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Disappearing Act

Chapter 3

I turn to Iruka, who's still laughing and Kakashi, who's looking away.

"Speak of this to anyone and I'll kill you."

Kakashi raises an eyebrow.

"I think it's cute."

"Don't you have students to torture?"

He winks at Iruka and just walks off.

"I hope the ramen shop isn't too cheap for you."

I roll my eyes at Iruka and begin walking.

"Shut up and come on."

Once we're seated next to each other at the stand, he sighs deeply.

"Spill it Iruka, I'm here to listen."

"I'm just worried about those 3 being taught by Kakashi, I've heard things."

"You know well enough not to listen to stupid rumors. They're in good hands Iruka. What did the Hokage say?"

"Basically the same as you. Plus, no student of his has ever passed."

I pat his shoulder as our food is placed in front of us.

"Then why are you worried Iruka?"

He shrugs and we begin eating.

"You don't seem to like many of the students."

I nearly choke on my ramen and look over at Iruka.

"It's not that I don't like them. It's just you got to be tough as a teacher, you know?"

"Erity, you shelter Naruto as if he's your kid."

"So do you! But I know you still resent him a bit."

"I don't resent Naruto. I resent the ninetails spirit inside of him. Don't you?"

I look down at my bowl, only broth remains.

"No. I do not. I resent other things."

Iruka nods and switches the subject back.

"Why aren't you the same with the other students?"

"They have horrible traits, really. Shikamaru is lazy. Sakura is useless. Sasuke thinks he's better than everyone else. Ino only thinks about Sasuke. They all get on my nerves."

Iruka laughs as we stand.

"Naruto is reckless, stubborn, egotistical, and annoying."

"You made your point. I'm not going to try to argue. But at least the others don't get treated like garbage for things unknown to them."

"And now you've made your point but that's not a reason to baby him. He's still respondsible for his actions."

"Have a good night Iruka."

"Oh? Are you okay walking back by yourself?"

"Of course!"


A crash, followed by screaming. Noises like these aren't too uncommon to startle me awake. But the smell of smoke mixed with a heavy, festering scent is. I nearly choke awake. I'm in my room, nothing seems out of the ordinary. There's 3 loud, extended crashes followed by screams and I'm up.

"Father?! Uncle?!"

It feels like the ground is shaking and smoke is beginning to be visible in the air, even though I'm inside.

"Erity?! Are you here?!"

"Yes Auntie!"

I stumble my way to my dresser to change but my Aunt rushes in.

"Erity, sweetie, no time. Put on your shoes and grab your headband."

"What's going on? Where's father?"

She briefly cups my face in her hands and ties my headband over my mouth and nose.

"Don't worry."

Confused, my aunt tugs me through the door. Even with the headband, all the smells abuse my senses. My aunt's hand covers my eyes as she leads me away from my home.


We stop and she uncovers my eyes. There's rubble and debis everywhere.

"Erity, listen to me. Leave to the mountain, the safe area. More people will be there. Don't stop. Don't turn around. Everything will be fine."

I go to protest but there's crashing very close to us. My aunt waves me off.


I take off but as whatever's attacking the village is even closer, it's impossible to stay on my feet. I'm thrown into a wall and get back up disoriented. I feel my body buzzing, signaling I've unintentionally activated my jutsu, and begin walking in a random direction. My feet lead me back into the center of the desimated village. The smoke is so thick I can barely see and stumble. I land on the ground, something wet covering my hands. As I bring them closer to my face, they're red. The ground is covered in blood.



I wake up in a cold sweat, light streaming through my windows. I get up only to grab a cigarette from the box Asuma gave me. I light it and reach down next to my bed, pulling up the sake bottle. Drinking straight from the bottle, I close my curtains and lay back down.

"I guess it's gonna be one of those weeks, huh?"

I speak into the empty house, ash falling onto the floor. After a few minutes I drain the bottle and reluctantly get up in search of another. Finding none I force myself up and out of the house. I blink at the unforgiving sun and hope I don't run into any of the village that babies me. Unfortunately Naruto finds me, along with the rest of his team, including the leader.

"Erity sensei!"

"I knew I should've just used my jutsu to walk through."

I mumble before turning around trying to look upbeat.

"I'm going on a real mission!"

"Oh? But you've been going on missions all week."

"No, not that baby stuff! The old man gave us a C rank!"

Even more uneasiness settles into my stomach as I look over to Kakashi. Of course his expression is unreadable.

"Isn't it too early for that? D rank missions aren't that bad."

Naruto kicks at the ground.

"I'm a real ninja! I should be doing real missions!"

I just nod, trying to look happy for him.

"Well good luck. Be safe. Naruto, Sakura, Sasuke. "

It's not that I don't have faith in Kakashi's abilities. I do. The idea of fighting just terrifies me to no end. The graduations always remind me of my families unnecessary sacrifices. The three nod at me before continuing down the road. I turn to leave but Kakashi catches my wrist.I stay facing away from him.

"Sorry, I came out quickly so I forgot my headband at home."

"Are you okay?"

"I- Yes."

With his other hand he turns my face towards him. He gets a good look at my swollen, dark eyes and place face.

"You can't just grab me or touch my face in the middle of the street!"

Within a blink we're tucked away between 2 shops. I was already flustered from drinking and I'm uncomfortable being this close to someone.

"What happened?"

"N-nothing happened! I just didn't sleep well."

He narrows in on my face.

"Are you having nightmares?"


He leans away from me.

"You smell like a combination of Asuma and a bar."

Embarrassed, I pull away from him and push him out into the street.

"Go away! Go on your mission and leave me alone!"

Even though it's not visible, I can tell he's frowning. Without another word he walks away. I head to the shop and purchase some food necessities in addition to a box of cigarettes and a liquor restock for my lonely house.

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