The Bridge - Part II
Obito could tell something was bothering Kakashi. He wanted to ask so bad it almost hurt, but the look of intensity on his teammate's face was enough to keep him quiet. Instead he kept his eyes to the canopy and replayed the fight with the scout over and over in his head. He thought about what he should have done and taking a page from Himawari's book, focussed on correcting that mistake instead of dwelling on it. The next time something popped out of the ground at him like that it was getting a kunai to the face.
They walked single file at an almost leisurely pace. The giant trees gave way to giant bamboo stalks and once again Obito was awed. When he was older he would not mind touring the fire country to see what other sights he was missing. He was pretty sure he had even overheard one of the elders of the Uchiha clan mention training near a volcano. How cool would that be? Maybe he should work on a lava jutsu; that would probably impress Rin. He stole a glance at the medic in front of him. She was walking in the middle behind Kakashi and was currently keeping watch to their sides.
Kakashi suddenly raised his hand and all three of them froze. This had happened several times already due to local fauna and the wind, but he heard Kakashi take a long sniff before he ducked low to the ground and moved over to a fallen stalk of bamboo that was wider than he was tall. Rin and Obito silently followed glancing around wildly. Surprisingly it was Obito who spotted the nin first. He tugged on Rin's sleeve and pointed. Both Rin and Kakashi followed his finger and spotted the single nin flying through the tops of the bamboo. He passed quietly overhead and was soon out of sight. No one dared make a move for at least ten minutes before Kakashi released a breath and sagged back against the bamboo.
Kakashi glanced at Obito and said, if not a little haughtily, "Good eye, I guess." Obito reddened but gave the silver haired boy a wide grin hoping it would help things go back to normal. Rin dug in her pack and pulled out a few field rations. She handed one to each of her teammates and said quietly, "Here let's take a ten minute break. It's almost nightfall." Kakashi glanced at what little he could see of the sky through the leafy canopy of the bamboo and saw that it was a wonderful shade of purple.
"Are we going to continue through the night?" Obito asked carefully and Kakashi nodded. "If we can make it to the bridge in darkness blowing it up will be that much easier." Obito nodded slowly and munched quietly on his trail bar.
Two Iwa nin could just barely make out the forms of the three Konoha shinobi against the backdrop of the bamboo forest. They had been tracking them for the better part of 2 hours and the brats hadn't even noticed. They had gone to look for their teammate who failed to return from a routine scout and had been dismayed to find his body splayed over the branch of a tree. The crows had already started in on his face and neck and the younger of the two nin had emptied his lunch all over the branch.
"Alright," the taller of the two Iwa shinobi said, "for Renji." He slapped his hands into a seal and muttered the name of the technique. His body appeared to dissolve into the background until he was no longer visible. The other nin watched his footsteps walk away and he counted to ten before flinging himself over a fallen bamboo log at the trio. Slicing through several stalks with a cleverly timed air blade he made sure to make a lot of noise. The trio shouted in surprise and the tallest of the brats suddenly shouted, "Katon: Grande Fireball jutsu!" aiming his breath at the sky. The force of the fire pushed the falling logs far enough away that they missed the trio and consequentially bathed the clearing in light.
Standing on a rock the younger of the Iwa nin held out his blade and said loudly, "You three are responsible for the death of my teammate! Prepare yourselves!" Kakashi and Obito instinctively moved in front of Rin. She was the medic of the team and was not to fight if it could be helped.
The Iwa shinobi tossed a few explosive tagged kunai at them but both Kakashi and Obito sent them spinning into the woods where the explosions sent several large stalks crashing to the ground. The sound was unimaginable. It was only by chance that when Obito turned around to make sure Rin was OK that he saw a second nin suddenly look as if he melted out of the backdrop. He slapped a genjutsu on Rin knocking her unconscious and puffed away with a malicious grin on his face.
"Rin!" Both Kakashi and Obito called out at the same time. Looking around they found that the other nin had disappeared as well.
"Can you sense which way they went? We have to go rescue her!" Obito grabbed Kakashi's holster straps. When Kakashi didn't say anything Obito shook him a little. "What's wrong? Don't tell me you can't sense her!" Kakashi looked towards the sky but still didn't say anything.
"Kakashi! What's wrong with you? You've been nothing but an uncaring ass all week! We can't leave her behind!" He shook Kakashi again and said, "I can't believe this! You want to leave her behind! Do you care for nothing but the mission? Don't turn into those people who made your dad kill himself! We talked about-" Obito was interrupted by Kakashi's fist in his face.
"What the hell!?" Obito shouted from the ground. Kakashi shook his fist. That felt better than he would ever admit. Obito scrambled up and made to hit the silver haired Jounin but Kakashi caught his fist and pulled it downwards bringing the Uchiha with it. Obito stumbled past Kakashi and tried to execute a spinning kick. He overshot it and lost his balance splaying out all four limbs and winding himself on his back.
Kakashi leaned over Obito and said, "Are you done yet?" Obito closed his eyes in anger and turned his face away before saying, "Yes." Kakashi sat down beside him and said, "Good because if you had just shut up and let me talk I could have said that I caught Rin's scent." Obito reddened.
"Why did you hit me? That was uncalled for." Obito asked, rubbing his sore cheek. Kakashi gave him a look. "Why do you think I hit you? You were being an ass! Today is the anniversary of my Father's death. Am I not allowed to grieve him in peace? And then you go and say…that! What's wrong with you!?" Obito shrunk into himself. He had never heard Kakashi yell before and he could tell that the 11 year old was close to tears.
"Uh…man, I'm sorry. I didn't realize. Why didn't you let me know?" Kakashi turned away with a pained face. "It's my own private thing to grieve." He paused, changing the subject. "We have a choice Obito, a hard one."
Obito sat up and dusted himself off. Kakashi was staring off in a random direction. Then he pointed. "The bridge is less than an hour away. We could get there, blow it up, and then come back to find Rin." Obito started to protest but Kakashi raised his hand and Obito fell silent. "Rin is a medic nin and fully capable of looking after herself. They probably took her to pry information out of her, but as long as she cooperates she will most likely not be harmed. That gives us a few hours before we have to worry about her." Obito was silent while he let Kakashi collect his thoughts.
"Or we could storm in there and save her. We would have to fight two fully grown Iwa Shinobi, possibly getting one or all of us severely injured and risking the mission. Do you see my dilemma?" Obito nodded slowly. "As Jounin this decision is mine and they both carry risks. As your team leader I am asking you for your opinion. I will weigh it against my own, but whatever I decide I need your full cooperation, is that clear?" Kakashi imitated Minato's military voice as close as he could and Obito automatically nodded. He knew Kakashi was right and he knew the boy wouldn't have been promoted to Jounin if he could not show decent command skills.
"I think we should find Rin first." Kakashi nodded. "Ok, why? Give me a logical reason why it would be better to take that course of action." Obito sat silent for a minute before saying, "If we go to the bridge without her and it's filled with Iwa nin, what do we do if one of us is injured? She could be the only thing that would let this mission succeed." Obito then checked his bag and said, "Also she has all the explosive tags. I'm not very good at making them, are you?" Kakashi sighed and shook his head. "Alright. We will get Rin first, but you need to follow my directions carefully."
It took them nearly 4 hours to sneak up on the Iwa shinobi's encampment. From the disturbed earth and unnaturally sized rocks that made up the walls and ceilings, Kakashi guessed it was jutsu created. The younger nin that they had first encountered was sitting outside on a small rock sharpening his blades with a steady whisking noise. Kakashi could just barely see his outline in the starlight.
Poking Obito's arm he motioned for the Uchiha to swing around behind the nin and create a distraction with fire while he attacked from the front. Hopefully the flames would ruin his night vision and they could get a lucky shot in.
Obito's palms were sweaty as he fingered his kunai. He was treading as carefully and quietly as he could in the darkness. Kakashi told him to take his time and that he wouldn't move until his fireball went off, so he did just that. It took him nearly ten minutes to circle around the camp. He made it to a perfect clearing for the shot when his foot landed in a puddle with a small splash.
The Iwa nin whirled around and tossed one of his blades in Obito's direction. It bounced off of Obito's hiteate with a clang that rang throughout the clearing. Kakashi winced. The Iwa nin shouted and Obito let loose a giant fireball at him. Kakashi jumped up and threw a kunai at the younger nin sinking it deep into the nin's thigh, causing him to cry out but did not fell him like he had wanted. The larger shinobi bustled out of the entrance to the lodging and Kakashi tried to toss another Kunai at him as well before he was spotted but the larger nin deflected it.
Obito shouted in surprise at the sudden appearance of the younger nin and slashed wildly with his blade in an attempt to keep some distance between them. The younger nin had attached both of his blades to his arm already and was slashing at Obito in night blind fury. Several gashes appeared on Obito's face and arms as the blades found flesh and Obito thought briefly about screaming, but when he realized the nin was still having trouble seeing him he blew another fireball, smaller this time to conserve energy, in his face. Direct hit. The man screamed as half of his face started to blister. Obito took this opportunity to rush in and he jammed his blade hilt deep into the man's ribs, trying as hard as he could to direct it upward towards his heart. The man stopped screaming and collapsed. Taking something Himawari once told him to heart he tightened his jaw, retrieved his blade which caused the downed ninja to moan, twisted it in his hands and drew it quickly across the Iwa nin's throat.
Kakashi's eyes widened as the larger nin used brute force to shatter his father's blade with his own heavier blade. He stumbled and the nin used the opportunity to bring the blade back up catching the tip in Kakashi's cheek and dragging it upwards across his eye.
"My eye!" He screamed as red took over his vision. Dropping backwards he saw the larger nin move to bring his blade down on him and Kakashi raised his arm in automatic defence.
The blow never came, however, as a flash of steel in the starlight knocked the blade out of the larger man's hand. He spun around to find out what had happened and was temporarily dismayed to see his teammate on the ground behind the black haired runt who was suddenly running full tilt at him. He spun to face Obito when he heard what sounded like a thousand chirping birds burst out of nowhere. Before he could look back a small hand burst through his chest with a flash of lightning. He choked on his own disbelief as the lightning blinked out and the hand withdrew itself from his chest. He swayed before finally falling and was dead before he hit the ground. Obito slid to a stop in front of Kakashi.
"Are you ok?" Obito pulled Kakashi up while the latter pressed his hand to his eye. He shakily retrieved a piece of gauze from the pack Rin had given him and had Obito help him patch his eye up. During this exchange he glanced up at Obito and gasped.
"Obito! Your eyes!" Obito glanced down at his hands and nodded. "Yea I think I finally activated my sharingan. I can see your chakra and mine as well! I can't see anything much in these two though…" Kakashi glanced towards the cave.
"We need to be careful; they probably trapped the place up. Let's grab Rin and get out of here. Can you keep your eyes activated?" Obito grinned shakily and said in barely more than a whisper, "I don't know how to turn them off so I should be good." Kakashi finished wiping as much blood off of his arm as he could and led Obito through the darkness to the cave.
Peering in Kakashi whispered back at Obito, "I can't see anything, can you?" He felt, rather than saw Obito shake his head. The pair slowly crept into the cave taking extra care to avoid triggering any traps. They made it almost all the way to the back when Obito suddenly stopped and went rigid. His breath hitched in his throat and Kakashi glanced nervously at him despite not being able to see anything. Kakashi took another couple of steps forward and his foot bumped into something soft. Reaching out with his hand he realized it was hair. Rin's hair! He knelt down and felt for her face. It was slack, she was probably still under genjutsu. Obito suddenly sat down hard. "Kakashi…" he let out a small sob. Kakashi felt for her neck to find a pulse and instead found a large lump that was not supposed to be there. He suddenly realized what he was feeling and felt sick. Scrambling back a few steps he threw up while Obito said quietly and obviously holding back tears, "Kakashi I can't see her chakra… Is she ok? Kakashi?"
