That's not completely true, it has only been a few days, but it sure has felt long.

I wish I could have said all this to you out loud, that I could have been respectful enough to show up personally.

I cant. I thought I could, but I realize now I won't get anywhere by clutching to what ifs and maybes. Once this letter is in your possession, I will probably be gone. I don't know where I will go, or how I will be able to get to my destination, but I won't be in the hidden leaf anymore.

Please don't try to find me, it will only be harder on the both of us. You are the Hokage. You have responsibilities. I am so so happy for you. I may not have shown it, but I truly am. I think you will become a great Hokage, even if a lot of people would disagree.

Even if you disagree.

When I found out, I felt kind of relieved. Maybe I wasn't able to fulfill my original dream, but in a way, this is just as okay.

I don't know what it was that made me come to the decision that I should leave. A part of me wants to put a blame on everyone else and say it's their fault, but it's not.

I feel like a stranger. Some people may be kind to me, may accept me, but I don't feel ready for that yet.

It feels like I live in a constant bubble, separated from everyone around me. There are a few moments when I feel whole; when I feel like me again, but they never linger and fade away too easily

I will come back eventually, I promise. I don't know when, but I will.

I just need to find myself again. I need to know who I want to be.

I have been acting like someone else for so long, I don't know who I am anymore.

 

Obito.

Chapter Text

Two days earlier.

 

Obito wanted to leave. He wanted to get away and start anew. Maybe he could even change his name. He didn't have the Sharingan anymore, so there was nothing about him that connected him to the Uchiha bloodline anymore. Sure, he had the dark hair and pale skin, but that wasn't uncommon.

He could, for once, just be the neighbor. He could be someone normal. A civilian.

No one needed to know of his past and relations to the war.

No one needed to know his background. He could conjure up his own. He could make up a story on how he was a lone traveler in search for interesting fruits. He could do something more meaningful with his life, instead of breaking others.

He could also do something meaningful within the gates of Konoha too, though. Even if people resented him, hated him, wanted him dead, he could still try to help as much as he could and right everything he had done wrong.

He could give this life, this choice, a last chance.

He didn't want to be remembered as the wimp who threw everything away for a pipe dream.

He could fulfill it here as well.

So Obito decided to give it another try. He would stay in Konoha for just a little longer, try to get through Kakashi again and maybe talk with Anko and know what she thinks. He would try not to be too obvious with what his thoughts were, but Anko had always been a little oblivious, so that wouldn't be difficult.

 

Obito went home from the park. He had met Kurenai there, an encounter he had not been prepared for. She had cried.

He actually wanted her to hit him for a moment, but his body reacted before he himself noticed it and blocked her attack. He even pushed her to the ground for god's sake.

 

Obito entered Naruto's apartment, feeling his entire body drop onto the couch. He felt exhausted.

The new information from Sakura didn't exactly help either.

He kind of knew it though. He had realized earlier that his eyes would never heal, but he was so in denial that he refused to truly realize it until the words were slammed in his face.

He had depended on his eyes his entire life, now he had none.

He sighed and put his hand into the pocket of his jacket, feeling the paper.

It almost ended up in Kakashi's apartment. It was almost on his desk or bed or wherever Obito would have placed it.

He was happy he decided not to though. What was written was all very true. He did feel as if he was the elephant in the room. He did feel as if there were constantly walls built around him that he could not break.

Others had built walls around him.

Another sigh left his mouth. He had sighed a lot lately.

Someone walked across the room, making Obitos senses go sky high. He sat up, trying to hear.

Naruto was asleep, he was sure. He highly doubted Naruto would have walked around without saying anything too.

«Hello?» Obito said, voice low.

«Hi!» Someone replied, voice not so low.

Obitos blood turned cold and heart slammed hard against his chest. He could not believe who he was hearing.

«Kai?» He asked, feeling his entire body tighten.

This was the person who had kidnapped Kakashi.

«I am so happy you remember my name.» Kai marveled, sounding surprised and ecstatic at the same time.

Another voice spoke now, a girl. «Don't shout you incompetent moron.»

It sounded like the princess they had guarded.

Why were they here?

«What are you doing here?» He asked, hoping Naruto would wake up. They were criminals. Obito would have loved to take them down, but he was not aware of what they could do. They must have some interesting feats if they were able to kidnap Kakashi? If Obito and he had spoken, he would have probably known all about it too.

«That's kind of rude, don't you think?» The princess asked, walking closer. «We are just visiting. Though I have to admit we are here to get something as well.»

Obito tried to calculate where they stood. How far away were they? Were they more to the left or the right?

«What is that?» Asked Kai and walked forward. Before Obito could react, he grabbed the letter in his hand and read through it, whispering out the words Naruto had written down for him. «Oh, wow. This is rather cheesy, don't you think. Is this really for that damn copy ninja Kakashi Hatake?» Kai did not sound amused, but the princess, on the other hand, did.

«Wait we can use this. Let me read through it first.» She grabbed it out from Kai's hand again and read through it properly herself.

Why would they need a letter Obito had written? Why were they even here?

Obito was about to stand up, hoping his heavy step would wake Naruto when the princess touched his shoulder.

«Oh no, sweety. I don't think so.» She sang, then folded the letter and gave it back to Kai. «You are coming with us. Thank you for making this letter. This will make everything so much easier for us.»

Obitos brows furrowed. He gathered all the chakra he could in his palm, ready to take them out without caring about the risks when something sharp stuck in his shoulder beneath where her hand rested.

«Sweet dreams,» She said, then Obito fell forward, the last thing he heard was the sound of paper folded together.

 


                                                                                                   

Obito woke up to the sound of ecstatic laughter. Someone else was shouting, complaining about having to start all over again.

Obito tried to move but was unable to. It felt as if all his limbs were detached from his body.

«You are finally awake! It's so interesting, it took you way longer to return than what it took for Kakashi.» Kai said amused, way closer than Obito had expected.

«I really wish you could see this. My dream will finally become true!» He said enthusiastically, touching Obitos shoulder.

Obito wanted to get away. He couldn't believe these people were still lingering around.

«Who the hell are you?» He asked, though his voice was barely above a whisper.

Kai sighed, clearly disappointed with Obito's reaction.

«I hoped you would have remembered by now, I guess not.» He muttered and Obito heard him readjust the way he sat. Obito was sure they were on top of a bed. A soft blanket laid on top of Obito and the biggest pillow he had ever felt laid underneath his head.

«We first met when you were in the Akatsuki. I remember seeing you and another member of the Akatsuki, that plant fella, walk through my village. You were looking for someone, Sasori of the dessert. My sister, Haruka, and I were looking at you through the window. It wasn't often people came to our village since it is a very poor place. Then, you came up to our door and knocked. We were so amazed by it all we ran to the door and there you stood, staring at us. You asked if we knew anything about him, and we did! You returned to your organization without talking with Sasori and instead sent someone else to speak with him. I eventually became an informant for Akatsuki, providing information whenever I could. I hoped I could meet you again, and then I did. I had special information regarding the four tails, so you came to me personally. I was so happy I could speak with you again and asked what I would have to do to become an official member.»

Obitos lungs had stopped working. His mind had stopped thinking.

He remembered it. He could so clearly remember speaking with this person a few years back about the four tails. He was just a few years younger than he was.

He could remember his response too when he had asked what he would have to do to become a member.

«Blow up a whole village for us,» Obito whispered. The thing was though, that he never meant it. He knew the guy would never be able to do something like that, so he just said something farfetched. He didn't want to crush the guy's dream since then he would stop providing information for them.

«And because of that, I have gathered a lot of explosives. We didn't want to do it yet since it could be you had a specific village in mind. This is why we found you. This is why I wanted for you to know about this. I don't care that the old organization is destroyed, we could recreate a new one!»

They could not, was what Obito wanted to say. He could not though since it would pose a risk for Kai to know he wasn't on his side.

No wonder Obito couldn't recognize him. If Obito could have seen him, he would have remembered him immediately.

Sasuke had warned Obito. He had told him he would have to be careful. How could Obito be so clueless?!

«Why did you kidnap Kakashi?» Obito asked, not managing to fit it in with what they were saying.

«Why you ask?» Kai said. «Because we knew you were precious to him and needed him to lay off. He was getting too close to you, watching over you a little too much. It was getting annoying and we knew it would be hard to get a hold of you if he was constantly around. So we got him, made it so he would purposefully find a fake diary, then make him want to distance himself from you.» Kai sounded proud as if he was a mastermind who had successfully accomplished his plan.

«What do you mean?» said Obito, feeling his stomach flip.

