Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Mockingbird would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Branches

By Mockingbird

Adventure / Humor

Talking to Trees

One minute Kakashi was standing in a tree, and the next minute he was on a roof.

Now, Kakashi wasn't exactly normal himself, but even he knew that random teleporting was pretty unusual. The baffled shinobi looked around, trying to pinpoint his location.

"Huh," he said. "Fuck." Slowly, methodically, Kakashi worked his way through every insult and profane word he could think of. After he finished insulting the parentage of everyone in listening range, Kakashi took a deep breath.

"Alright," he mumbled to himself. "There has to be an explanation for this. Either someone decided to deface the monument by removing every Hokage after the fourth, or I'm trapped in a genjutsu. And since Naruto's not in Konoha at the moment, it's probably the second."

Kakashi flared his chakra wildly and blinked. Nothing changed. Odd. Why didn't that break the genjutsu? he wondered. Tsukiyomi? No, everything isn't red and black, and I'm not being tortured at the moment.

"Senpai! What's wrong?" Kakashi turned to see ... Tenzo?

"Tenzo, what are you doing here?" Actually, why were any of them here? Weren't they supposed to be fighting a war at the moment?

"Are you alright? I felt your chakra from the other side of the village!" His younger friend's signature emanated worry. Kakashi squinted in response. Wait, Tenzo looked way too young. Weird.

He frowned as he raised his hitai-ate. Why did he still have the Sharingan? What happened to his other eye? The world came into sharp focus as he scanned the surrounding area. Everything looked fine—and genjutsu free.

Sighing, Kakashi laconically drew a kunai. Tenzo stiffened but looked on with wary curiosity. Without a trace of hesitation, Kakashi plunged the weapon into his own arm. Pain was another effective way of dispelling most genjutsu, if you were controlling the pain.

"Senpai!?"

Kakashi ignored him and stabbed his leg with the kunai. He could feel the pain quite clearly. He poked the wound and examined the blood. It definitely felt real. He was about to try again, but Tenzo grabbed his wrist.

"What the hell are you doing?"

"Stabbing myself. Isn't that obvious?" he said blandly.

"Wh-why?"

"I like pointy objects. Now, if you'll excuse me." Kakashi prepared to flicker away, but a sudden hand on his shirt stopped that action. Reflexively, he twisted the hand and tossed the culprit onto the floor.

"Sorry Tenzo!" Kakashi said cheerfully. He hopped down from the rooftop and cast a henge, now appearing as a nondescript shinobi. His leg and arm throbbed, and Kakashi grimaced. He'd been a little overenthusiastic with the kunai. Silently, without attracting any attention, he made his way to his favorite tree behind the memorial stone.

"I could have sworn you were burnt down," he murmured to the tree. "Do you know what's going on?" In one fluid motion, he made his way to the top of the tree. As he gazed upon the unbroken and bustling village, Kakashi's confusion increased. This doesn't make sense. Konoha looks like it did before the nine-tails attack. Suddenly, Kakashi froze, and his eyes widened. For the second time, he fell out of a tree.


Kakashi's first word upon waking up was a ridiculously undramatic "Ouch." He blearily blinked, closing his Sharingan eye out of habit. His head felt like a thousand Naruto shadow clones were bouncing around in his skull. "Why does my head hurt?"

"Kakashi! You're awake." Kakashi eyes focused, and he stared at the person who had spoken. A wave of relief crashed into him.

"Sensei, we won?"

Minato's brow wrinkled. "Won what?"

Kakashi rolled his eyes. "The war. What else would I be talking about?" He examined his former sensei. "So you're still here. I was half-afraid that you would be ... de-resurrected, I guess. What happened to Naruto and the others? Are they alright? And what happened to my eye?"

His former sensei stared at Kakashi before reaching out and placing his hand on Kakashi's forehead. "You don't have a fever... but maybe I should call a nurse just in case." Kakashi pushed the hand off.

"Worry about my health later. Sensei, did we win the war?"

Minato examined him with concern.

"Kakashi, the Third Shinobi War ended eleven years ago."

Kakashi almost fell backwards in shock. Third Shinobi War? What the hell? He took a slow breath to calm himself. Shinobi Rule Number 29: When confused, bullshit your way out.

"Aha, of course." Kakashi gave his patented eye-smile. "I had a dream of the war again. I was just a bit confused, that's all. I'm fine now."

"Right." The dubious expression on his old teachers face was almost enough to make him fidget. "Well, if you're fine now, why don't you explain to me what's going on?'

That's my line! I'm the one who's confused! Kakashi blinked apathetically at his teacher. "What do you mean?" he said evenly.

"Explain to me why you stabbed yourself with a kunai, nearly knocked Tenzo out, and fell out of a tree unconscious."

Kakashi looked Minato straight in the eye. "I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about."

"Kakashi." A deadly expression appeared in his sensei's face, the one that usually preceded someone dying or becoming severely traumatized. Or both.

"Honestly! My memory is blank."