Kakashi wipe his mouth and he turned towards Obito. "They… they broke her neck Obito. I-I thought we would have more time…" Obito started to let out a sob when the entire place rumbled. Unbeknownst to the boys the younger of the Iwa nin was on his back painfully shifting his fingers into the proper hand seals. Stupid kid - cough- can't even slit a throat properly… I'll bring them all to hell with me! He heard the rumblings start and let his hands drop. Satisfied, he died.
"We need to get out of here!" Kakashi shouted. He shouldered Rin's bag, gathered her limp body up, and kicked Obito up onto his feet. They had almost reached the opening when a shard of stone from the collapsing roof struck Kakashi on his blind side. He fell sprawling and dropped Rin. He groped for her but Obito grabbed a hold of his harness and whipped him up onto his feet. The roof came crashing down and the dust cloud threw both of them back into the small clearing where they had fought the Iwa shinobi.
Obito sat up first and glanced down at Kakashi. His mask was mostly ripped away and his mouth was curled downwards in a grimace. His hands were covering his eyes as though in an effort to keep the tears from leaking out of them. Obito wanted to cry. He wanted to finish the sobbing he started in the cave, but the sight of Kakashi crying left him feeling raw and dry eyed. He knew that wouldn't last however.
"Kakashi, we need to get out of here. If there are any ninja around they are definitely on their way here now. Let's finish the mission." Kakashi held his breath to stop sobbing and ended up giving himself hiccups. Kakashi wiped his good eye and winced when he brushed his bad one.
He stood shakily and said, "I think my ankle is sprained. I need help." Obito leant him his shoulder and the two hobbled out of the clearing in the general direction of the bridge as fast as they were able.
It was dawn when they finally reached it. The bridge was larger than they had expected but Kakashi had managed to grab Rin's bag, explosive tags and all. Kakashi's sprain was not as bad as he had expected and he was soon able to ignore the stinging pain and walk on his own. The two boys silently placed the tags in strategic areas around the support structures and retreated back to the forest's edge. They glanced at each other and said, "For Rin." before releasing their chakras. They watched with dulled faces as the bridge exploded magnificently and crumbled into the river.
When they arrived at the rendezvous point Kakashi was exhausted and apprehensive. How could he tell Minato that he failed his first Jounin mission and let Rin… His bad eye burned as it tried to tear up. Obito had hardly spoken during the trip back. To Kakashi it had seemed like their roles had switched and he was the one that felt useless while it was Obito that was making sure his eye was tended to and that he was eating. Kakashi felt like his world was in a daze. In fact, the horizon looked like it was swimming before him. His good eye drooped and he felt his knees give out. He vaguely heard someone, probably Obito calling his name before blackness enveloped him.
Obito sighed heavily. They were almost there and Kakashi fainted. Typical. The boy had been in a daze since… since what happened, while his head felt strangely clear. He topped a hill and saw Minato sitting in the middle of a few tents with a few other ninja. Minato glanced up at them and Obito waved frantically, holding Kakashi up with the other hand. Minato used shunshin and was instantly at Obito's side, startling him. He saw their rough shape and picked up Kakashi exactly like what he was, an 11 year old child.
"Where's Rin?" He asked and Obito looked down. Minato pursed his lips, mentally mourning the kind girl. He knew the look on the Uchiha's face well. He bent down and scooped Obito up with his other arm. The black haired boy held on in a tired embrace as Minato used shunshin to get them back to camp.
End chapter 28
Three chapters in one day!? I cant promise another chapter anytime soon however, so I hope you are satisfied!
EDIT: Just changing some jutsu names around!
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