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WhooTimeTravel 11Inari slumped and curled up into a little ball. Gatou's men had just come and taken his mother. What had he done? Nothing. Of course he'd done nothing. He couldn't stand up to two adult swordsmen, that was insane!
"Mom... I'm sorry. I'm weak, so I can't... I can't. It's-"
You think the word 'impossible' makes it all right to just give up?
"I-I'm not... I'm not strong enough..."
So what if you think you can't win! So what if you think you can't even come close to touching him! You haven't even tried yet!
He had no father when he was young. In fact, he doesn't even know what parents are...
That Sasuke guy... he's never given up. And that Naruto, he's... he's had it even worse than me, but he can still smile like that. How can he...?
He understands the meaning of true strength. Much like Kaiza did.
...All I want is to protect what's important to me, with these two arms. Even if I die...
Strength, Inari suddenly realised. It's not something you strive for.
Inari ran out the door. Gatou's m
WhooTimeTravel 10.5 (Interlude)Hinata's mind was only half on the spar with her instructor that evening. She was worried about Naruto. True, he had come out of that mission all right last time, but a jounin was a jounin, and combat situations were inherently chaotic. She couldn't trust to chance that he would come out alive this time again, not even with his unbelievable luck. She smiled internally as she blocked a twisting strike to her neck. Naruto had luck, yes, but he was intelligent enough not to rely solely on it and was also sufficently... unorthodox, that he would be able to improvise his way out, for both himself and his team, if anything went wrong.
She blinked as she twisted away from a kick aimed at her stomach. Then she caught it as it reversed to follow her hip. That... was not a move she should have been able to notice coming. Come to think of it, neither was the earlier blow to her neck. Hinata retaliated with a basic one-two blow, only to be blocked and countered, she deflected the counter easily, t
WhooTimeTravel Ch.10Haku inhaled deeply on the way to collect Zabuza's herbs. The night's mist was still present, and carried a delicate, unmistakable 'forest-y' scent. A light chill was lingering in the air, even as the weak morning sun tried to penetrate the mist to fill the forest. This was... pleasant. Peaceful. Calm. Such things were not shared with Zabuza, as he was unlikely to care, but Haku enjoyed (relatively) restful periods like these, times when they remained in one place long enough to smell the proverbial roses, whether by choice or necessity. Even if Zabuza's initial reaction to such situations tended to be somewhat impatient. Thoughts of how Zabuza's restlessness would manifest were he healthier brought a small smile as Haku came to the clearing where the necessary herbs were and stopped short.
A blond, orange-clad genin was lying spread-eagled on the ground, apparently asleep. From his face, he was quite peacefully fast asleep, dead to the world around him.
Haku drew closer, but musing on
WhooTimeTravel Ch.9Chapter Nine
"It's true... He died."
Kakashi looked up from Zabuza's corpse, having just confirmed the nukenin's death. There was no pulse, at least none that he could find, and the senbon in his neck had not struck any near-death points that he knew of. He examined the newcomer as casually as he could. They were wearing what appeared to be a thick, dull orange robe worn loosely under some kind of gi. It had multiple places to hide weapons or could be used to obfuscate movement without hindering it. That wasn't what drew Kakashi's greatest concern. It was the smooth, wave-patterned mask bearing the symbol of Kirigakure over the forehead that did that.
The stranger bowed slightly. "You have my utmost thanks. I have been looking for an opportunity to kill him."
"If I recall correctly, that mask identifies you as one of Kirigakure's oi-nin."
They straightened up quickly. "As expected... You are quite well-informed." From the voice pitch, height and build, they weren't that much older than
The Coffee GodThe Coffee God behind the counter shuffles foot to foot, a dance of steam and espresso. Black painted fingernails, inch gauged ears and a gray striped sweatshirt, hood crooked on his back. There's a cigarette tucked behind one ear; it bobs and twitches with each step.
“Non-fat caramel latte,” he calls, just as he always does, part of a spell, part of a mantra, toneless (just a tuck at the end). I reach. He looks up.
The espresso maker hisses.
There's something like a grin, something like a spark, something like a shared secret linked eye to eye. When he passes over the drink (rough cardboard sleeve hot to the touch), he lingers. Our fingers brush, a shiver, a jolt, a ten-watt shock.
The Coffee God tilts his chin, shouts, “Hey, mind if I take my break now?”
and ducks around the counter without waiting for a reply.
He slips his cigarette between his lips without taking his eyes from mine. I follow him out the door.
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