«What do I mean? Both Haruka and I could see he trusted you. When you were talking with that other guy, Guy, Haruka heard you talk about how you wanted to hurt him with a doll. There is an old jutsu puppeteer used to use, one where you can control people using dolls. It was very easy to master, so all we needed was a lock of Kakashi's hair, then we were set. Unfortunately, though, it wasn't easy to fully control him, so all we could do was pour thoughts and ideas into his head. It was perfect to witness his fight with you in the mountain, and you were both so frustrated you didn't sense us.» Kai had stood up and was now pacing around in the room, talking wildly about everything.

Obito could not believe it. He really should have spoken with Kakashi. He should have gotten to the bottom of everything so much sooner.

«Destiny is obviously on our side, since it revived you,» Kai said, sounding happier than he had ever been.

Obito disagreed.

«Let me leave. I have nothing to do with you. You can do whatever it is you want to do, but I have stuff I need to take care off.» It was the closest to a threat Obito wanted to get close to. He needed to choose his words perfectly.

«It would be idiotic for us not to work together. We are on the same side!» Kai countered. He sounded full of himself, so that part of him was at least genuine. «But if you do choose to go against us, remember that jutsu I told you about. Kakashi was more of a test subject to see if it worked.»

Obito felt his brows furrow. He was not liking the direction this conversation was taking him.

«Like you could be able to get a piece of my hair.» He said and mustered as much venom into his voice as he could.

Kai laughed at that and sat down on the bed again.

«Silly you! We already have a lock of your hair. It's easy to get some when the person we are taking it from is unconscious. Oh, and by the way, I am so grateful for the fact that you wrote that letter. Kakashi has already read it and doesn't suspect a thing.»

Chapter Text

Life consisted of a bunch of things; its filled up with important memories that shape you as a person, and these important memories are glued together by smaller moments. It's rather peculiar, how one moment may shape you completely. One bad day could make you do stuff that helps you in the long run, while a good day can make everything worse. As they say, the calm before the storm, right?

Kakashi had been thinking a lot about these things. He had started to think more of the consequences that could follow a decision now more than ever. He was getting more and more protective over Obito with each day that passed, then he had changed his tactics completely and done the exact opposite.

He didn't like to show this side of him to Obito, he didn't want him to get the wrong impressions. He would have hated it if their roles were reversed and it had been Obito ignoring him instead.

He had finally gotten him back. The last thing he had wanted was for Obito to willingly leave again.

Guess what had happened.


Kakashi opened his bleary eyes, staring out at the Hokage office. His lids felt heavy, his head pounding. It felt as if his head was filled with cotton. He tried to sit, but every part of his body hurt and resisted. He had been sitting hunched over too much lately.

«Kakashi, we are finally-» Started Sakura, pushing the door open and running into the office. «Oh, wow. You look absolutely terrible. When was the last time you showered?»

Kakashi couldn't remember. Ever since he had started losing contact with Obito he had become worse and worse with hygiene.

He really was a mess, wasn't he?

Naruto followed after her, then Tsunade, looking stern.

«What is it Kakashi? Do you feel too lazy to do the paperwork and want us to do it for you?» Asked Naruto, leaning up on his tiptoes and scanning the desk. Everything had already been signed.

«Pull yourself together, Kakashi. You are the Hokage now. You are supposed to represent our village.» Tsunade said and sat down on a chair across from Kakashi. Naruto and Sakura were still standing, sending questioning glances at each other.

«Obito has left.» Was the only thing Kakashi said. It was the only thing he needed to say as well, for now at least.

«What!?» Shouted Tsunade and rose from her chair. Her hands were balled up into fists, brows furrowed. Kakashi suspected she would slam the wall if he didn't placate her sooner or later.

«Personally, I see no problem with it. He has proven himself to be of no threat to the village, so-»

«That's not what this is about!» Tsunade interrupted him, walking closer to his desk and slamming her palms against it.

Kakashi couldn't fathom why it was so important for Obito to stay there.

«Why does this bother you so much, lady Tsunade?» Asked Sakura, gently touching her shoulder. It didn't seem as if she noticed.

«Why I care so much? I'll tell you why I care so much. Kakashi here let someone that could be one of our greatest weapons go.» Tsunade was almost spitting out the words as if they tasted foul.

Kakashi's eyes widened as he took in the information.

«I don't understand what you mean. Could you elaborate?» He asked and tried to smile, feeling his nails dig into his palms.

«Kakashi, you are smart. I hope you understand that the council and I couldn't just let him live as he liked? He instigated the war. He has killed many of our own. Just letting him pass by without a single catch would be ludicrous, don't you think? So we came to the conclusion that he could be valuable, eventually. It may be world peace, but we can't be too comfortable. We don't know if any of the other nations are planning to attack us. Our guards could not be lowered. So we decided that if anything happened, Obito could fight for us. He is very strong even without his ocular powers. He could be a valuable asset.» Tsunade's gaze never left Kakashi's. It was clear she would not back down from her beliefs, no matter what Kakashi or any of them said. He could be wrong though.

Naruto slammed a fist of his own against the table, making Tsunade startle and look over at him.

«So that's what you've been thinking since the war ended? You have been worrying that you can't trust them and decided to keep some weapons around in case? That's not peace. Tsunade, how can they trust you if you can't trust them in return?» Naruto argued, never lowering his voice.

Kakashi, similar to everyone else in the room, was flabbergasted. It was always a surprise when Naruto came with any of his outbursts.

Then, Kakashi smiled and a chuckle left his mouth. Everyone looked over at him again.

«Really, Tsunade. You need a kid to tell you from right or wrong? You usually never agree to what the council comes up with. I guess the war really took a toll on you.»

For an instant, she almost looked ashamed, but she quickly covered it up with a mask and stepped away from the desk. She was silently excusing herself and continued to only listen to the conversation.

Kakashi guessed she had a lot on her mind at the moment.

 

«Now, about Obito. He left a letter before he left. The thing is though, that it doesn't make any sense. How would he be able to write it?» Kakashi said, feeling like he was in a debate. At the mention of the letter, Naruto went as pale as snow, looking everywhere but Kakashi's eyes.

«Naruto,» Sakura warned, staring suspiciously at him.

«It isn't my fault. He is a friend. It was a favor for a friend.» He said and shielded himself from Sakura, anticipating a hit. She sighed and looked at Kakashi instead, making Naruto look in between his fingers to see if she was going to attack or not.

«Tell me everything,» Kakashi said, feeling desperate. «Please.»

So Naruto did, explaining how Obito had come home, looking melancholic. They had eaten ramen when it happened, he said, Obito had suddenly asked, making Naruto promise not to tell anyone. He was still saying everything now, but he was sure Obito only meant he wasn't supposed to tell anyone before he left.

He looked sheepish, but not as if he regretted it. Kakashi was sure he would have done everything again if asked.

«Then he left,» Kakashi muttered. Naruto nodded, looking pained.

The silence was thick. Kakashi didn't know what he was supposed to think of the situation anymore.

He still had a lot of questions he wanted to ask Obito.

«I wonder if he left because of the news,» Sakura muttered, looking down at the floor and squeezing her palms together.

Kakashi looked confused at her, not following.

«What news?» He asked and sat straighter, ignoring the pain growing in his neck.

«He came to my office a few days ago. I told him that there was no way to regain his vision. Didn't he tell you?» She responded and looked over at Naruto, who shook his head in response.

Kakashi too shook his head, deep in thoughts. Obito hadn't said anything about another hospital visit.

Kakashi tried to create a timeline in his head, placing the different moments at their respective orders.

Kakashi looked at Sakura and Naruto in turn «Did that happen before or after he made Naruto write the letter?»

Naruto looked at the ceiling for a second, concentrating, then looked back at Kakashi.

«I think he would have mentioned the hospital visit in at least some of the letters if it had happened earlier,» Naruto said, nodding to himself.

«Letters? Plural?» Said Tsunade from where she sat.

Kakashi jumped up from his chair, leaning over the desk toward Naruto. His desperate stare made Naruto continue.

«Yeah, we wrote several. Obito wanted it to be perfect, so there are quite a few at my house. I don't know if-»

Naruto never got to complete his sentence, because Kakashi ran passed him and out the office in search for the other letters.

Sakura, Naruto, and Tsunade all stared at him, not knowing if they should follow him or not.

They decided not to.


It didn't take long until Kakashi found them all. He read through them, again and again, but most were the same only written slightly different. He felt desperate, wanting to get more clues as to why Obito left.

No, that wasn't true, he knew why he left.

Kakashi wanted to know where he went. One of the letters stood out more than any of the others, and it was the one he read through the most times since it felt the rawest.

 

Dear Kakashi

 

I am tired of this. Of everything….

I try and I try, and I fail and I fail.

Sometimes I am happy I can't see because now I won't see all the hateful stared, or the sad ones. The angry ones I could manage, but I don't want to see people grief. I cant.

Maybe the village won't ever forgive me. Maybe I don't deserve it.

You know that night in your room after the part? When we talked and I touched your cheek? I was so happy then and even thought everything would be better again.

I was ignorant. Stupid too.

I was selfish and stayed here.

I am bringing all my burdens over to you, and for that I am sorry.

You deserve to find someone, and I am in the way.

I hope you find a nice woman who will walk on dog walks with you. I hope you find someone who will be able to put you in your place when you're late on dates. I hope you will find someone who can stay with you, even when you're difficult to be around.

I wish I could-

 

Then the letter stopped, the last part of the letter wrinkled and damaged. Kakashi imagined Obito and Naruto sitting in the living room, Obito talking and Naruto writing.

He wanted to know what was supposed to be written on the last line.

He needed to know.

He gently folded the letter and placed it in his pocket, wanting to treasure it forever, when he felt something else there.

The diary.

Kakashi retrieved it, looking at the pages. He had never continued it.

Maybe something important would be written there.

He doubted it, but it was at least worth a try.

Chapter Text

Obito could move again. He could feel all of his limbs just as well as he used to.

There was one negative thing though.

The only way Kai and the princess would ever let him roam around in the house would be if they believed they could trust him.

So he acted like they could. Obito didn't like it, but it was a must.

He played along with everything they said, nodding and acting like it was the most brilliant plan he had ever heard.

He had to get the doll he was connected to back. He wouldn't be able to leave otherwise.

Kai always stayed close by, talking animatedly as if he had known him for years. Obito smiled back, even clapping him on his shoulders every now and then.

The princess had warmed up to him as well. She was starting to get more energetic, trying to gossip with him.

It was all around just a weird situation.

He was sure they didn't completely trust him though since Obito could feel a third presence lingering outside.

Obito gave suggestions, trying to improve their plans.

They wanted to explode Konoha. Obito did not.

So he tried to put them on a wrong trail, pushing them in the wrong directions and trying to stall them for as long as possible.

He wondered if Kakashi had found the letter.

He wondered how he had reacted.

It wasn't perfect. He had spewed out his thoughts, again and again, trying to make sense and wanting Kakashi to know exactly how he felt.

He realized now though, that it's not easy to write down feelings. He could try to explain it again and again, using every word he knew, yet it would never perfectly come across.

«Do you think this would work?» Kai asked, holding the back of Obitos neck and pushing him down toward a table.

Obito had not been listening and had little to no idea of what he was talking about. Kai had apparently forgotten about his lack of vision as well since he obviously wanted him to see whatever it was on the table.

«Sure!» Obito responded, trying to sound enthusiastic.

Kai chuckled to himself, impressed with what he had come up with.

It was probably not impressive.

«Then we can leave tomorrow!» The princess, or Haruka as Obito had recently learned, said. She jumped on top of one of the crates, making as much noise as she could. «I am so excited. This is something we have wanted to do for so many years, and now you are with us to witness it with us!»

«I am happy for you two. You are only two people, yet you have come this far.» Obito said, his voice even.

Kai made a choked sound, almost sounding like he was crying.

Obito was about to say something else but stopped when he felt a heavy stare resting on him. The guard standing outside must be really bored to look inside instead of outside.

«I am just wondering something, do you not trust me?» He asked, willing his voice to sound confused.

Neither Kai nor Haruka said anything. Obito was sure they were looking at each other.

«I am not sure what you are talking about.» Said Haruka, jumping down from the crate.

Obito looked puzzled at them. Were they acting even now?

«The guard? Outside?» He asked, placing his hands on his hips.

Yet again, the silence continued.

«I am gonna go check on it,» Said Kai, more to Haruka than Obito.

Kai walked out of the room and the sound of his steps echoed down the stairs and further away.

Obito tried to listen in, wanting to know what was going to happen. If it hadn't been a guard, who could it be then?

Haruka walked over to him, standing a little too close for comfort.

«So, Obito,» She mused, dragging a finger down his arm. «Now that Kai isn't here, you think you could teach me some jutsus as well? I know you've given him some tips.»

Oh, god. Obito thought, swallowing. Why couldn't it have been she walking to check on the guard instead of Kai?

«Sure!» He said instead and walked a few steps away.

«What would you like to learn?» He asked, feeling his voice waver for a second.

«Whatever you like!» She exclaimed and walked closer to him again, making him inch back.

