Dirt crunched beneath his sandals. The air felt heavy and his breaths filled his nostrils as they finished the trek back home. He could hear the sounds of the villagers just beyond the gate but all of it was pushed to the back as he dwelled on the mission... Mission complete.

Obito lifted his gaze just as they crossed the threshold of the village, and as always Kushina-san was there to welcome them back with a smile. That smile faltered as she counted the team members. Minato walked to the check-in station as he reported a successful mission.

"One casualty... Hatake Kakashi" Minato sensei's voice was somber, but held together without a crack.

Obito hand clenched around the strap of his goggles hanging at his side. He stared into Kushina's eyes and she saw his sharingan spin to life. The world slowed as if dipped in molasses. Tears filled her eyes as she saw the rawness in remaining young team members. She sprinted into Obito and Rin pulling them into her tight embrace. Obito still felt that same agony of Kakashi's sacrifice, he held it together. Rin did not. She immediately lost it. Sobbing into Kushina's dress. Rin was trying to speak but it only came out as unintelligible sniffles and hiccups. Obito returned the embrace, a tears threatening to flow once again.

He held it in, Shinobi rules dictated showing emoting as a weakness. Kakashi's nin-do, his ninja way, was about the rules. Obito would try his best to honor that. He would never abandon a comrade if they could be saved, but he would otherwise try to honor those rules in his friends stead.

The calloused hand of his teacher touched the should shaking shoulder of his wife.

"Kushina... We have to go report in. I'll meet you at home." his voice was soft, almost a whisper.

"I'm not leaving them, don't cha know!"

Minato sighed and started walking, his team falling in with him.

Despite the bustle of a busy village the walk to the Hokage tower still seemed quiet in Obito's mind. He paid no attention to most of the half finished greetings as villages and ninja realized the mood of the traveling group. One foot in front of the other, his feet on autopilot. Obito's mind wandered back to the mission. He had a report to give after all, no emotion just facts, that's what the rules demanded.

After Rin's rescue the mission had gone off without a hitch. Minato-sensei had made sure to commend Obito's actions. He had again taken off separately to distract the enemy as he and Rin approached the ridge from within the ravine. While several of the enemy guards had been drawn away to investigate a disturbance, many had stayed behind. Had it not been for his sharingan its likely that Obito and rin may not have been capable of taking the group on. Luckily taking them out wasn't the primary objective.

Obito was able to launch three kunai at a time in a successful strategy to lay the explosive while appearing the try and attack the guards first. Two at the enemy nin and one with a paper bomb which lodged somewhere on the underside of the bridge. He kept moving and as the Iwa guards attempted to engage them he let them place themselves between him and the bridge, but kept circling back to keep it in range. Finally after several trips back and forth Rin had detonated the bombs from her hidden location.

The distraction proved fatal for the Iwa-nin. As they turned in shock their periphery vision noted several white streaks before they fell.

Even the escape had been easy as he and Rin dove into the water and swam downstream to their predetermined exit point before meeting with their mission commander. His review was interrupted by a loud and boisterous voice of a classmate.

"Yosh!, Why so dismal my friends! You're back, where is.." Obito looked up in time to see Guy's attention focus over Obito's shoulder to see the handle of the famed White Fang sticking up behind his head. Damn it! Hot saline was leaving trails down his cheeks still. Guys focus shifted to Obito, the shock gave way to understanding as he saw the tomoe in the Uchiha's iris.

Guy swallowed "I'll uh... I'll let the others know" Obito nodded sharply and continued on his way.

The debriefing was excruciating. Everyone's mood was dismal in spite of the mission success. The standard questions were asked of course ob progress and difficulties encountered. Both he and Rin were questioned separately when it came down to the incident. Obito's turn was last, He walked past a silent Rin as she smiled sadly at him and immediately left. Obito didn't interrupt her. He was still dealing with his own thoughts on the matter.

The Hokage's office was rather large. Several of the blind were halfway down to prevent anyone from being directly blinded by the sun itself and still letting in plenty of light. The Sandaime was behind the large oak desk and to the right sat his 3 chosen counselors. Rumor had the the cripple one was the real authority behind some dark version of ANBU. This one was watching him intently, his stony expression gave noting away nothing away.

The old man behind the desk smiled in a gentle manner. "Okay Genin Obito, start from the moment you separated from Jonin Namikaze and fill us in from your point of view on the events that transpired"

Obito nodded and told the story in as much detail as he could recall. Even though the argument at the beginning might have been embarrassing he stood by his decision stubbornly, it wasn't questioned. How he had tracked Rin's captors. The fight where Kakashi had lost an eye and where his sharingan had activated. He felt almost numb as he relayed the events and noticed absently that his details started to become much more specific after that point. By the time he had finished the report it was less of a story and more a collection of details and cold facts.

Old man Sarutobi sighed and leaned back in his chair before picking up a pip from his desk. He lit it and gazed at the young chunin.

"Everyone's reports match perfectly. You will be keeping the White Fang blade of course. In the meantime I will be assigning you some studies to get started on. See my secretary tomorrow morning and she will have the required materials for you. In the mean time I beleive you need to report to your clanhead if my memory on your clans traditions is still accurate" His dismissal was indicated and Obito turn on his heel and walked out. Each step followed by the single squinting eye of Danzo.

Rin was sobbing again. He could hear her even before he had reached the last step descending from the upper tier of the Hokage tower. There were murmurs of confort from multiple voices and shuffling feet.

The weather was cool and no breeze blew, matching his own stagnant attitude at the moment. Obito rounded the corner to see a group of their classmates gathered, several of the other girls surrounding Rin in a group hug. Guy in his typical green spandex and leg warmers stepped forward as Obito approached, his expression serious and yet confused.

"How? We haven't been able to get more than a few words out of her."

Several of the guys and Anko approached to hopefully hear at least a brief version. Hyuuga Tokara, Ebisu, Ibiki, Hayate and Genma being in the front. Obito sighed and looked to the side, avoiding eye contact.

"Eh, the short of it is there was a cave in and we had to get out, he saved my life... We can talk more later. Right now I need to report to Fugaku-sama."

The damned spandex wearing monstrosity leaned forward as if he had more to say but Obito's glare stopped him dead. "I said later." Obito stormed off leaving his shocked classmates in his wake. He could hear one of the twins comment quietly as he left.

"Did you see? His eyes are awakened..." A glance saw the looks of pity from him. The Hyuuga's Byakugan also had to awaken under stress, but he were well aware of the more strigent nature that was needed for the Sharingan...

He shoved his hands into his pockets and kept up the pace not wanting to encounter any more questions. Luckily most of the ninja his age who had a proactive interest were behind him. He wove through the crowds in each of the districts he passed through for once not even noticing any elderly in need. He simply was trying to keep his emotions under wraps, a novelty for him as he usually wore his heart on his sleeve and made a point of assisting his elders. It was a short time later he stood before the Konoha Police Force main station.

The building itself wasn't all that impressive but it did stand out. Constructed mainly out of tan sandstone It was tall enough to be a three story office in was actually only a two story building. Above the second story the roof arched from both side to meet a tower of bay windows, each side having a single large circular window. At the very top was the dark blue outline of a four pointed shuriken emblazoned with the Uchiha clan crest, a red and white fan. The first story had only a set of office windows in the center, glass doors to either side, dirty white exterior walls and red awnings.

Obito took a large breath and pushed through the main doors closest to him.

The place was bustling with activity without appearing overrun. There were a few non-clan members present. While not unheard of it was rare to see someone not from Clan Uchiha working for the military police. He glanced around and saw Fugaku-sama through an office window. During the day this is where he was usually found if he hadn't been sent on a mission. Taking a deep breath he approached the front desk.

"Uchiha Obito requesting a meeting with Uchiha Fugaku-sama."

The officer raised an eyebrow.

"Pertaining to what, Genin"

Obviously this individual was new and not a clan member.

"Clan business." Obito tried not to grit his teeth, today was hard enough as is. Luckily a distant cousin was nearby and stepped in.

"Debriefing right? come on Obito-san, this way" Obito turned and followed without another word.

Swallowing his heart with each step Obito was both excited and dreaded this meeting. He hadn't really ever spoken to his clan head directly much. Sure his grandmother had talked about him before, but unlike many of his friends in the clan he had never been over to the heads house for dinner. He was an orphan and so had no parents to invite. To put it bluntly the man intimidated him. Many saw him as a father figure but Obito had only his grandmother and could scarcely recall his own father. He didn't know how to act.

They had arrived but were waiting outside as two of the other officers seemed to be having some sort of heated argument. Fugaku-sama himself was simply standing with arms crossed and eyes closed. Finally after a few moments he opened his eyes and spoke as he regarded the two. They didn't seem happy and looked to continue but a raised hand halted any further statements. The muffled voices continued as he assumed his lord dismissed the two. The door opened as he was led in.

"What is it Yakumi?" Fugaku's eyes flickered ever so briefly over to Obito as they entered.

"Uchiha Obito is reporting for debriefing Fugaku-sama"

Their clan head nodded. "Close the door and take a seat, both of you" His voice seemed softer than he expected. Obito watched as the blinds were closed and a privacy seal was activated.

"You can sit Obito."

"Hai, Fugaku-sama" Obito sat and twiddled his thumbs before beginning. "My most recent mission with Minato-sensei, Rin-chan, and... Hatake-taicho to destroy Kannabi bridge has been reported a success."

"I assumed as much, but the reports about missions outside of village security are not my purview, why are you reporting to me?"

Obito looked straight ahead to avoid the appearance of a challenge or insult as his Sharingan spun into life. "My sharingan has been awakened Fugaku-sama."

He could feel the air still. No breath, or shuffling of paper. Finally Fugaku-sama looked to the hilt behind him. "You lost Hatake-san." It was not a question. The answer was obvious. Fugaku regarded him with an expression Obito couldn't quite puzzle out.

"So you now know, it is not stress alone with activates our eyes. I had hoped to speak with you sooner, before this has happened. I apologize for not addressing it on time."

A single tear rolled down Obito's cheek he sniffled "I don't understand my lord, While we did in fact ... lose Kakashi, I had already activated my eyes before that event."

The clan heads eyebrows rose and fell in almost relief "Then give me a full mission report so that there are no more assumptions or misunderstandings on my part."

Obito then relayed the report as he had to the Hokage and his counselors, this time stressing as much detail as he could recall. From the mission outset. His own dissatisfaction with Kakashi's tenets and strict adherence to the rules going so far as to abandon his comrades. Rin's capture, and his going off on his own to track her and her captors down. Through the fight outside and into the cave. By this point the two listening clan members seemed enraptured with the story listening to every detail.

At the end the clan head and his assistant asked a few clarifying questions.

"Hmm, I see. You now carry the legacy of the White Fang and his son's own unique justu as well. You bring honor to our clan Obito, do not forget that. You are an example of our pride. I have no doubt you will continue to serve well. As to your eyes I will find you a suitable teacher and suggest you work on your shuriken jutsu and kenjutsu as well. Perhaps tonight is not a good night but by the end of the week you will have dinner with my family."

"Hai Fugaku-sama"