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#but he's done with Kakashi
kakairuincorrectquotes26 days ago
Kakashi, completely serious: Sir, it has been reported lately that you do, in fact, have little paw-paws and a little button nose. Do you care to comment?
Kakashi: Riveting.
Iruka, walking in: Am I interrupting something?
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panharmonium8 months ago
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this didn鈥檛 make it into my thoughts recap, but...that last shot of the five troop commanders overlooking their battalions made my heart feel so heavy. 聽
i know it鈥檚 a victorious moment in the sense that 鈥渨e鈥檝e all come together as one and we鈥檝e put our old differences aside in the face of a common enemy鈥 but just...the whole time when shikamaru was explaining the five units i kept wondering 鈥榦k, where鈥檚 kakashi; why haven鈥檛 we seen him yet鈥 and then he steps out onto that platform and you realize the reason he鈥檚 not down there with the troops because he鈥檚 IN CHARGE of them, and honestly i just couldn鈥檛 feel anything in that moment but sadness.聽聽
what鈥檚 happening right now is literally kakashi鈥檚 worst nightmare. 聽getting drafted into a second war?聽 his kids being drafted into a war, with one of them fighting on the opposite side?聽 this is every one of his worst fears come to life.聽 he wanted the next generation to be the one that escaped the kind of hell that consumed his own childhood, and now look where they are. 聽
how awful must it feel, to be standing up there in front of all the children he helped raise and know that they鈥檙e about to enter the kind of horrific landscape he prayed they would never have to experience?聽 to be thrust into a war for the second time in his life, and to this time be directly responsible for the lives of 20,000 people, when his role in the death of just one person during the last war still haunts him?
this is a nightmare.聽 this is literally kakashi鈥檚 definition of hell.聽 the conversation where he鈥檚 ordered into this position is him being asked to willingly re-enter the ugliest and most traumatic period of his life, and there鈥檚 not a thing he can do to avoid it.聽 of course, he doesn鈥檛 complain, and he never will, but the response 鈥渢hen i guess i can鈥檛 refuse鈥 is worded in a very particular way.聽 it鈥檚 the same wording he gives when he鈥檚 about to be made hokage (yet another responsibility he didn鈥檛 ask for) - 鈥渋鈥檓 afraid that i don鈥檛 really have a choice.鈥澛 he won鈥檛 turn down these responsibilities, because people are relying on him to protect them, and he cares too much about his community to say no.聽 but these roles are ALWAYS things that are forced on him.聽 they鈥檙e situations where he 鈥渄oesn鈥檛 really have a聽choice.鈥澛 they鈥檙e burdens he聽鈥渃an鈥檛 refuse.鈥澛 they鈥檙e not things he actually wants for himself.聽聽
the last thing kakashi ever wanted to be was a wartime general.聽 and the last thing he ever wanted for his kids was for them to experience the kind of battlefield horrors that still keep him up at night.聽 so even though the shinobi world in general might be feeling triumphant at this moment, i really think that a large part of what kakashi feels while he鈥檚 up on that platform is dread for the future facing his children, and grief for the future he wanted them to have.聽聽
#pan watches naruto#i got lost on the path of life#naruto#meta#it's like the universe just can't accept how he's managed to bounce back from every other thing it's done to him#'uh oh he's still healthy and well-adjusted.聽 what can we do to really crush his spirit this time'#'i know.聽 send him to war AGAIN.聽 and this time send his kids.'#'you know.聽 the ones he was raising to have the happy lives that he and his dead friends were never allowed to enjoy'#kakashi will never display a hint of struggle with this because that's just who he is but#putting him in charge of 20000 people during a second war because he's a rare survivor of the first one is just -#- literally the worst possible thing i can think of for this man's mental health#and on top of that#YAMATO is GONE#possibly dead as far as anybody knows#and apart from what that means for kakashi losing the support of someone who's been his closest partner for most of the story#there's also the fact that yamato was captured in the course of protecting naruto#and it's not like kakashi needs another thing to feel responsible for but#kakashi knows that yamato didn't just stay on in this gig because tsunade told him to#yamato stayed at least partially because of the respect and affection that he feels for kakashi#and now it's endangered him#moreover - i think there's an extra layer of grimness in the fact that kakashi's second war hasn't even started yet -#and already he's embroiled in another hostage situation#'that's what happens on a mission.聽 the enemy takes a hostage and you're faced with an impossible choice'#i'm just...honestly i am exhausted for him already and the fighting hasn't even started yet.
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silverstarlightwrites5 months ago
An alternate AU to this one that occurred to me just now
Team Seven take the mission to the Land of Waves. On the bridge, they fight Zabuza and Haku.
On the bridge, Naruto dies.
Something in Sasuke breaks, and he goes berserk. Haku and their ice mirrors scream as they flashboil in the black flames Sasuke summons forth, and it takes only a howl and a wild gesture to send Amaterasu blazing across the bridge to consume Zabuza and Tazuna as well. The stone melts underneath them, while Kakashi snatches up Sakura and flees, and it鈥檚 not until Sasuke feels the weight of wet clothes - crushing Naruto鈥檚 body to his chest, bloody and so absurdly hot - that he realises the bridge has disintegrated, and the water is burning.
It鈥檚 instinct and desperation that let Sasuke to douse the fires he鈥檚 conjured, and even then it aches and tastes like blood and acid, and he鈥檚 sinking when Kakashi whips across the surface to catch him, the moment the flames are gone.
Sasuke cries into Naruto鈥檚 chest, and refuses to let go. Sakura is cold and silent, and she neither speaks nor eats for the grim, slow trek back to Konoha. And it is slow, even further drawn out by the constant fluctuation of chakra from Naruto鈥檚 corpse, carried awkwardly and painfully by Sasuke alone.
It鈥檚 not Naruto鈥檚 chakra, of course. Kakashi dreads the inevitable questions, resolves not to lie when they come, and somehow their absence is even worse.
The moment they walk through the southern Konoha gate, there are Anbu all over them. They pry Naruto鈥檚 body from Sasuke鈥檚 arms, despite his shouting and kunai, despite the way Sasuke鈥檚 eyes ignite into blood red to fight-- But he doesn鈥檛 summon Amaterasu again, doesn鈥檛 expend the chakra he doesn鈥檛 have to try and kill their own. Sakura touches his shoulder, just two fingers, and her face is pale and hollow when she shakes her head, but it鈥檚 still more interaction than she鈥檚 allowed for the whole trip, and Sasuke obeys her. Blinks his eyes black, slumps in place, and then sags against Sakura.
She catches him, and he鈥檚 shaking, and she stares over his shoulder, unblinking, at the Anbu wrapping Naruto鈥檚 corpse in chakra-absorbing paper scrawled endlessly with Seals.
Kakashi isn鈥檛 sure what she sees, and he isn鈥檛 sure he wants to know.
One Anbu stays behind, and they instruct the gutted remains of Team Seven that the Hokage wants to see them. Kakashi can鈥檛 bring himself to intervene when Sasuke snarls and lunges, or when Sakura lets him. Doesn鈥檛 step in when Sasuke tells them to Fuck Off or when he punches them weakly in the chest - and the Anbu clearly thinks he鈥檚 simply not going to get involved, because when they try to catch Sasuke鈥檚 wrist they aren鈥檛 expecting Kakashi to move. Too fast to be safe, too fast for the chakra use not to burn.
Sasuke leans back into Kakashi as the Anbu trips, and Kakashi feels himself close his hands on Sasuke鈥檚 shoulders. 鈥淒on鈥檛 touch my kids,鈥 he hears himself hiss, and if he doesn鈥檛 quite know when he accepted them as his then he doesn鈥檛 quite care either.
One of them is dead, and they won鈥檛 be permitted to mourn him properly because of the beast caged inside him without his knowledge.
The thought makes Kakashi sick. It all does, all of it. Konoha鈥檚 abuse of an innocent child, Kakashi鈥檚 complicitness in allowing it to happen. Hiruzen鈥檚 cruelty in allowing it also.
In allowing all of it.
Sasuke has lost enough.
The Anbu doesn鈥檛 need telling twice, and they leave Kakashi to cajole his kids into seeing Hiruzen. It takes more effort than he鈥檇 care to admit. Just physically, the three of them are a wreck - and it鈥檚 worse emotionally. Mentally.
鈥淵ou let them take him.鈥
It鈥檚 the first thing Sakura has said since Naruto died - in a burst of blood and scarlet chakra - and Kakashi suddenly thinks he鈥檚 never felt anything so cold as her voice. When he meets her gaze, it鈥檚 like drowning.
鈥淚 had to. The Hokage will explain.鈥 Because Kakashi is bound not to. By an oath that maybe he shouldn鈥檛 have taken, by a promise extracted by force. Why shouldn鈥檛 he tell them?
He doesn鈥檛, of course. He scoops Sasuke up, and despises that Sasuke simply allows it, and offers Sakura a hand as they start walking. Sakura ignores it, striding ahead with her back too stiff and her hands clenched too tight. The walk to the Hokage Tower, while significantly shorter, is the same as the trip from Waves to Konoha.
Hiruzen ushers them into his office, tearful, and Sasuke struggles stiffly out of Kakashi鈥檚 grip. Red flickers and whorls through his eyes, and it鈥檚 impossible to know if he鈥檚 fighting to ignite his Sharingan or if he鈥檚 fighting not to.
鈥淚鈥檓 sorry.鈥 It鈥檚 low and mournful and wet. It鈥檚 insulting.
Sakura snaps. She flies into a rage, screaming obscenities. Her teammate is dead, and she鈥檚 never experienced loss like this before, and gods but she watched it happen, and no pitiful, pathetic 鈥業鈥檓 sorry鈥 can ever undo that. That Hiruzen even tries sends her over the edge.
Nobody stops her. By the time she burns out, the office is torn apart, papers scattered everywhere and the desk overturned. Sakura has scratched her nails bloody against the woodwork. When she collapses to the floor and howls, Sasuke finally approaches her, sinks to her level, and wraps his arms around her.
Perhaps he understands, then. Perhaps a hug - so tight as Sakura clings back that it may be the only thing holding her together - is all he wanted after the horror of his clan鈥檚 slaughter.
Kakashi catches himself wondering if Sasuke ever got that hug, but he knows the answer.
Of course he didn鈥檛.
Hiruzen explains to them what a Jinchuriki is. He explains the basic concept of a Bijuu, and gives them a short summary of the Nine-Tails. They take it blankly, too much to process over the top of their raw grief, but they look to Kakashi as if searching for confirmation and Kakashi nods. Tells them it鈥檚 true.
And then, because it鈥檚 not enough, it鈥檚 pathetic an explanation, he hears himself continue.
Because 鈥淗e deserved better. We failed him.鈥 Hears it spin, feels more than sees the way Sasuke and Sakura twitch and shrink, and then corrects himself. His own voice is like tar in his throat.
鈥淵ou failed him.鈥
Sasuke and Sakura follow him out of Hiruzen鈥檚 office, and Hiruzen doesn鈥檛 try to stop them.
Kakashi sets the pack to watch them when they all end up at the war memorial. It wasn鈥檛 exactly a decision to go there, of course, but it never really is. All eight ninken are there already when they arrive, and they encourage Sakura and Sasuke to collapse and curl up with them, but Kakashi resists. He has something else to do.
And it鈥檚 dark by the time he comes back, his kids and his pack all bundled up in his far-too-tiny apartment, but he wakes them all the same. Demanding Naruto鈥檚 body back hadn鈥檛 been easy or clean, and the results of the chakra-draining done to preserve as much of the stray Nine-Tails chakra bleeding out of where it had torn free upon Naruto鈥檚 death is... messy.
Naruto鈥檚 body stays wrapped up the way Kakashi walked out of the Anbu Blue Vault with it. Only his head is visible, and his hair is knotted and matted with blood and oil, but it doesn鈥檛 stop Sakura from running her hands through it, or Sasuke from laying his head against Naruto鈥檚 chest.
Not enough people come to Naruto鈥檚 funeral. The whole fucking Village should mourn him, the child who protected them from the Nine-Tails for his entire, short life. His loss should have been overwhelming - it should have brought all of Konoha to a fucking stop.
But it doesn鈥檛. Umino Iruka attends, and he鈥檚 quiet but he weeps ceaselessly the whole day. Sakura and Sasuke seem to welcome his presence, so Kakashi doesn鈥檛 nothing to discourage it.
Hiruzen shows up, perhaps halfway through. It takes all of Kakashi鈥檚 still-wan strength to hold Sakura back from trying to maul him, and Sasuke doesn鈥檛 fight one way or another when he lights up his Sharingan at the Hokage鈥檚 approach.
鈥淕o. Away,鈥 Sasuke snarls at him, and for just a moment it seems like Hiruzen might scold the boy, who鈥檚 been stripped of his family in half a dozen different ways, over and over again, as if he鈥檚 expressing his grief incorrectly, and that moment is all it takes for Kakashi to speak over all of them.
It鈥檚 the voice he used as the Hound. He hasn鈥檛 heard it for years. 鈥淵ou should go, Hokage-sama. You don鈥檛 want to make me choose a side here.鈥
Because Kakashi is loathe to fight Konoha at all, let alone its leader, but he knows without a doubt that he will. For Sasuke. For Sakura. If ever the decision must be made, Kakashi knows he will turn on Hiruzen in an instant if it would protect his kids from ending up like him.
Konoha would not make a broken blade out of Sasuke. It would not strip Sakura of her soul.
Orochimaru comes. He seeks out Sasuke, and the power he offers is too tempting for Sasuke to pass up - but he refuses to sneak away in the dead of night. Team Seven鈥檚 progress has halted in the aftermath of Naruto鈥檚 death; Hiruzen has tried several times to full the gap in their unit, but Sakura and Sasuke vehemently refuse to accept one, and Kakashi does not make them. He will not.
Naruto cannot be replaced. The gap can never be sufficiently filled.
And so comes the morning that Sasuke asks for their company in leaving. He鈥檚 been suffocating under Konoha鈥檚 weight for a long time, Kakashi realises that morning, and he鈥檚 finally reached his limit. Kakashi doesn鈥檛 try to talk him out of it; he won鈥檛 succeed. There鈥檚 no point. Revenge has been his motivation for so long that Sasuke will never quite learn how to give it up, and now he has so much more for which to seek vengeance.
It will only be Itachi first. After that, all of Konoha is culpable for Naruto鈥檚 death, and the endless suffering he endured before it. Kakashi is not fool enough to think he can change Sasuke鈥檚 mind.
Sakura agrees on the spot. She鈥檚 unrecognisable from the bubbly genin Kakashi took custody of from the Academy. She鈥檚 gaunt and messy and angry, and she鈥檚 forsaken her friends in order to follow Sasuke into the dark. She鈥檚 clinging to him, ferociously, in a different way than she鈥檇 tried to before.
She鈥檚 clinging to Sasuke the same way Kakashi had clung to Rin - how Rin had clung right back - after Obito鈥檚 death. Sasuke is her constant, her reassurance that Naruto鈥檚 absence won鈥檛 just be for nothing, that someone is going to pay for it. That she鈥檚 going to help make that happen.
You don鈥檛 want to make me choose a side, Kakashi had told Hiruzen, as if they were words of fucking prophecy. Because here are his kids, minds made up, choosing a side that Kakashi would rather flay himself than join - and yet, here he is too, and he knows already he鈥檚 going to go with them.
Choosing against Konoha tastes like ozone and fear and self-loathing, but choosing against Sasuke and Sakura is unconscionable. Even this, even this, Kakashi will do. Watching them die is a terror that keeps him up at night, a nightmare with its hands around Kakashi鈥檚 throat, a dread that鈥檚 getting ever colder. That this might lead to that outcome takes his breath away.
But the thought of not being there is even worse. Konoha forsook Sasuke when his family was wiped out, and Konoha forsook them both once again when they came home bloodied and shattered. Konoha has gone on the same as always, as if nothing even happened, and it always has when the whole world was supposed to shatter and didn鈥檛 - with Obito鈥檚 eye in Kakashi鈥檚 skull and Rin鈥檚 blood on Kakashi鈥檚 hands - and that truth does absolutely nothing to stay Sasuke鈥檚 hatred or Sakura鈥檚 wrath. They are young and angry and wounded, and there is no words Kakashi can say that will convince them to reject the power on offer, no matter how dangerous and untrustworthy the source may be.
And he refuses to let them do this alone. Everyone will want their heads, but Kakashi has fought and killed the best of them, and if - in the end - his only purpose is to protect his remaining kids, where he failed to protect the third, then perhaps the Hound yet serves a purpose still.
So Kakashi selects a kunai, and helps them score through their Konoha hitai-ite, and lets them lead him into hell.
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kason-nvidiade-art18 days ago
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Much Rather by KasonSama
Characters belong to @itsthechocopuff聽 and are from her fics Pulling my Weight, and Cut the Head Off the Snake聽 which I encourage you to read if you like Strong!Sakura, which I do. also, her OCs Inosuke and Yuki? are characters you're gonna love, I know I do! I proposed a question to her while re-reading PMW that asked what would happen if Yuki(PMW) and Inosuke(CTHOTS) were to meet....this is what I came up to her approval, if the One Shot she started working on was any indication xDD something I've read a small snippet of and am looking forward to reading more of! 馃憖馃憖馃憖 I don't QUITE remember the timeline of CTHOTS, I'm gonna have to re-re-read that, but I'm PRETTY sure that Sakura is about 16-17-ish at the start, then time happens and she's in the body of her child self? I DO NOT REMEMBER if she was REBORN of found herself in the body of her younger self, like I said, it's been a bit. but so while they're both kinda young, they're not necessarily INNOCENT children like Inosuke's saying....but? close enough for him lol
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depressedhatakekakashi5 months ago
And then all Ninkens arguing which one Kakashi loves more? xD
XD it鈥檚 a huge fighting that happens and they鈥檙e all scrapping until finally Pakkun clears his throat
He doesn鈥檛 say anything, he just looks down to where Kakashi鈥檚 holding onto him. Clutching him close to his chest
Sure, Kakashi loves them all and will always take care of them
But the winner is clear XD just like Sakumo bonded with Akino and was closest with him, Pakkun is the closest to Kakashi
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vegetandbulma5 months ago
i read somewhere that someone said kakashi is always late unless it's to save his kids, then he's always right on time.
no i'm not crying you're crying.
it's just allergies i swear.
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aq200328 days ago
who on earth watches the anbu arc and the conclusion you draw from it is "kakashi failed to see itachi falling into darkness" instead of "kakashi partly blames himself for itachi's actions even though realistically he couldn't do much because the conflict between the konoha elders and the uchiha was way over his head"
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panharmonium7 months ago
i can鈥檛 stop thinking about the look on kakashi鈥檚 face when all the kids he failed and sent back to the academy come chasing him down in the street to thank him
how happy they are to see him, how proud and excited they are to show off what they鈥檝e learned, how effusively grateful they are that he did the right thing by them even when that thing was failing them and sending them back for another year of school
just a few moments earlier kakashi had been feeling as low as could be and asking himself聽鈥渋s my way of doing things...wrong?鈥
but now -
to have the kids that he assumed would resent him come running after him, all smiles, and tell him he changed their lives
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...there were a lot of moments in the last two episodes of the anbu arc that had me in a very fragile emotional state, but this was the one that put the biggest, wobbliest, ready-to-cry grin on my face
#naruto#pan watches naruto#meta#(tag meta anyway)#i got lost on the path of life#the last two episodes of this arc are two of my favorites of the entire show#they were incredible#this scene just put me on the floor#for kakashi to finally start hearing that he's good for more than death#for someone who has been hearing ugly things like 'cold-blooded kakashi' and 'friend-killer kakashi' about himself since childhood#to now hear children telling him he's Good and he Helped Them and he Cares#for him to finally hear people saying things about who and what he REALLY is inside#instead of what the shinobi world forced him to be and then labeled him for#it stuns him#'...grateful?聽 to me?'#he can't even comprehend that someone would be grateful to him for anything#that he's done anything on this earth worth being thanked for#he has no idea that he's going to be so respected and so beloved by so many children#that he's going to be considered the Teacher of Teachers by all the leaf's young people; not even just his own genin#he can't imagine something like that#he's been ready to die for so long...the idea that he has a future that bright has never occurred to him#but now -#i keep thinking about that recurring line from the young killer bee arc - 'you need to find something to fill the hole in your heart'#'it can be anything.聽 you'll know it when you find it.'#this scene is the first moment where kakashi gets a hint of what it's going to be for him#the fact that he's a teacher; that this is what fulfills him; that this is what he was Meant To Do#he gets a taste of it here#the look on his face...i think this is the first moment of real happiness he's had in over a decade#it's a shock to him.聽 he doesn't even understand it yet#but he will. <3
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cooliogirl1016 months ago
One thing that I've always found really cool in Naruto is just how many "good" characters are often completely unreliable narrators. There's the rather famous Itachi flashback from Sasuke, of course, but I think the most deceptively unreliable characters is Naruto himself. For all his exuberance and apparent honesty, Naruto's actually someone who hides and lies a lot. Chief among those is his hatred. Naruto actually holds (or at least held) a lot of hatred in him for such a messianic archetype.
Really? Given all he鈥檚 been through, I always thought Naruto had made it through life with remarkably little resentment.
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padmerrie7 months ago
Bookends [3k, ongoing; AO3 link here]
book路end [ 藞bu虈k-藢end ] n. a support, one of two usually similar things that begin and end something.
Summary: Kakashi Hatake is no stranger to taking in strays.聽 But when his former comrade and friend mysteriously disappears after the murder of his entire family, leaving behind his little brother, Kakashi learns that there's more to getting lost on the path of life when you pick up an Uchiha brat along the way.
A modern adoption AU exploring various moments in the life of Kakashi, Sasuke, eight dogs, and one vengeful cat.
a/n: Did I expect to become obsessed with Naruto in my 30s?聽 Short answer: no.聽 I guess you could say I got lost on the path of life. XD
It鈥檚 the same thing almost every night lately.
鈥淚 picked up dinner on the way home. 聽Hope you don鈥檛 mind.鈥
He doesn鈥檛. 聽Kakashi knows this by now. 聽The passive hn of acknowledgement that greets him when he steps through the door and into their apartment tells him as much. 聽If it really bothered him, he鈥檇 have made it known by now. 聽What Sasuke lacks in words he more than makes up for in opinions - something he鈥檚 never short of.
The dogs, at the very least, are happy to see him. 聽
鈥淵es, yes, I missed you too,鈥 Kakashi says a little exasperatedly, holding the takeout bags out of reach for their overly excitable noses and trying to return their enthusiastic welcome without the use of his hands. 聽Sasuke stays seated at the table, pouring over a textbook, and decidedly choosing not to offer any assistance. 聽Beside him, Pakkun, the oldest and most loyal of his four-legged companions, raises his head from his crossed front paws. 聽Sleepy eyes meet Kakashi鈥檚 for a moment, blink, then slip shut as he lowers his head and goes back to his nap.
Loyal, indeed.
It takes Kakashi a minute to break through the wall of dogs barricading him against the door after slipping off his shoes. 聽They follow at his heels as he crosses over to the kitchen, tossing the keys onto the counter island that overlooks the living room before setting down the bags of food.
鈥淚 thought we鈥檇 go a little greasy tonight,鈥 Kakashi continues, starting to unpack the bags. 聽The small apartment is quickly filled with the sinful smell of fried food and seasoned vegetables. 聽The dogs eagerly circling his feet quickly devolve into a panting mess. 聽
鈥淲e鈥檝e talked about this,鈥 Kakashi chastises Biscuit, who is not nearly tall enough to reach the counter but nevertheless tries, standing on his short hind legs and nose snuffling frantically back and forth along the edge of the counter like it's being pulled by an invisible fishing line. 聽He鈥檚 going to have to deal with them first if there鈥檚 to be any chance of getting the food safety to the table.
鈥淗ey, give me a hand, will ya?鈥 he calls to Sasuke as he wades through the dogs to get to the cabinet with the cups and plates. 聽They get impossibly more hysterical at the sound of the clinking dishes, a tell-tale sign that they鈥檙e almost close to the main event. 聽This isn鈥檛 the first time it鈥檚 occurred to Kakashi that this apartment is too small for two people, let alone eight dogs.
鈥淥h, for the love of- Sasuke.鈥 聽
Sasuke, it turns out, isn鈥檛 listening - or so it would appear given that Kakashi鈥檚 appearance hasn鈥檛 prompted anything but deafening nothing since he walked through the door. 聽However, Kakashi has lived with Sasuke for a couple years and observed him for longer. 聽He鈥檚 learned to read the subtle shifts in the boy's silences. 聽Sasuke has so much to say if one takes the time to listen.
Sating his (and the dogs鈥) appetite suddenly doesn鈥檛 seem so pressing.
鈥淎lright, have at it,鈥 Kakashi relents, dumping the contents of one of the take-out cartons onto the plate and setting it down at his feet for the dogs to fight over. 聽He鈥檒l clean up the mess later. 聽For now, he grabs the carton of udon, a pair of chopsticks, and leaves the dogs to their feast, carefully stepping over them and making his way out to Sasuke.
He sits down, looking far more relaxed than his much younger counterpart. 聽Sasuke鈥檚 eyes remain downturned and concentrated on his homework. 聽Kakashi lets him be and turns his attention to his food. 聽He can multi-task after all. 聽He breaks apart his chopsticks and opens the carton, then picks at the noodles a bit before twirling them around and raising a helping into his mouth. 聽It doesn鈥檛 quite pack the punch he鈥檇 been fantasizing about on his walk home from the shop. 聽
鈥淭rouble with homework?鈥 Kakashi eventually asks, his tone light.
The pen in Sasuke鈥檚 hand stills. 聽Then, after a moment - and without meeting his gaze - Sasuke slides a folder across the table with his free hand.
Kakashi鈥檚 chewing slows and he looks over his carton. 聽Sasuke is content with providing no further explanation, already pursuing his assignment like nothing happened.
Kakashi doesn鈥檛 need to read past the over-the-top swirly cursive heading to know what鈥檚 soured Sasuke鈥檚 mood. 聽The pink and read hearts dotting the top of the single sheet of paper tucked neatly in the folder鈥檚 pocket are a dead giveaway. 聽He shuts the folder, then picks up the carton and digs into his noodles a little more enthusiastically than before.
鈥淪o鈥 it鈥檚 that time of year, huh?鈥
Sasuke makes no indication that he鈥檚 heard his question. 聽Kakashi understands. 聽He would have had a similar reaction at his age. 聽But he鈥檇 like Sasuke to be different.
鈥淪hould be simple enough,鈥 he goes on, surreptitiously glancing up from his carton, but Sasuke is stubborn. 聽And naive. 聽Because Sasuke has already given himself up. 聽
In some ways, Sasuke is exceptionally mature for his age. 聽But at the end of the day, he is still a twelve-year-old boy and not immune to acting as such. 聽He鈥檚 not above shutting himself up in his room and blaring his music at some wholly unnecessary volume until neighbors get involved (鈥淭his is the only apartment complex in Konoha that will take 8 dogs,鈥 Kakashi is reduced to shouting through the door in his bathrobe and slippers at 1 in the morning. 聽鈥淎re you trying to get us kicked out?鈥), or staying out much too late roaming the streets and only slipping through his bedroom window when he thinks Kakashi is in bed (He鈥檚 not. 聽He鈥檚 (once again) in his bathrobe and slippers waiting outside his bedroom door and prepping a lecture that is sure to be ill-received.)
In other words, if he truly wanted to avoid facing Kakashi, he wouldn鈥檛 be here. 聽
So Kakashi waits.
And waits.
And waits.
鈥淟ook, Sasuke-鈥
鈥淚t鈥檚 so- annoying.鈥
Sasuke glowers at the space in front of him, refusing to look at Kakashi. 聽It was a slip, one he quickly recovers from, however.聽 The grip around his pen tightens and he attacks the page in front of him with conviction. 聽He鈥檚 clearly annoyed. 聽With himself, with the predicament Iruka has so unjustly put him in. 聽Kakashi allows him a couple sentences to take his frustration out on his assignment before moving forward.
鈥淚 think it鈥檚 nice.鈥
Sasuke drops his pen and his head snaps up.
鈥淣ice?鈥 聽He says the word with such fierce disdain that Kakashi can鈥檛 help but chuckle. 聽He merely picks at his noodles with amusement. 聽
鈥淣ice??鈥 Sasuke repeats, eyes narrowing incredulously. 聽鈥淎s if you would have ever lowered yourself to something so meaningless.鈥
Kakashi chews thoughtfully. 聽He鈥檚 not wrong. 聽Still, he simply shrugs.
鈥淪ure, it鈥檚 a little silly. 聽But there are very few things in life that are truly meaningless. 聽What holds no value to one person could mean the world to another.鈥 聽He pauses. 聽The intensity of Sasuke鈥檚 stare doesn鈥檛 waver. 聽鈥淭here鈥檚 nothing wrong with building relationships among your peers and having a little fun. 聽A hard word for you, I know,鈥 he adds dryly, poking at a mushroom, 鈥淏ut give it a shot. 聽These opportunities won鈥檛 be around forever.鈥
鈥淚 don鈥檛 even like these people,鈥 Sasuke mutters with a bitterness that most adults would find unnerving coming from a 12-year-old.
(He knows; his colleagues have told him as much.)
鈥淭hat鈥檚 not true. 聽You have Naruto and Sakura-鈥
鈥淎nnoying and annoying-er.鈥
Kakashi frowns a little at that. 聽He sets the carton aside. 聽鈥淟ook, I鈥檓 going to tell you what I told you last year. 聽If you really don鈥檛 want to do this, I鈥檓 not going to make you. 聽I鈥檒l understand鈥 but your friends might not. 聽And despite what you say, when your classmates come to you with their cards, I think you鈥檙e going to realize too late that you might like to give them something in return.鈥 聽
Kakashi lets the words sink in. 聽Sasuke鈥檚 expression is unreadable. 聽It takes some time - a long time, really - but eventually, his shoulders slump forward, and after a tense moment, he relents.
鈥淕ood,鈥 Kakashi says, satisfaction evident in his tone. 聽鈥淚 think we still have supplies leftover from last year somewhere in here,鈥 he muses aloud, rising from the table and disappearing into the hall that leads to their respective bedrooms. 聽The sound of him rummaging around in the hall closet fills the air until eventually a pleased Ah interrupts the silence. 聽When Kakashi returns cradling an assortment of craft supplies in his arms, Sasuke looks as though he鈥檚 already regretting his decision. 聽
鈥淗ere, I鈥檒l even do it with you,鈥 Kakashi says in a show of solidarity once he spreads out his findings on the table. 聽There鈥檚 still several paper heart cut-outs leftover from the previous year. 聽Kakashi鈥檚 hand hovers thoughtfully over the pile before making his selection and pulling them towards his end of the table. 聽
A sharp, derisive snort comes from the seat next to him. 聽Kakashi looks up.
鈥淭here鈥檚 no way you have that many people to give valentines to,鈥 Sasuke retorts with all the bluntness of a kunai knife.
Kakashi blinks at him, then peers down at the pile, a puzzled frown tugging at his brow underneath his silver fringe like Sasuke鈥檚 right. 聽That he鈥檚 made some sort of horrible mistake. 聽A split-second later, his expression clears. 聽
鈥淎ctually,鈥 he replies, reaching across the table and grabbing an additional heart, 鈥淚 missed one. 聽How could I forget my most cherished pup?鈥 聽He shakes his head somberly, giving Sasuke a meaningful look. 聽
It takes Sasuke a moment to understand.
鈥淵ou鈥檙e making valentines for the dogs.鈥 聽It鈥檚 not a question, and there鈥檚 no mistaking what he thinks about that. 聽
鈥淲ell,鈥 Kakashi acquiesces, eyes crinkling, 鈥淚 can鈥檛 play favorites.鈥
They hold each other鈥檚 gaze. 聽Despite the pleasant smile Kakashi puts forward, Sasuke鈥檚 eyes remain cold and unfeeling. 聽 聽
In the end, Kakashi exhales a patient breath. 聽
鈥淕o get dinner, Sasuke.鈥
It's going to be a long night.
* * *
It鈥檚 when he鈥檚 sorting through his mail on Valentine鈥檚 Day that Kakashi runs into Iruka.
鈥淵o.鈥 聽The word is barely out of his mouth before being promptly met with an angry grunt, after which Iruka slams his apartment door shut so violently that the decorative Cupid hanging there falls to the floor. 聽
Kakashi slow-blinks down the empty hallway, hand halfway raised in greeting. 聽With a small shake of his head, he sticks the mail under his arm and digs into his pocket for his keys.
The dogs are on him the instant he opens the door. 聽Unfazed, he glances around the apartment expecting to hear the sounds of Sasuke鈥檚 self-imposed banishment to his room, the kind that expressly tells him that under no circumstances is he to be disturbed. 聽Only there鈥檚 no pulsating bass. 聽It鈥檚 quiet. 聽And Sasuke鈥檚 not in his room but on the couch by the open sliding glass door, back propped against a slumbering Bull and a book open in his lap. 聽He surprises Kakashi further when he deigns to look up.
鈥淗ey,鈥 Kakashi greets back, closing the door behind him. 聽It should be a welcomed sight, but he can鈥檛 help but feel a little wary. 聽It鈥檚 not often that he sees Sasuke so... at peace. 聽 聽 聽
He walks over to the kitchen and drops the mail on the counter beside what can only be the fruits of his and Sasuke鈥檚 labor. 聽He smiles to himself.
Popular as ever, I see.
With a sense of satisfaction, he sifts through the sizable pile of valentines, familiar names popping out at him. 聽He pauses on one in particular. 聽Sakura鈥檚 careful craftsmanship stands out from the rest, the evidence of her feelings clear as day. 聽Kakashi only hopes that Sasuke didn鈥檛 say anything unkind. 聽
Naruto鈥檚 stands out too - though, for entirely different reasons.
鈥淚 see Naruto鈥檚 scissor skills haven鈥檛 improved.鈥 聽With two fingers, Kakashi picks up the pitiful thing and gives it a good once over. 聽He can only assume that it was supposed to be a heart, though he can鈥檛 be sure. 聽It鈥檚 a sharp contrast to Sakura鈥檚, which Kakashi knows she probably spent days laboring over. 聽A glob of glitter glue drips from Naruto鈥檚 abstract creation pinched between his fingers and drops onto the counter. 聽He shakes his head and hangs it up on the fridge anyway, Sakura鈥檚 joining soon after. 聽He lingers on them for a moment, eyes crinkling with a familiar fondness before he turns away to join Sasuke in the living room. 聽
鈥淚 take it everything went well today,鈥 he says, plopping down onto the adjoining couch and humming contentedly when he props his feet on the coffee table and leans back. 聽Pakkun leaps up and settles himself next to him, a low, warm growl rumbling underneath his hand when he begins to massage his wrinkled head.
鈥淵ou could say that.鈥 聽Sasuke has his back to him, but Kakashi detects something in his voice.
There鈥檚 a pause before Sasuke shuts his book and looks over his shoulder at Kakashi. 聽鈥淟et鈥檚 just say I got what I wanted for Valentine鈥檚 Day.鈥
What Sasuke wanted for Valentine鈥檚 Day was for all its practices to be dismantled and done away with for the greater good of humanity - or so he claimed in a rare moment of awakeness on their way to the academy that morning. 聽Somehow Kakashi doesn鈥檛 think exchanging a couple valentines with his classmates is responsible for this drastic - some may say, miraculous - shift in perspective. 聽
鈥淭his wouldn鈥檛 have anything to do with Iruka, would it?鈥 聽He jerks his thumb at the door. 聽鈥淚 just ran into him in the hallway and he didn鈥檛 look too happy.鈥
The corner of Sasuke鈥檚 mouth twitches, but he only shrugs, facing forward and cracking open his book once more.