«Yeah, well. Maybe something easy. I can teach you a start position for when you're about to fight someone. It's not a jutsu, but jutsus won't be that much of an advantage if you can't do hand to hand combat.» Obito grabbed her shoulders and rotated her away from him, then moved one of his hands down to her elbow, moving her arm to the right place. He tried to adjust how her hips were too, but she started to giggle instead, not taking it seriously.

Then, something slammed against the door to the room. Haruka jumped away and, from the sound of it, tried to move into the position Obito had shown her. She said some words, the same ones that belonged to a jutsu Obito had taught Kai.

A ball of energy formed in front of her, though it was far from perfect.

It shot toward the door at an immense speed, but stopped midair and burst into dust. Obito tried to listen, not understanding why it had blown up mid-air. That was not the usual way the jutsu acted.

«So that's what you are doing now, Obito? You teach dangerous jutsus to inexperienced people?» Said a voice.

Obito didn't need to see to know who it was. It was one he would recognize anywhere, no matter how long it had taken since the last time he had heard it.

Haruka moved again, running toward him and trying to attack with the little skill she had. Obito already knew the outcome. It was obvious Kakashi avoided all her attacks with ease. He stood in front of the wall, taunting her. Steam almost rose out of her ears from her anger. She ran forward, ready to attack, then he walked to the side just when she was too close to stop. She ran face first into the wall, then slowly sank down onto the floor.

She would not wake up in a while.

Obito felt a smile grow on his mouth.

She was in there with them, unconscious. Kai was in the hallway, probably not moving either.

Kakashi took a slow step toward him, considering whether Obito wanted him to come closer or not. He walked faster, almost into a run forward.

«I am so relieved you're safe,» Kakashi said, sounding restless.

Obito raised an arm, not caring about who was at fault in their fight or anything like that. He just wanted Kakashi close, no matter what.

His thoughts did not cooperate with his actions at all, since he was holding a knife in his hand, and it was aimed at Kakashi's chest.


Kakashi froze, staring at the knife aimed at him. Obito's eyes were wide, his thoughts obviously illustrated on his face.

Kakashi knew Obito was mad at him, but he hadn't thought he would point a knife at his heart.

«Thank god I was in time!» A voice shouted from behind Kakashi. He looked over his shoulder at the approaching male.

Kai, with a puppet in his hands.

Realization hit Kakashi, making him understand everything that was going on.

Or… Partially everything.

«You've got to be kidding me,» Obito muttered, squeezing his teeth together.

«I am sure I saw wrong, Obito. But for a second there it looked like you were about to betray us. You wouldn't do that, would you?»

Sure as hell he would! Thought Kakashi, holding back a growl.

It didn't seem as if Kai would make Obito attack just yet, so Kakashi turned around to face Kai instead, who looked pretty pissed.

Kai looked over toward his sister, his face reddening.

«I won't let you destroy this. I won't let you destroy everything we have worked for.» Said Kai through clenched teeth. His hands were shaking.

Obito was forced to dive forward, knife aimed at Kakashi. He walked backward, dodging every attack that went his way. This was not the way Obito used to fight. His attacks were more aggressive, less calculated. Obito shot one foot out, aiming at Kakashi's kneecaps, but got stopped when Kakashi blocked with his arm. The pain in Obito's eyes was insufferable. Kakashi didn't attack him in return, only blocked.

Kai laughed from where he stood, holding his stomach with his hands and leaning slightly forward. Kakashi looked toward the knife and moved forward to hit it out from Obito's hands, but got stopped by a now regained Kai. Obito had moved the knife just in the nick of time, it now being aimed toward Kakashi's neck.

He was stuck, not knowing where to go. He could neither attack from the front or behind. Above and bellow would both be impossible in this situation. Kakashi felt Obitos dagger push toward his throat, his shoulder blades ached from where he had pushed the knife earlier. Kai was moving the doll, making Obito move against his will.

Obito was, unfortunately for Kakashi, fast. Kai may not be, but Kakashi didn't know the full extent of the doll.

«Wouldn't it be easier if the copy ninja, Kakashi Hatake, was no more?» Asked Kai, then ran forward.

The door to the room broke open, its pieces falling to the ground. Kai stopped, looking over his shoulder toward the people who entered.

First, there were only a few silhouettes, dark against the light shining from the window. Kakashi almost squinted.

«Who are you?» Growled Kai, breath turning more uneven.

One of the silhouettes walked, slow and steady.

«Just your average knuckleheaded ninja.» It said proudly.

«Naruto!» Exclaimed Kakashi, feeling his energy rise. After Naruto came Sakura, grinning and looking ready to kick some butt. Yamato came after, then even Kurenai and Guy.