"Do you want me to bring a Yamanaka to fix that?" Minato glared at his former student.

Kakashi blanched. "No no no, that's not necessary. Not at all."

"Then tell me. Look, I don't really care about Tenzo or the tree. I want to know why you felt it was necessary to hurt yourself." That was brutally honest, thought Kakashi, smirking. Poor Tenzo. His expression sobered when the Yondaime's glare intensified.

"There was a bug. So I stabbed it, but I missed. Twice."

The silence that followed was smothering.

"See, this is why I forced you to take a break." Minato's voice became vaguely paternal. "You're letting the stress get to you, but I didn't realize it was this bad. Listen carefully, or I'll assign you D-ranks for the rest of your life. You will relax for one week. Read a book, watch a movie, go on a date with Itachi—"

Kakashi fell out of the hospital bed.

"What!?" he screeched.

Minato's lips twitched. "Admit it, Kakashi. You need a girl in your life. And Itachi is the only one who meets your ridiculous standards. She's pretty, at least as smart as you are... hey, she'll probably become stronger than you in a few years. Sure, she's eight years younger than you, her parents will never allow a relationship, and the Uchiha clan will try to kill you, but what's life without a little adventure?" He paused. "Actually, if you marry Itachi, then you'll technically become an Uchiha. Then the Sharingan will only be in the Uchiha clan again..."

At this point, Kakashi stopped listening. Itachi-Itachi-Itachi-is-alive-what-the-hell-Itachi-is-a-girl-girl-girl-Itachi-Itachi-what-Minato-is-trying-to-set-me-up-with-a-zombie-mass-murderer-who-isn't-really- a-mass-murderer-Itachi-Itachi—and his brain just broke.

"Minato-sensei?" said Kakashi slowly, interrupting his teacher's rant on their compatibility. "I am going to sleep now, and when I wake up, I expect this dream, this nightmare, to end. Goodnight."


When Kakashi woke up, he was still in a hospital. Grimacing, he tore of the customary restraints that strapped him to the bed. With the ease of a man who had done this a hundred times, Kakashi slipped out the window and made his way to the apartment he had lived in for most of his life. He frowned at the seals on his apartment. Kakashi didn't recognize them at all. Thankfully, they were also inactive.

Deftly, he unlocked the window and jumped in. Kakashi rolled to avoid the spray of senbon and fell into an attack position.

"What the hell are you doing in my apartment?" Genma glared at him grumpily, chewing on his weapon of choice.

"Your apartment?"

"Dammit, are you drunk? You nearly gave me a heart attack! No, I'm not going to give you sugar, or milk, or whatever the hell you need. Do your own grocery shopping." Genma blinked and looked closer at his friend. "Wait a minute, aren't you supposed to be in the hospital? I heard something about you cutting your hand off with a kunai."

"As you can see, my hands are still intact. I'm perfectly alright. "

Genma eyed the bandages around his arm and leg. "Sure you are. And if you're really perfectly alright, then get out of my house before I call the Hokage and tell him where you are."

Wincing, Kakashi climbed out the window. Even his house was different. Kakashi sighed and extended his senses, trying to find his chakra signature. After a few minutes, he located his apartment. Kakashi deactivated the woefully-weak wards keyed to his signature and walked in. After giving his home a thorough once-over, Kakashi decided that it wasn't so bad. Of course, it could use a few improvements.

Three hours later, Kakashi had upgraded all the seals in his apartment to satisfy his war-time paranoia. Satisfied, he pulled out a piece of paper and began writing what he knew.

Problems: World is fucked-up. Minato is alive and not a ghost-zombie-jinchukiri, Genma lives in my apartment, Tsunade was never Hokage, the Third Shinobi War was eleven years ago, and ITACHI IS A GIRL AND ALIVE AND (PROBABLY) NOT HOMOCIDAL

Causes: Falling out of a tree? Sharingan? Madara? Genjutsu? Dimensional travel? Insanity? Naruto?

Explanations:

Solutions:

Kakashi glowered at the paper. With a quick fire jutsu, he burned it and tossed the ashes into the trash. He sighed and stretched. He'd need more information before he could make any conclusions.


After observing several people (stalking), borrowing information from the Shinobi Archives (stealing), and appropriating files from the Hokage's desk (more stealing), Kakashi came to the conclusion that this world was bat-shit insane ... and quite different from his.

For one thing, the Uchiha clan hadn't been wiped out by Itachi and still operated as the police force. The Hyuuga clan, on the other hand, had been decimated by Orochimaru. The current heir was Neiji; Hinata and her sister had been demoted to the branch house. Apparently, the remnants of the clan had wanted to have a strong heir to 'rebuild the clan.'

Kushina had still died, but Sarutobi had sacrificed his life to seal the Ninetails into Naruto, leaving Minato to reign as Hokage. Danzo, sadly, still existed and was probably plotting a way to take over Konoha.

