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He pulls his hitai-ate sharp, runs his fingers across the rough edge of the broken leaf. Iruka won’t be used by Konoha again.

Kakashi regards him as a curiosity: with his memory erased, Iruka only exists in blurry fragments.

A decade of memories deemed inconvenient for the council that wants their hokage subdued.

He’s heard of forbidden fuinjutsu libraries on the Sunan boundaries. If Kakashi’s memories are sealed, Iruka can return them.

Konoha forced Iruka to this, and they deserve what awaits.

“Iruka-sensei, are you ready?”

Naruto’s hitai-ate mirrors his own, smile tight.

The will of fire smolders into ash.