Kai's eyes widened, his face paling. The doll dropped out from his shaking arms.

The second the doll hit the ground Naruto moved, already rotating a ball into his hand. Kai looked too scared to move and his eyes were glued on to the glowing Rasengan in Naruto's palm.

«I hope this reminds you to never mess with Konoha again!» Shouted Naruto and bore the Rasengan through the air and right toward Kai, who was screaming now.

Sakura, Yamato, Guy, and Kurenai all cheered, clapping toward Naruto, who bowed in response.

Kakashi turned toward Obito, who looked more confused than ever.

Kakashi couldn't speak. He didn't want to, so he instead walked toward Obito and wrapped his arms around him, pushing his face into the crook of his neck. He breathed in the all too familiar smell of him, felt his skin against his own.

This was right. This was what was normal.

Obito embraced him as well, making every part of Kakashi's body ease up.

«How did you find me?» Whispered Obito, voice muffled by Kakashi's clothes.

«They managed to leave a clue for me. It's a long story.» He replied, not wanting to get into the diary and how he had read it all again and again in desperate need for information. The fake diary had ended up not being so fake.

Kakashi moved away, though still holding around Obito.

«I am so sorry. I have acted absolutely horrible toward you these last few days and you never deserved it. I should have just talked to you immediately.» Kakashi didn't want Obito to forgive him, not yet. He wanted to own up to it first. He wanted to prove that this wasn't who he was. It didn't matter that he was under the influence of a dolls power, he had still gone with it.

Obito looked sheepish, smiling down between them.

«It's weird when you apologize like this. I have done way worse-»

«It doesn't matter.» Kakashi interrupted him, wanting him to understand. «Just because you've done something worse doesn't mean you don't deserve an apology. I will prioritize you over everything, I promise»

Obitos brows raised, then he chuckled to himself.

«Okay, firstly, you are the Hokage. You can't just make promises like that. Secondly, what makes you think I won't leave? I am sure you have gathered that I did write that letter. It wasn't as if anyone made me write it» Obito replied, dragging a hand down the front of Kakashi's clothing. Neither knew what came over them, neither knew why they were acting as if every move was filled with love.

«Naruto will become Hokage soon. It won't be a problem. I read your other letters too, by the way. No, don't give me that look! Do you think I would just let you leave like that? I knew something was wrong, so I had to find out. What I am trying to say is, that if you truly want to leave, then you are allowed to do so. I won't hold you back. I will also make it so that it won't be illegal for you so you won't have any problems in the future. I just wanted to speak with you once before you left.» Kakashi sounded calmer than he had thought he would. He felt terrible as he said those words, but it was the truth. He wouldn't force Obito to stay if he didn't want to.

The Uchiha looked at him long, mulling on his words.

Then, a smile formed on his lips.

«I kind of have a hard time believing that, but okay, I'll buy it.» His small smile widened into a grin and he inched closer, almost making Kakashi lose his breath.

«I think I will stay for a little longer. I need to make sure you do your job, you know.» He whispered, his breath tickling Kakashi's cheek.

He felt himself grin and tried his hardest to push it down, but couldn't.

It would be an understatement to call him the happiest man alive.

«Oh, and Obito. I know you won't start another war.» Said Kakashi, feeling serious again.

Obito, on the other hand, seemed almost unaffected by his words.

«You don't know that. I mean, I am tempted everytime you're annoying, like when you take up the entire bed. That is totally unnecessary, and you know you're doing it, but you just never stop!»

Kakashi looked taken aback. It was not the response he had expected.

It felt as if Kakashi's whole being lit up. If he was asked to talk about a specific moment in his life when he was the happiest, this would definitely be it.

He closed his eyes and leaned down, wanting to do something he had dreamed of for a long time. The fear of rejection made him stall though, waiting a few inches away from Obito. He wanted to lean forward. He wanted to claim Obitos lips as his own, but couldn't move. It wasn't until Obito leaned forward himself and kissed Kakashi that he could breathe again.

He didn't care for the others cheering and shouting «finally!» in the background. He didn't care for any of his current problems or the ones that would come in the future.

All he cared about was Obito in his arms, Obito who was dragging his fingers through his hair, Obito, who was finally back.


Obito followed after Naruto on his way to his house. It had only been a few days since he had last been there, but it had felt like years.

They arrived at the door, Naruto unlocking it with a key and Obito clutching his jacket. It was cold. It was very late as well.

