Shikako is the first to leave.
Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say she never came back to begin with, walking from battlefield to traveler’s roads to places in need of exploration.
Warrior to wanderer, seamless.
First she is invited to Wind Country, as friend and scholar both, to research the remains of the Gelel Empire.
She is invited to a great many places after that–Snow Country, Land of Birds, Land of the Moon–retracing her own steps and the steps of civilizations long gone.
Alone, she wanders, aimless.
Sasuke is next–eagerly shaking off the limits and legacies from Konoha.
The tangled, dusty, and sticky cobwebs of the past brushed away to make way for the future, for a new Uchiha clan.
It’s time for Sasuke to follow his own path.
He catches up to her in the high stony mountains of Lightning Country, or maybe in the marshy lowlands in the Land of Tea, or perhaps its the small island of Wave atop the bridge bearing the name of their missing teammate.
Regardless, they are reunited, the hawk and the deer.
Paths are better when walked together.
Naruto is last, only because he spends so long resisting the call, trying to fit into a role never written for him.
Before, with Ero-sennin, traveling was training, was a mission, was an obstacle to overcome so that he could finally come back home to Konoha.
Except home isn’t Konoha, it never was: home is his friends.
He looks wan in the beginning, pale and tired, lifeless–that blazing spirit drained out of him in a way that war couldn’t dampen.
They wait for him in the ruins of Uzushio, a place as vibrant as the people it once was home to.
But it’s not theirs, a mere waypoint, a rest stop to revitalize and reconnect and ready themselves for the journey of their lives.
Kakashi enjoys a rare moment of calm, quiet solitude.
The Hokage’s hat is a heavier burden than he thought–certainly not one that he ever wanted–and it’s time to pass it down.
Sakura is more than capable, having spent the years learning at his shoulder; maybe Kakashi can join his other students for an adventure.
A/N: Fill for the two anon who wanted platonic wanderlust!Team Seven as nomadic badasses with a little bit of Kakashi and Sakura. Seven sets of three sentence fic makes twenty one–hence the title!
Post Word Count: 365, Running Word Count: 6728