The weirdest thing he had discovered (other than Itachi being a girl, because that took the cake) was that Tsunade and Jiraya were married. Married. Jiraya was married. To Tsunade. What the ever-loving fuck?

Kakashi groaned and rubbed his head. Why couldn't he have just ended up in the past? But no, the universe just had to dump him in a different dimension (or a seriously freaky genjutsu; he hadn't ruled that out yet). All the knowledge he had was effectively useless.

Well, maybe not completely useless. Kakashi still retained all the combat knowledge and additional jutsu he had learned, and he knew the weaknesses of many opponents. Briefly, Kakashi wondered if he could activate the Mangekyo Sharingan. Sure, it caused blindness, but the ability to travel to dimensions was pretty useful when you were stuck in another dimension.

He'd have to train like hell, though. His physical chakra pool was absolutely pathetic. Oddly enough, the spiritual component was overflowing. Consequence of dimensional traveling? Clearly, Kakashi wasn't in his thirty-something year old body anymore. Perhaps the soul had switched places or something. Hell if he knew.

He would do more research, maybe even ask Jiraya. Thankfully, that old pervert was alive in this freaky dimension, even if he was married. Finding a way to travel between dimensions—with the Sharingan or without—would take a ridiculous amount of time. Kakashi would be stuck here for a while.

He frowned and started making some plans. Might as well make the best of the situation. He could maybe meet up with his no-longer-dead friends, and perhaps even beat up that bastard Orochimaru to make him pay for everything. And he couldn't forget Danzo, could he?

Kakashi grinned. This place might not be so bad after all.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

re8622: The Last Exodus quickly grabbed my attention. Almost as soon as I started reading the story, I couldn't put it down. I found that the ideas the author put forth were very thought provoking given the turmoil we have seen gradually rise over the last several years. I felt that I could understand th...

littlebunnypoopoos: Omg this was so amazing! The ending was a little bad and predictable. But otherwise, I need a second book or I'll die :D The character development was excellent and the whole romance, action, and suspense was superb

Dru83: This is perhaps my favorite part of the Olafson story just because it is here that were are introduced to his "gang". The characters are so diverse and complicated that each of them could just about spawn their own story. Eric's buddies are just so captivating and the plot just rolls along. Again...

CookieMonster911: The story overall was an adventure that is appealing to any age. The way the characters develop adds a more human characteristic to the novel. The writing style itself is amazing because you can learn every character's thoughts and emotions. The awkward love triangle and jerk moments adds to the ...

mitchreed519: Truly fantastic, I would buy this book and any other prequels or sequels there after. An empowering and intriguing novel, and well written. Best literature I've read in a while, beats out published books as well.

themyronus: Vanessa has made 'amazing' the norme. I didn't want to read this as I am waiting for the finished and polished book to come out. But then I decided to read one chapter for kicks...well hours later I finished what was posted. Fortunately, my memory is not to good and I hope I will read the book wi...

bethnaloza: Good book... bad grammar though it gets a little annoying though but otherwise it's good..I stayed up like almost 4am for this damn book!!!It's good and frickn *JehshhsDjjdjxjxmsdbhsjDhsjkakanabshjsjssA

bethnaloza: It's really long so that's a good thing!!It's really funny I started to crack up hard just by reading it!!It's romantic but doesn't have that mushy love stuff so that's good too!!It's a little sad and depressing but it's what makes this book awesome!!I love this book!!It's really good. And I prom...

Cassie Jacobson: So many twists and turns. Keeps you wanting to read to see what happens next. The main character is detailed well. The struggles and growth of Joby makes you admire her. It gives you a proud satisfied feeling while reading it. A refreshing difference then most books out there today, and in a w...

More Recommendations

Flik: Hi! ^.^ huge fan of yours on ff.net! When I saw the note about this contest on The Way We Smile, I couldn't help but rush over here, create an account, and vote! XD Seriously love this story and would recommend it to anyone! :D best FT fanfiction out there. Amazing story, amazing concept that wa...

Dave Baxter: Generally, a good story. The plot was a bit predictable but not overly so. The first bit might have been better if it instead focused on how the main character becomes a host and not with how humans first interact with the aliens. This might allow more recognition of the various transitions sh...

rudyoxborough46: An action-packed, mystical adventure awaits anyone wishing to read this novel. I’m amazed at how well you’ve managed to flesh out the characters in this book, and I hope to read more of your work.I’ve read books about goblins and elves and all that mumbo-jumbo before, and most accounts of these c...

Lydia Walters: I really enjoyed this novel. It gives us a view of what could be if we really tried.Also that there's nothing wrong with loving our LORD and our fellow humans. couldn't wait to get to each new chapter (mission). Thanks, Joe!

CurlyRed: I read this entire book in just under 4 hours I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! i found myself emotionally attached to the characters and making personal connections that i had never experienced before while reading a book! I was constantly wanting to read more, every chapter left me on a cliff hanger tha...

internathunal: I was held captive by your sense of style. I would love to see more from you. I enjoyed this immensely.