The Mirage of Uchiha. (Chapter 1.)
“Rin! Are you alright?!”
Obito Uchiha, panting heavily, his raven black hair drenched in perspiration, stood concerned over his teammate. His pale complexion looked even more ragged from exhaustion than it usually did, while the slim frame of his body felt as if it were going to snap from the exertion it had experienced the past several hours.
To his left, a white haired youth in standard shinobi field armor rested on his haunches. One good eye inspected their dazed companion, while bloody bandages covered the deep gash which had rendered his left eye useless. Behind them, one the Iwagakure shinobi who had been responsible for this injury laid grievously wounded on the floor of a shallow cave. They had been interrogating Rin, the female whom Kakashi was meticulously inspecting, in this dark hole.
Holding his hand up, Kakashi quickly muttered “release!” The lost look fled from the female’s easy on the eyes kind of face, and she quickly shook her head, staring up puzzled at Kakashi and Obito as if awakening from a long nap she hadn’t remembered lying down for.
“Kakashi…? Obito…? Where…What am I doing here…?
Obito couldn’t help but cringe at the fact that she said Kakashi’s name first, but that pitiful and selfish feeling was quickly overcome in an almost unbearable relief; Rin would be okay. Kakashi merely nodded, quickly explaining the situation, and helped her stand up. Turning to Obito, he gestured wildly with his hands towards where they had entered.
“C’mon! We need to get out of here, and back to friendly lines, now!”
Rin smiled brightly, seemingly lighting up the room as she returned to her old, cheery self. But as they turned to leave, a hoarse laugh rang out from the cave entrance. Whirling about, the rail thin Iwa shinobi, dark brown hair rounded about the top of his head with a long slash running down his torso, trembled on his legs with a sadistic grin on his face.
“Heh…heh…not a bad job, brats. Defeating me and my partner, that’s a good job. But, I gotta say, even if you’re talented brats…YOU’RE STILL JUST BRATS!”
With a beast-like roar, he slammed his fists violently on the ground about him. The earth began to shake, and as the seemingly iron-solid cave walls began to crumble and rain from the sky, the Iwa ninja glared in suicidal defiance at the three younger ninja. “Earth Release, Rock Lodgment Destruction!”
The cave fell about them, boulders hurtling at gravity’s command toward the ground. With a horrified look on his face, Kakashi screamed at his companions. “Run! Now!”
Forcing his dead legs to move once more, Obito joined his friends in a mad dash for life towards the cave exit. Ahead of him, the Iwa ninja hurriedly leapt outside into the sea of trees surrounding the cavern. Gaining stride, Obito found himself catching up to Kakashi, when on the outside of his peripheral he spotted chunks of rock flying towards the blind spot of his squad leader. A moment of indecision brought on by panic momentarily seized him.
First instinct? Keep running. Get Rin out. I don’t want to die.
Obtio felt his cowardice slam into his conviction, and suddenly he found his body turning autonomously towards Kakashi, his hands automatically weaving the hand signs long since mastered by his clan. The crimson glare of the Sharingan increased the acuity of his vision, and he could see the exact trajectory of each individual stone as they fell.
Prove you’re an Uchiha. Find your strength and protect your friends.
“Fire Style: Fire Ball!”
Dozens of scorching molten blazes cascaded towards the ceiling of the cave, obliterating the boulders approaching the group, leaving only small pebbles raining upon Kakashi Hatake’s head. Gazing in disbelief at his normally timid friend, a small smile slowly formed across the Jonin’s face; he didn’t think he would be the only young ninja to be promoted soon.
Rin flew out of the cave first, as Obito and Kakashi slowed momentarily to ensure the other was still fine. As she stopped just outside of the cave, she put her hands on her knees and knelt over, sighing in an intermingled moment of shock and relief.
The sigh became a gasp as a blade slid into her breast, the cold steel flashing brilliantly as blood began to flow from the wound. The Iwa ninja stood gasping, but appearing extremely satisfied, not two feet away from her. He leaned close to her ear, his breath feeling warm and disconcerting. As her vision darkened, he could hear his hoarse voice whispering maniacally in her ear.
“You…you were a pain in the arse, you stupid little cur.”
Obito and Kakashi emerged from the cave, and immediately stood back aghast. Obito’s mouth bobbed up and down uselessly, only able to form guttural sobs of anguish. “R..Ri..n..no…”
As tears began to flood down Obito’s face, his body trembling and shaking, Kakashi shook his head. This mission…why had he been selected to lead it? He was a failure of a leader, no better than people believed his father to be. Not a week passed since he became a Jonin and already his arrogance had caused the death of a teammate. He shut his remaining good eye, commanding himself not to cry as Obito did.
“Rin…” Hatake whispered to himself, feeling completely and utterly useless, self-loathing dripping through his words and mind. “…I am so sorry.”
The Iwa ninja gave no further thought, and lunged toward Obito, cackling as he swung his blade wildly in an arc towards the young Uchiha’s neck. The metallic clang of blade meeting blade rang through the forest as Kakashi’s short saber met the Iwa ninja’s curved blade. The older ninja growled at the stolid Jonin, and the two began to dance, flowing from slash to slash in an expert display of blade work.
Obtio, rubbing his eyes frantically, felt his sobs become harsh and filled with rage. He could feel the dark storm of hate forming in his mind.
His Sharingan burned. A sensation of searing heat flashed through the eyes; he felt himself staring at the clash before him with his brow furrowed and the veins in his pupils pulsating in animosity.
A thick, knot of sheer pressure formed at the front of his skull. He could feel his anger becoming a physical presence: A power. A weapon. Strength. The Iwa ninja lashed towards Kakashi’s blind spot while the young Leaf ninja lunged his blade directly towards the Iwa ninja’s neck. Too late; Kakashi would have half a head before his thrust landed.
Obito let loose all of the furious thoughts in his head. He felt the void being ripped open in the air where the Iwa ninja’s blade moved, his left eye seeming to want to tear itself from his face, and watched as the enemy’s hand seemed to vanish into…somewhere…
The Iwa ninja’s face became white as a sheet, panic etching itself into every corner of his taut face, and a cry escaped unheralded from his lips as he struggled to make his hand appear once more. His cries ceased as Kakashi’s blade penetrated his throat with a sloshing thud. Blood streamed in ruby falls from the man’s throat as he slid lifeless to the ground.
Kakashi stared in awe as the man’s hand reappeared, then gazed slowly over to Obito as his teammate stood solemnly over Rin’s frail corpse. The confusion in Kakashi’s eyes only barely concealed another feeling he had thought he would never feel again; fear.
“Obito…what…what the hell is that? What in blazes did you just do?”
Obito’s face might as well have been encased in ice. The cold look he gave nearly caused Kakashi to back away. The transformation that had wrought its way over the Uchiha’s eyes sent an unstoppable shiver down his spine.
Obito’s crimson eyes had three prongs; a triangular direction of slashes, almost like a three edged shruiken.