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- Naruto - Oekari by nachtmusik & sakurahoshi - Given that the fic is by two different authors and the rotating style of it (one paragraph from Kakashi's point of view, one from Iruka's point of view, one from Kakashi's point of view, etc.), I would be rather surprised if this fic hadn't been written role-play-style, which is something I tend to shy away from, because they rarely have smooth enough narratives to interest me. While I did take note of the revolving POV, the two authors' styles fit quite well together and it actually did read like an actual fic with an actual storyline running through it. And there was a certain mellow quality to the fic that I liked, the way it wasn't really about romance, just about two adults talking who rarely got a chance to do so, something like a friendship unfolding between them without moving too fast too soon. I also appreciated all the little details tossed in... in that time of the timeskip, there were a lot of things going on and this fic did a good job of not overwhelming the story, but in remembering so many of the things happening in Konoha at the time. (Kakashi/Iruka, though, it's far more gen than anything.)


- Naruto - untitled by ChibiRisu-chan - God, a KakaIru shortfic with the prompt of "goldfish" should not be this clever or work this well, but the author really did a brilliant job with it. It was the little touches that won me over, the way Kakashi is so Kakashi when he seems to be ignoring Iruka and then making the worst comment ever and I laughed like a hyena and fun was had by all. Yes. (Vaguely Kakashi/Iruka, but it's implied at best.)


- Naruto - Patience by Lacewood - A cute, sweet (without being fluffy or sugary) story after Hinata's match with Neji in the Chuunin Exams, where she's unconscious for a long time and Kiba worries. Which could have been a simple fic, could almost have felt pointless, but with this author there was something about it... it was a really nice Kiba fic, the way it showed so much of his personality through the little things, the way he worried about a teammate, someone he cared about. The ending was touching as well, when Hinata thanks him for visiting, the way she reacts, the way he reacts, and... it made me feel a little softer towards their interaction, almost thinking that it could be cute. ....which is such a back-handed compliment when I don't mean it to be, because this fic does a lovely job with these two characters. (It's not Kiba/Hinata, it's gen, but if you're a fan of the pairing, you'll probably like it.)


- Naruto - Imprisoned by _acerbitas_ - Part of me wants to quibble with the darker, more bitter nature of these fic pieces, that Naruto is a series about hope and believing in yourself. But, on the other hand, I don't have the heart to quibble, because the Hyuuga family is a household that can be filled with lurking bitterness and darkness. Plus, the way the story is told, the way Hinata, Hiashi, and Neji each have so much anger and failure and hurt in their lives is done in a really lovely way, you can feel the raw emotion from the characters in this author's hands. I was also rather won over by the final one, with Neji, because the author managed to include religious overtones to it and that's something I was quite surprised actually worked for me, I wouldn't have thought it was, but... the way the author presented it, it wasn't really about religion, so much as a parallel. And Hiashi's perspective was an incredibly interesting thing to read, the rigid way he holds himself even as he knows his clan is starting to fall apart, the bitter failure and angry frustration of his character seeping through every line. All three of these pieces of this fic were such an interesting, good read on the harsher side of the Hyuuga. (No real warnings/pairings.)


- Naruto - Twenty Truths about Jiraiya and Umino Iruka by midnightdiddle - You wouldn't think that a fic about Jiraiya and Iruka would be able to affect me as much as this one did, but the author managed to weave the two characters together in little ways that more than made sense, they had that certain clever deftness to them that made me almost ache. Because it's not quite bittersweet, but it's not exactly happy, either, and it's so... Naruto in that way that's full of pain and harshness and more knowledge than people should have, but they can't not know certain things. The little details of this are just fantastic, I really can't pick a favorite because the author does such a terrific job of covering everything that needs to be covered. Sometimes it's about sharing a moment between the characters (Jiraiya and Iruka on the roofs, one with papers to grade, one with a manuscript... that shouldn't have worked, but it turned out to be one of my favorites ♥) and sometimes it's about the grander nature of the characters. None of it is very easy for either character and that just makes it all the more brilliant. I know it seems like such a crack pairing, but I really think it's worth a read, the author did a terrific job on it. Or maybe I'm just weak to these characters, that's certainly been known to happen. ^_~ (Not really Jiraiya/Iruka, it's closer to gen than anything, but.)


- Naruto - Red sunlit garden by tin - [Note: This fic is locked, but the author friends back all those who friend the journal, so I'm making an exception.] There are several groups of Sakura characterization to be found in the fandom, but very few of them mesh with my feelings for her, especially during/after the three year gap. But tin's writing here is somehow just perfect for her, it's intelligent and detailed and makes sense of her character even as she's doing nothing so much as looking for a lot dog. Thoughts and feelings swirl through her, nothing really specific, only the vaguest of descriptions of them, yet I get what she's feeling, how determination is taking root in her and she's starting to hold her head up high. And, man, I always feel hopelessly outclassed when I try to rec one of her fics because they're so marvelous that squeeing doesn't seem to be the appropriate response. And yet here I go. XD (No warnings/pairings.)


- Naruto - Hard, but much truer by dianoetic - Okay, this was just fun. Maybe it shouldn't have worked, the idea of Shikamaru being too lazy to write a letter to Temari (who demanded it) and shoving it off onto Ino who... is, well, very Ino. But the author had a good sense of timing and humor, so it was actually pulled off. I totally laughed at the ending. And the middle. And the beginning. ....okay, I laughed at the whole thing. This was delightful. (Maybe some Shikamaru/Temari if you read into things. But it's mostly gen team 10 antics.)


- Naruto - Four Weeks of Rain by Rilina - After having read the author's fantastic Bleach fic, I was curious to see how she would tackle a series like Naruto. This, too, is an amazing story, the kind that I could not look away from once I had started reading. The sheer amount of detail put into the little scenes, the way each of them may only be a few hundred words or so, but they feel like complete little stories, the way they're all strung together in a single theme, it makes for an incredibly satisfying read. The subtle emotions of the piece are like the manga at its best, the way I felt connected to each and every character, the way it's a picture of life in Konoha during the rainy season, the way the author was brilliant at just absolutely nailing every scene she put her hand to. It's one of those stories that felt longer than it actually was because it was so fulfilling, it didn't need anything more or anything less (well, okay, I wouldn't have turned down an Iruka section ^_~), it was happy in all the right places, sad in all the right places, just the way a fic like this should be. (One or two implications of pairings, but it's an overall gen fic. Entirely.)


- Naruto - Team Jiraiya by Rilina - There is precious little Jiraiya fic in the world, but when one like this comes along, I don't feel the loss so keenly. The emotional impact of this fic is amazing, my fangirl heart was aching a little by the time it was done, the way loss and hardship in life is so clearly shown in such a short fic. But it's the weight of Jiraiya's character, his choices and his attitude and where he holds his grief that really got to me. It's not the way I expected the fic to end... and I think that's part of what made me love it even more, because I can see Jiraiya this way. (No warnings/pairings.)


- Naruto - What Remains by Rilina - [Note: There will be spoilers through volume 31, the resolution of the Gaara storyline post-timeskip.] It's been so long since I've read Naruto fic that's affected me like this author's work that I've been pretty much tearing through everything of hers that I can get my hands on. I feel a little strange recommending everything, but not enough that I'll stop because she has such lovely variety in her stories as well. Her take on Gaara and Temari, the sand siblings' relationship is just gorgeous. There's something of a subtle quality while not trying too hard, like Kishimoto at his best--and, indeed, there's something in this fic that reminded me of the Naruto manga style. It's also a really, really, really good salve for the aftermath of that arc and just... good Sandfic. (No warnings/pairings.)


- Naruto - Gentle, and low by Rilina - Another fic from this author (I swear, I didn't read/rec them all in a row, I actually read other things in and amongst them this morning) and it's Hinata fic this time that's just... gentle and lovely and subtle in the way all her fic is. The future she writes for Hinata here is lovely, very in the spirit of a series like Naruto, where she finds her own way and remains true to herself when she finally gains the respect of the Hyuuga that she's worked for for so long. Set through the eyes of Kurenai, it's especially well-told, you really get that sense of a rush of realization when Hinata is finally grown, but she's still so... Hinata. Toss in some lovely imagery and you have a gorgeous short fic. (No warnings/pairings.)


- Naruto - Waver by Tanuki-dono - [Note: There may be some spoilers if you're anime-only.] I'm always up for Jiraiya fic, especially since there's never anything near enough of it. This story surprised me by being somehow the perfect little coda to the events of the manga, a little fill-in scene that we never got to see. Jiraiya is hurt after Naruto went all Kyuubi on him and the way the author handled him going in and out of consciousness, the way dreams came and went, the way Yondaime was in his memories, the little snippets we see of Naruto through Jiraiya's haze, all of it was handled in a way that did justice to what those moments must have been like. Naruto's panic, Jiraiya's lack of panic making it all the more painful because something had to be really hurt for Jiraiya to be so hazy, the characterization between the two of them, everything about this fic was just solid, it packed the emotional punch it was going for. I can see this fitting together with the series itself. (No warnings/pairings.)


- Naruto - Tease by Tanuki-dono - [Note: There may be some spoilers if you're anime-only.] I did find the narration of this fic to be a little too 'show' rather than 'tell', but I got through the whole fic without being bored and I really like the characterization that the author puts forward. Sai's social ineptitude and the way he can just completely set Sakura off and the new-found sense of comraderie between Naruto and Sai for that... it's the interim team 7 dynamic that I've actually grown really fond of ever since they got back from Orochimaru's. And, okay, I laughed at the ending of the fic and could just completely picture the whole thing unfolding, much like Kishimoto's style in my head. (No warnings/pairings.)


- Naruto - Promises by Tanuki-dono - [Note: There may be some spoilers if you're anime-only.] Whoa. Not that I've read much Sai fic to compare this to, but this is a brilliant fic, probably one of the best I'm ever going to come across. It quietly nails what it is about the character and his fumbling attempts at normal emotions that have slowly won me over to him. The way something real is starting to bubble up from under layers and layers of emptiness, the way the piece has this calm quality even while things are going to hell around Sai. It's gorgeous for the way it characterized him, the way he made a promise because he wanted to, the way the situation just... fits with so many of the other events in their lives. It's difficult to explain what I mean by that without giving away everything about the fic, so instead I'll just reiterate... this was really, really good. The characterization is brilliant for all of them, Sai and everyone around him. (No warnings/pairings.)


- Naruto - Sai Doesn't Aprrove by Tanuki-dono - I was enjoying this piece well enough as I read along. The idea of Sai (along with Naruto) interacting with people beyond team 7 intrigued me and, hey, I always like Neji in fic. For the most part, it was a good, solid fic and I liked the characterization a lot, even if the writing was a touch stiff here and there. Which I mostly notice because the rest of the fic is so solid otherwise. It's just... dumb boys being dumb boys and a socially inept kid being socially inempt. But then the ending totally got me in exactly the way it was supposed to get me and I have now decided this is one of my favorite fics ever. It hit me exactly right and now I'm going to be dead over in the corner for awhile. I loved this fic. (.....not really any warnings/pairings.)


- Naruto - Death's Precipice by The Sh33p - Lee fic that doesn't revolve around Sakura (or whomever he loves) seems to be a rare thing, which is rather a shame, since I like Lee's character just as much (possibly more) than I like ships for him. This fic is... a really wonderful look at the more serious side of Lee, not just the training that he goes through, but what that does to him, especially emotionally and mentally. How hard it is for him to stand on the edge of death the way he does, how hard it is to hold himself there, the sheer strength of will and determination it takes just shine through in this fic. There's a real intensity, a real tension to the writing, almost a little like feeling phantom pain in my bones and joints after reading something that's so in-the-moment for Lee. Opening the Gates is never easy and this fic has a marveously impactful way of showing that, the experience of it really sort of fascinating. Also, the ending is just... it's perfect and it's so Lee and it makes me happy and sad all at the same time, so much like Lee fic should. (No real warnings/pairings.)


- Naruto - Full Circle by Rilina - There is something about this fic that intrigues me. With another author, I may not have had the same reaction, but there is something about this author and the way she writes it that tugs a little at me. Something about the cycle of history and the way it repeats itself, the way Naruto goes looking for answers on his own, even if it means doing things he knows he shouldn't. I think that's what got me the most, the way there's a sense of dogged determination underneath everything, something that is so very much the essence of Naruto's character that was very present here. I like that Naruto wants answers to questions Konoha has never given him, the sense of him coming, as the title says, full circle here. (No warnings/pairings.)


- Naruto - Stocking Feet by Mina - adsfl;kjasdlfjalkfs;, SASUKE AND NARUTO BEING RETARDS ON CHRISTMAS. Every winter holiday season should have Sasuke and Naruto being retards and completely socially inept BOTH OF THEM just like this! I had a lot of fun reading this fic and I adore Mina's writing when it comes to WJ series and Naruto is no exception. I love that it's not really even about the gay, this could have been gen or you could read more into it and, ads;lfkjasdlf;kjasd, holy crap, the ending is great. Great. (Sasuke/Naruto if you want to squint. It's more gen than anything.)


- Naruto - ten extremely unimportant facts about the yondaime hokage by Lisse - I'm fascinated by Yondaime's character and this is a fic that shows why--because there's so much potential there, how is he like Naruto? How is he unlike Naruto? How is he completely unconnected to Naruto and still so obviously connected? This fic gives him backstory in interesting and clever little ways, the details that I could just see (especially the girl in the class and, omg, that'd be awesome), touches on his connections with so many people in his life (I really liked the one about his team), and it's just... it's good. (No real warnings, no pairings enough to really count.)


- Naruto - Rainy Night by vampirepenguin - I clicked onto this fic because it said it was InoSaku in the summary, but actually reading it... it's far more gen than anything, though, I suppose you should squint and see InoSaku if you liked. Instead, it's a piece about friendship and Sakura's hurt when she really realizes that Sasuke's not coming back, when Ino takes care of her. It's a nice insight into Ino's rivalry-slash-friendship with Sakura and the kind of person she is under the smirking and snarking. Very nice. (Not Ino/Sakura, this is gen, but fans of the pairing might like it anyway.)


- Naruto - A Good Ninja by Lisse - In the same vein as the previous Yondaime speculation fic (which this one isn't quite), this story takes an interesting idea of who Naruto's parents might have been and does something really fascinating with it. The idea that Naruto takes after his mother, which pretty much requires the invention of an OC, could fall so flat, but the author really pulls it off, creates a fascinating character here. I'd actually love to know more about her because she feels like she has depth and she's so far from perfect or even good and you can see Naruto in her that it's just really cool. This was a strong story all the way around, it just makes it better that it's something I've not read very often. (No real warnings or pairings enough to really count.)


- Naruto - Telephone by Pru - I don't even remember how I got here anymore! I'm sure there was a link somewhere or someone recommended it and I'm being horrible by not remembering where (omg so sorry ;__; ) but... sheesh, I had also very nearly forgotten how much I actually really loved reading really good Naruto fic. It starts so simple, a rumor that Kakashi and Iruka are together and Team 7's reactions which are completely hilarious and beautiful and their slow coming around to accept the idea of it and there are so, so many moments of win here. I love that it's not really about KakaIru (though, there's enough of that, too ♥) it's about interaction between all of them, it's about Team 7 as a larger whole, it's about each of these characters being utterly awesome, it's about a great ending that I keyboard mash over. Both funny and touching, this fic makes me want to dive back into the Naruto fandom, dammit. (Some Kakashi/Iruka, it's only half the point.)


- Naruto - Dog Days by Aishuu - I say this about half of the time I rec a fic with KakaIru in it, but it's still true every single time--it's stories like these that are why I love this pairing so much. Because it's just rife with potential for stories like Iruka and Pakkun trying to cohabitate Kakashi's life. And the way Aishuu writes Iruka trying to deal with the obnoxious dog is so great, because I can just see it happening, because she comes up with some great examples, and because I love the way she wrote the whole thing. The Chopstick Incident wasn't just vaguely referred to, it was actually written and lived up to truly being an Incident, and the ending of that incident? So hilarious. So, so hilarious. Also, the ending of the fic itself is really great as well, I'm so glad Aishuu returned to Naruto for awhile to write this. And it totally doesn't hurt that it was promised for me, too. ♥ (Kakashi/Iruka, but it's not really entirely the point.)


- Naruto - Face by namistai8 - This was a really fascinating look at why Kakashi has worn the mask throughout different periods of his life, in some ways that reason changes, and in some other ways it hasn't. I like it because the narrative fits with a character like Kakashi, there's almost a hint of playfulness that's covering up so much damage, yet a sort of blunt honesty about certain things at the same time. It's a really solid look into his character and has a sort of great ending that makes me love Tsunade all the more. And it's absolutely one of the reasons why Kakashi wears the mask. XDDD (No warnings/pairings.)


- Naruto - Count on Me by namistai8 - [Note: Some spoilers for recent-ish manga events.] A few years back, I was vaguely interested in the potential of Kakashi/Kurenai (this was before Asuma/Kurenai really had much to go on in canon), but it never really went anywhere. The idea still lingers just a little, so I was curious to read this fic, especially after Asuma's death and I knew it wouldn't exactly be a happy fic. And the fic is indeed utterly heartbreaking, the language is beautiful, the Kakashi perspective as he watches Kurenai mourn and hurt and cry, he thinks of his own loss, and the author does it beautifully. The connections the author weaves between the two characters, the parallels between them, the sense of loss they both feel, it's all beautifully done. The final scene just... it made my fangirl heart just hurt, in the way that was so true to the series. (Kakashi/Kurenai that's really gen, Asuma/Kurenai, and Kakashi/Rin.)


- Naruto - Celestial Bodies by Klayter McCabe - This is one of those fics that I've been meaning to read forever, but whenever I was in the mood for Naruto fic, I never had the link in front of me. I was just idly skimming through FFNET and stumbled over the link again and finally decided to read it. It's a really solid, interesting look at Sakura and the people she loves, the people that she's let her life revolve around at various points in her life and how she's changed over the course of time. How things change and she's not just going to let history repeat itself over and over, not hers or anyone else's. I like the use of celestial metaphors, I like the way Sakura sees so much about the people around her now, I love her take on each of them. I love that it's somewhat about romance, except not really, it's about love more than it is about being in love. (Implications of pairings, but I'm going to call it gen.)


- Naruto - Behind the Shelf by Tiamat's Child - This is an interesting look at Hinata and her life and even why she felt a connection to Naruto, a quiet little piece that reflects on how hard it is for her to not be as talented as her father wishes she were and how she misses someone being hard on her because it would make her stronger and because they believed in her. The first couple of paragraphs of this fic are really quite lovely and worth reading the fic for alone. (This is gen, but those who like Naruto/Hinata may also enjoy it.)


- Naruto - Thicker Than Water by rallamajoop - I have a feeling that this is probably one of those fics that are a classic of the Naruto fandom, but that I never got around to reading because I was too busy obsessing over pairing stuff. And it took me awhile to wander through the author's page (since I was reading her xxxHOLiC fic) to find it. But now that I have, it really is an excellent fic that holds up over time, the rather horrifying thing that the Sand Village did when they made Gaara and the imagery of this piece, the awfulness of it are subtle but powerful. It's not even a particularly mean fic, it's not over the top or trying too hard, which makes it all the more fitting for Gaara's character. It's beautifully written, heartbreaking, and so easy to picture. *__* (No warnings/pairings.)


- Naruto - Letters by rilina - I love Iruka and Naruto's relationship and it's too bad that there's not really much focus on it in the manga after awhile, even if I understand why. So, fics like this are delightful, because the author just nails their not-quite-familial relationship (but certainly something very like it) and does so beautifully. The writing is clean and smooth, the little details of what Iruka knows/notices about Naruto are fantastic, and the way he obviously misses Naruto without it having to be said. Just. Perfect. (No warnings/pairings.)


Naruto: Moonswallowed by Empatheia - Well, as long as I was reading Naruto fic tonight, I figured I might as well click on this one as well. What I like about it is that the author nicely captured the sense of history between Tsunade and Jiraiya, but without weighing down every little thing they said to each other. I especially liked that it skirted that line of being possibly something more that never quite happened with them, while keeping Tsunade's temper and Jiraiya genuinely being kind of scared of her. P-plus, the ending... ;___; It's not a bad ending, it's just... if it fits with canon the way it's kind of meant to.... (Not quite Jiraiya/Tsunada, but not not Jiraiya/Tsunade, either.)


Naruto: Two in the Garden by Dorku No Renkinjutsushi - As much as I like shipping the characters, sometimes I just want to read genfic about the Hyuuga family as well, which this was a really nice piece for. It's about Hiashi looking at his daughter and nephew, the way they're strong in their own ways, each of them, and how tragic everything is, but maybe not quite in the way that the rest of the world thinks. It's got a lovely mood to it, the author writes some very nice imagery, and there's a lot of tragedy in these characters' lives that the author didn't overdo too much. I liked it. (No warnings/pairing.)


Naruto: Two In The Garden by creepy_crawly - I've long had a soft spot for reading fics about the Hyuuga family, especially if the characterization feels really spot on to me, and it's not just the usual cliche stereotypes, where the Hyuuga family is tragic in so many quiet ways. And I really loved this fic for what it did with Hiashi, the way he sees his daughter and his nephew, the way each character here is so much more interesting for being not quite what you might expect. The writing is lovely, the tone is just right for the fic, and it's the kind that makes me want to go read a bunch more Hyuuga fic, which as;lkjaslk I know is a bad idea. XD (No warnings/pairings.)


Hunter x Hunter/Naruto: Only the Names Change by Aishuu - I was intrigued by the label of a Hunter x Hunter/Naruto crossover and I'm glad I clicked onto this because it was a really interesting way to connect the two series! The use of history repeating itself and a little detail that could be used to make a theme for the story were both really neat and I even enjoyed the way a lot of the "history" was dismissed as fantasy. It makes the old saying (those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it) come true in a really cool way. (No warnings/pairings.)