«Where are you going?» Asked Kakashi, standing a few meters away. Obito looked at him, blinking.

«My house is the other way, you know.» And with that, Kakashi walked away. Obito felt himself smile, not bothering to contain it.

«Go after your boyfriend,» Teased Naruto and gently pushed Obito in his direction.

Obito did.


The light shining from the window lit up Obito's face perfectly, painting it orange. It was sunrise and Kakashi relished in the memory of them from the previous evening. He had touched Obito in places he had never thought he would touch him, heard noises he had only heard in his dreams. Obitos neck had a few red spots, which made Kakashi blush.

«You're staring,» Muttered Obito, voice muffled by his pillow. His hair was in a disarray, his eyes affected by sleep. He opened his eyes slowly, rotating slightly to face Kakashi. Then a smile formed on his lips, the corners of his eyes crinkling slightly.

It was one of the most peaceful expressions Kakashi had ever seen.

He wanted to wake up like this every morning. He wanted Obito to be by his side every day.

«I am sorry, but its something you have to get used to.» Replied Kakashi and moved one hand up to Obito's face. He let it rest on his cheek as his thumb brushed up and down. Obito closed his eyes, but he was still smiling.

«This reminds me of when we were at Sakura's party.» Whispered Obito

Kakashi's brows furrowed for a second in concentration. He recalled the night. If had felt like ages ago. «When you touched my face?» He asked. He couldn't believe how soft his voice could be.

Obito nodded, then moved one of his own hands up to hold Kakashi. He didn't move it away, just let it linger there.

«I was so embarrassed. I should never drink ever again. I can't believe I crawled into your lap like that.» Obito chuckled to himself.

What? Thought Kakashi, stopping his thumb from moving.

«I- I thought you said you couldn't remember?» He asked, his eyes widening in horror.

Obito groaned and moved to face the other direction.

«No, no. You won't be able to ignore this. Have you honestly been able to remember all this time?» Said Kakashi and balanced himself up on his elbow, looking down at his new boyfriend.

«Trifles, trifles.» Muttered Obito.

Kakashi sighed and leaned forward to rest his head on Obitos shoulder.

«I hate you.» He murmured, his cheek squished against Obito.

«No, you don't. But I think we should properly wake up and leave. Isn't this the day?» Asked Obito and pushed Kakashi off of him. He stood up and changed clothes, revealing everything to Kakashi.

Kakashi stared at him for a few seconds before he went to put on some clothes too.


Kakashi, Obito, and Sakura all stood at the gates to the village, waiting. Naruto was nowhere to be seen. Sakura looked stressed, moving her weight from one foot to the other.

Obito's hand was holding Kakashi's, and Kakashi never wanted to let it go.

Eventually, Sasuke arrived, walking toward the gate. His hair had grown longer while he was in prison. He was looking downwards, eyes glued to the ground.

«Sasuke!» Shouted Sakura, waving her hands back and forth.

He glanced up but didn't say anything. He just stared at them, though mostly at Obito.

He had probably heard what had transpired. 

Sasuke stopped in front of them, giving Obito and Kakashi a nod to both. He patted Sakura's head, though his face remained nonchalant.

«Sasuke!» Shouted Naruto, running toward them. He was wearing several backpacks and even a hat. «Wait for me!»

Everyone except for Sasuke looked back, the Uchiha continued to walk instead.

«Is Naruto joining him?» Asked Obito, leaning toward Kakashi.

Kakashi focused his gaze on his two students, smiling to himself «It looks like that, yeah.»

Naruto only gave them a wave as he instead focused on trying to catch up to Sasuke.

 

«Wait.» Muttered Obito and completely moved his body to face Kakashi. «Madara took one of your eyes during the war, right? How did you get that one back?»

Kakashi looked down at Obito, feeling knots gather in his stomach. He had completely forgotten.

«Naruto healed me,» He simply said and looked over at the energetic blond running away.

Obito looked at him questioningly, not getting it.

«He can do that?» Whispered Obito, more to himself than anyone else. Then, he turned around and desperately looked toward where Naruto was.

«How far away is he?» Said Obito frantically, but ran toward Naruto before Kakashi could answer. «Naruto! Get back here!» He shouted, but Naruto only waved back, a grin on his face.

Kakashi felt himself smile, looking at his once best friend, now boyfriend, run toward his students.

It was a weird sight... for them all to be near each other without any malice.

Kakashi liked it.