Kakashi exchanges a look with Pakkun whose doleful eyes stare up at him, equally suspicious and, if he鈥檚 not mistaken, wholeheartedly unimpressed. 聽With some reluctance, Kakashi swings his legs off the coffee table and gets to his feet in one languid motion. 聽He crosses the short distance to where Sasuke sits, plucking the book out of his hands as he comes up behind him.
鈥淚鈥檇 like your undivided attention for this if you don鈥檛 mind,鈥 Kakashi says calmly, perching himself on the arm of the couch, one foot on the ground, the other propped on the seat cushion. 聽Sasuke glares at him resentfully, but keeps his mouth shut, albeit with the air of one whose time is being profoundly wasted.
鈥淥k,鈥 Kakashi starts, folding his arms across his chest. 聽鈥淲hat happened at school today?鈥
鈥淣othing,鈥 Sasuke repeats, drawing out the word. 聽When Kakashi continues to stare at him, he huffs in irritation. 聽鈥淭ch, I didn鈥檛 do anything.鈥 聽
鈥淚 didn鈥檛 say you did,鈥 Kakashi replies smoothly. 聽鈥淗owever, it鈥檚 not like you to take pleasure at Iruka鈥檚 expense. 聽I thought you liked Iruka.鈥
There鈥檚 a pause. 聽Sasuke averts his eyes out the window, uncomfortable. 聽A gentle breeze rustles the overgrown jungle habitating the balcony. 聽
鈥淵eah, I do,鈥 he confirms grudgingly.
鈥淥k,鈥 Kakashi continues ever so patiently, 鈥渟o what鈥檚 got you in such a good mood?鈥
There鈥檚 another long pause. 聽However, this time it鈥檚 Kakashi who breaks the silence. 聽The answer hits him over the head and leaves him feeling - if he鈥檚 perfectly honest - like a fool.
鈥淲hat did Naruto do this time?鈥
Sasuke hasn鈥檛 looked away from the window, but Kakashi sees a flicker of something cross his face.
Sasuke mulls it over, then simply relies, 鈥淣aruto was very generous with his valentines this year."
An image of the limp heart dripping with barely dried glue on their fridge comes to Kakashi鈥檚 mind. 聽鈥淗ow generous are we talking?鈥
鈥500 ry艒 worth.鈥
Kakashi can see where this is going. 聽He suppresses a sigh.
鈥淎nd where on earth did Naruto get the money for such a selfless gesture?鈥
Sasuke鈥檚 eyes slide to meet Kakashi鈥檚. 聽鈥淚ruka.鈥
A flash of annoyance flares in Sasuke鈥檚 dark eyes, again, like he鈥檚 wasting his time. 聽In fairness, he is; the answer is obvious. 聽
Kakashi leans his head back against the bookshelf behind him and briefly closes his eyes. 聽A sigh falls heavily from his lips.
鈥淲ell, as long as he doesn鈥檛 come knocking on our door looking for money鈥︹ 聽He glances down at Sasuke. 聽鈥淲as it worth it, at least?鈥
鈥淲as what worth it?鈥
鈥淲hatever it was that constituted stealing 500 ry艒?鈥
Sasuke鈥檚 eyes narrow almost imperceptibly, but his reply is void of any feeling. 聽鈥淗ow should I know? 聽I鈥檓 not Sakura. 聽Now, do you mind? 聽I was in the middle of something.鈥 聽He holds out his hand then, waiting.
Kakashi regards him with patience, not entirely content to end the conversation there. 聽It鈥檚 the familiar way in which Sasuke holds his hand out to him that cautions him to hold back. 聽Patience, it whispers. 聽Remember how you found him. 聽Reading. 聽At peace. 聽At home.
He hands the book to Sasuke, who takes it without thanks, and thinks as he watches him leaf through its pages and settle against Bull that he could do with some light reading too.
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depressedhatakekakashi6 months ago
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Kumo Kakashi: *see鈥檚 this Ibiki* ok, that鈥檚 cute. I can handle that.
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Kumo Kakashi *see鈥檚 this Ibiki* oh oh no鈥 is this love???
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misfitmccoward4 months ago
there's this genre of fic where the whole story is just pointing out a character's flaws and weaknesses, and then sometimes the point is they go on to correct those flaws (a lot of BAMF!Sakura fics) and sometimes the point is that the reader/writer just gets to be satisfied they've roasted a character they think is overhyped. The format is usually some character the writer believes is worth their hype in terms of power and intellect just like.... spontaneously monologuing at the character, sometimes comparing the character to another character the writer believes deserved to be treated better by canon or popular fanon.... e.g., fics where Kakashi is spontaneously just very mean to either Sakura or Sasuke and then hypes up Naruto, or there's a fic somewhere where Orochimaru stops in the middle of the Forest of Death to tell the genin they all suck except for Naruto for some reason.
anyway i always just think it's really fun that most of the time the roasting just boils down to, like. "Your fatal flaw is that you're fucking twelve, you preteen piece of SHIT. Get wreckt."
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