Naruto: Decisions Don't Come Easy by Aishuu - [Note: This is the first in a series of fics, but the first can stand well on its own.] As I read more and more ongoing WJ manga, I become more and more attached to ideas like the one in this fic--how things could have gone a little differently for the world and cast I became so attached to. The idea here is a simple one--instead of having Itachi kill the Uchiha clan, he'll train Itachi to be the next Hokage--but it's sort of a breathtaking one for all the potential it holds. I really like the beginning here, with Sandaime struggling, how you can see how very close it came to the canon we know, but then veers off at the last moment. It's a great little read and, oh, it just fuels my interest in Itachi all the more. (No warnings/pairings.)


Naruto: The Reluctant Hokage by Aishuu - [Note: This is the second in a series of fics, which you can find by this tag.] Oh, this is only 600 words, but it packs such a hell of a punch. I love that, just because things go a little differently, because an entire clan wasn't wiped out, doesn't mean that it's going to be easy or that it might even be better than it was. The Uchiha are still the Uchiha and all the problems that presents. But Itachi is taking an entirely different path here, as he becomes the Godaime Hokage of Konoha and the field is now wide open for how things could change. And asd;lfkjaslkj shit this is really fueling my fascination with Itachi now. (No warnings/pairings.)


Naruto: The Challenger by Aishuu - [Note: This is the third in a series of fics, which you can find by this tag.] So, after the last installment, things were looking kind of tense, but this chapter... is a bit more light-hearted, if still just reeling with possibilities for where this could all go. This chapter is about Itachi as a teenage Hokage and then the introduction of Naruto into the series and, oh, it's so much hilarity, because, naturally, Itachi as Hokage is going to be his rival now! Itachi's constant headache is great and the final scene of this was just perfectly hilarious and so easy to see happening. I would definitely like to see more of Naruto in this universe, how things were/will be different for him here and to see Itachi's further reactions to him, because Naruto's definitely not the kind of character that goes away. XD (No warnings/pairings.)


Teach Your Children Well by AvocadoLove, kakashi & naruto & sasuke & sakura & iruka + mild kakairu implications, time travel, 37.8k
    After Madara final attack on the village, Rokudaime Kakashi uncovers a time-travel scroll. Now he's Team Seven's sensei again. And this time, he's going to do things differently. A time travel fic.
    TIME TRAVEL FIC, YES, GIVE ME THAT RIGHT NOW. I will give the caveat that this story was first published two and a half years ago, so the updates are often after long waits, but there's nearly 30k of the fic here and it gets the story up through the Wave Country arc, and I think it's genuinely worth reading already. When you have a series like Naruto, often times so much goes wrong or people are lost that you want to see back or just so much has changed over the course of things, that you want a time travel fic because then you can fix things or play with the potential of what might have been! You need an author with a solid focus and grip on the characters, but, oh, this author has it amazingly well. This Kakashi is exquisitely spot on, both for the core of the character being recognizable, the little tricks and details are brilliant, and how this is a Kakashi from a terrible future and that anger stays with him, even as he buries it in order to reshape the future once he's gone back.

The author does brilliantly at Kakashi's relationships with the characters around him, the things he fixes right away (Naruto's living quarters, focusing on getting more tailored training to Team 7, etc.) and the things that just take time. His hate for Sasuke and then the slowly growing hope that maybe this time he could help guide the kid back onto a better path, all balanced with that sense of something nearly like detachment that's pure Kakashi? All of it is gorgeous. And I am dearly in love with how the author doesn't ignore the team 7 dynamics or any of the team members, each of them gets their screen time and focus specifically on them. Of particular delight to me is that Sakura is an important member of this team and the author absolutely does not leave her out or forget that she's there and, oh, seeing her come into her own right along with Sasuke and Naruto is amazing.

But it's also just that the fic is gorgeously written and paced, it has all the things that would make a good storyline in the actual manga--it has action scenes even! It has training sessions! And they're interesting even in text form! It was so easy for me to just sink right into this fic and then not come out until I was done and feeling like hardly any time had passed, because the writing is so smoothing and beautifully done. It's everything I could have asked for from a story like this (especially as a Kakashi fan who loves how weird he is sometimes, but it's always... the author gets that combination of eccentricity and brilliance and deeper purpose to everything he does and that's fucking perfect) and I'm hopeful that we'll continue to get new chapters of it soon!

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