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well, this was unexpected...

Draft, kinda supposed to be in between Licence to be Weird and The Girl at the Missions Desk...? \o/

"What are you doing here?" the kunoichi behind the desk demanded, blunt as she had always been.

Kakashi shrugged, and let his shoulders settle into a slouch. "Checking if there are any missions to spare."


"Yes, here," he replied blandly. "Something the matter?"

"You're retired."

"Ouch," his tone was lined with mock-hurt. "Must you put it in such a way? Surely I'm not that old."

"Uniform. Mask." She gestured at his unrepentantly green jounin vest, then the rest of his clothes. "And you're not on our active duty list anymore."

Kakashi only shrugged again. "Maa, I just wanted to occupy my time." With some reluctance he straightened a little, and added, "Efficiently."

"You're a jounin-sensei. You have students."

"Had," he corrected.

She tossed a bloodstained scroll into the bin. "They're not dead, as far as I know."

"They don't need me anymore."

"I wouldn't know about that, and it's not any of my business. But what I do know is that we don't need your talents here."

Kakashi narrowed his eyes very slightly. "Do you need a demonstration, then, to see that my skills are still sharp?"

"I assume they are sharper now, but that is irrelevant." She matched his steely glare through the eyeholes of her mask. "We don't take back ex-agents unless it's necessary, however capable they may be."

His voice remained perfectly even. "Why?"

"People break," she said, flatly. "Then they join us. Then they put themselves back together while working as one of us and we make sure they don't break again. Then they quit, because they don't need us anymore, and we don't need them either. It's no different for you: you don't need us."

Kakashi said nothing.

"And you have students. We try not to take on people who still have something."

Finally he sighed. "...Very well, then. I'll leave you to your work." He turned to leave.

"You are the first person in the history of ANBU to try and come back," she commented dryly just before he reached the door. "Was it due to insanity? Everyone knows you were our best, and I've observed that extremely strong shinobi feel rather... at liberty to be odd."

"I was bored," came the casual reply. "Things get almost too quiet when they're... off. Training." Without him.

She snorted, neither sympathetic nor unkind. "Go read your book. Isn't that what it's there for?"

There was a brief moment of silence.

"Hmm, you said something?"

The door closed behind him. The ANBU shook her head in exasperation, then continued sorting out her mission reports.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
29th Dec, 2011 21:04 (UTC)
Oooooh, iiiiiinterestiiiiiing. I feel sad for Kakashi, who obviously feels left-behind, but I really liked the idea that ANBU puts people back together. Usually what you see is that ANBU breaks them.
30th Dec, 2011 01:25 (UTC)
Thanks! ;D Well, for those who have lost everything (or rather, everyone), ANBU depersonalises it all with the masks and the anonymity and the 'sameness' of everyone inside. So they can slowwwwwwwly put themselves back together while remaining functional on a certain level. It allows them to run away from the pain and grief without actually running away from their duties and reality, until they're perhaps ready again to re-enter society. So to speak.

(However, I think Uzuki Yuugao will be staying with ANBU for quite a while... :/)

\o/ not making sense agaaaaaaaaaaain OTL
31st Dec, 2011 05:39 (UTC)
I like this.  It's very plausible, very much in keeping with Kakashi as a character, and I'm intrigued by the assertion that ANBU is where broken ninja go to get fixed.  Such a unique and logical way of looking at it.  Thanks for sharing!
31st Dec, 2011 05:49 (UTC)
:3 Thanks! Maa, I'm still poking at that idea... tho I do have some thoughts about the other times Kakashi goes to the ANBU quarters. Hopefully I'd be able to produce more drafts soon XDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

For many broken shinobi, ANBU lets them run away without *really* runnin away, and when they're more-or-less fixed again they'll go back to standard suty. Something like that? \o/
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )