A/N: Ooh, I do love time travel and sad things, anon, and this prompt is amazing… the problem is that my go-to gal for time travel and sad things, aka Leanne Peridot of Counterclockwise, is doomed to never be able to change anything so this wouldn’t work in that.
I do kind of have an idea to fill this prompt which I know is fairly bizarre and convoluted, but which I hope you enjoy anyway? Thank you for your patience!
(In)Difference Remix, Or: Kiyoshi Fixes Her Mistakes (and makes some new ones)
The Utsugi clan is small, barely worth the term “clan” all told. Their shinobi rarely rank higher than chuunin, never above special jounin, and they are more than satisfied with their niche role in the village.
No other bloodline or technique in Konoha is as talented at ultra long range assassination as the Utsugi clan, and for that they are regarded with mild distrust and disdain. For all that shinobi espouse hardening their hearts, cunning above valor, for the most part their warrior heritage runs strong.
There is no honor in the Utsugi clan’s abilities.
Honor does not get results.
That is what she needs now: more than honor, more than valor, more than the lingering, unbreakable ties of love, she needs results.
She needs to make things right.
Kiyoshi is not a fuinjutsu master–she knows the basics and just enough to tweak said basics–but one of her adorable genin is, with the chakra capacity to power even the most outlandish of seals.
“Sensei are you sure about this?” Kushina asks, even as she dutifully traces out the shapes onto the cave floor. Kiyoshi has sent Mikoto and Hizashi out to check the perimeter; with this team, that’s as close to a command for privacy as she can get, though given who is after them, it’s not entirely a throw away.
“Honestly?” Kiyoshi prompts, because for all that her students will always be adorable genin to her, they are adults now. Equals. She can be the confident jounin sensei or the honest fellow fugitive on the lam, but not both.
Kushina pauses, blinks her violet eyes up at her. For all that it’s her teammates with the doujutsu, Kiyoshi can feel that gaze pierce through her as sharp and thorough as one of her own arrows.
After a long pause, Kushina turns back to her work, answer received.
Kiyoshi, shamefully, is relieved.
The problem is Kakashi.
No, that’s not right. The problem is her.
The problem is that without her Kakashi wouldn’t exist–and he has to exist, he is so vital to success–but in order for her to restore the balance of the world, she can’t be involved.
As far as the story she knows is concerned, Kakashi doesn’t have a mother.
Or, no, that’s not right either. As far as the story she knows is concerned, Kakashi’s mother isn’t present.
That’s a very fine needle to thread, but she’s always had impeccable aim.
Sakumo is well protected, for all that he thinks he is the protector of his team. He is earnestly charming and charmingly earnest, but Atsumi and Hozue have always been more socially shrewd than him.
The first go around, Kiyoshi avoided him in a misguided and failed attempt to stay away from the thick of things.
This second go around, she seeks him out for one specific reason. It has nothing to do with love or affection–though that night, there is enough similarities to blur those lines–and everything to do with her using him.
The first go around, Atsumi and Hozue were amused by her. Fond and welcoming in their own way.
This second go around, they hate her guts. It certainly doesn’t help anything when, nine months later, she leaves her baby on the Hatake doorstep.
The man she loved, the man she married, eventually went on to become the Yondaime Hokage. The White Fang of Konoha who would guide the village through a world war and succumb to the poisonous whispers of hidden roots.
This man with the same name and the same face will never get that far. He is the scapegoat for the war, sacrificed on the altar of public perception, but no further. She will not allow it. She shouldn’t even be in the village now, she has far too much to do, but if there’s one thing she will allow herself it’s this:
The man she saves from himself is as much a copy of the man she loved as the gruesome corpse she left in the Hatake house. But there is something in his dull stare that belatedly flickers at the sight of her. Recognition, probably, but maybe something more.
They are not the same. They will never be the same. But that doesn’t mean that he won’t ever one day also hold a place in her heart.
A/N: … so… this is my Kakashi’s mom SIOC Kiyoshi Utsugi from (In)Difference who has already lived through a life in the Naruto world, witnessed the way her presence has made things terribad, then convinced Kushina, her student, to send her back in time so she can excise herself from the story. But she finds there’s a way to technically stick to canon without actually letting all those people die (basically, Kiyoshi builds her own secret society of canonically but not actually dead ninja)
I dunno. It’s convoluted. I think mostly I missed Kiyoshi and that almost cruelly knowing manipulation of the world around her.