u posted a snippet of a comic where kakashi was coaxing tenzo to take off his anbu mask, i was wondering if u would ever post the full comic? it seems so sad and sweet and id love to have the full context of why tenz was keeping the mask on and why kk was afraid that he was doing so? if not its okay!
AH i'm surprised you remember that!!!! that feels like ages ago...back in may, i think?
i will post the full comic one day, but i have to ink it and muddle through a color palette first! because ive been so busy, i haven't had time to work on it so the pencils are still at 4/12 pages, but i can share with u what i have atm bc it'd be good to refresh my memory too. be warned obviously that like, these are pencils and not a finished, ready-to-consume product, so many things may be unclear! I'll add a little elaboration of my thoughts at the bottom of each one that should hopefully help!
page one. the top of the page and the box right below it are going to be flat black—the implication that Kakashi is speaking into a room which has no source of light.
In the second one, Tenzō's pose is unclear, but he's curled up defensively into as tiny of a ball as he can manage, like a pill bug, even his speech bubbles fall along the outside of him, like he's trying to use them as another defense.
In the third, we have Kakashi from Tenzō's POV. He's just opened the door, is standing tall and somewhat rigid like he's expecting an attack, taking in the situation.
In the fourth and fifth panels, Tenzō sees this, and turns away, becoming deeply embarrassed that he's come to Kakashi for help at all, and that somebody he respects so much is seeing him in such a "pathetic" moment.
This is the panel you referenced—you can see by Kakashi's posture (low to the ground, loose limbs and no longer stiff or anticipating conflict, keeping a distance between he and tenzō) that he's not actually scared, per se. He's approaching Tenzō with the same gentleness that somebody might use in approaching an injured animal. If he's frightened at all, he's frightened for Tenzō's sake, but mostly he says it because he's having a trouble getting a read on the situation when Tenzō is wearing his mask.
It's true that like, as a former root agent, Tenzō is one of the least expressive people in Konoha, but even still, any movement of his face gives Kakashi more context than the cold porcelain of the cat mask, and walking into an unknown situation with a clearly unwell teammate, Kakashi wants as much context as possible so that he doesn't make the situation worse by accident.
Whether Tenzō complies because he doesn't want Kakashi to feel "scared" or simply because he was given a command is unclear at first, but Immediately after, he starts talking about how he's going to have to be re-evaluated for duty, and how hopsital dodging is a serious problem for a shinobi, etc, indicating that he's not really in a space where he can process emotional consequences very well.
I also make a point of not showing his full face during this page, because a full face will generally ask us to relate to the feelings expressed on the face, and I want those feelings to be as hard to read and unsure as they are for Kakashi in that moment, but I couldn't help but show his eyes when he removes the mask.
Top panel is Tenzo responding to Kakashi's command "let me see it," and him stretching his injured arm out for Kakashi to examine. The second panel should have Kakashi's hands gently grasping Tenzō's. Kakashi doesn't go into his space, and instead asks Tenzō to come into his, so that Tenzō can take his time if he needs it.
Idk, with a shinobi that's Going Through It, pushing their boundaries before they're ready is a good way to make their situation worse, or end up with a kunai in ur gut, so it's not something kakashi's gonna do. It's also, not coincidentally, the first panel we see Tenzō's whole face in (though it's still tilted away), and are therefore asked to try and imagine his feelings.
The next panel where he's observing his shaking hands is almost normal, but then the second he goes right back to covering his face with one of those hands and apologizing, stumbling in his attempt to be open. The two blank panels after that should have Kakashi looking directly at Tenzō, and then looking back down at the wound he's inspecting, and giving Tenzō the verdict "You'll be okay." (i know the speech bubble is low there and looks like it's part of the lower Kakashi panel, but I'll fix that in inks).
Then, like a record caught in a scratch, Tenzō just keeps apologizing, like he's forgotten he can do anything else. Kakashi mistakenly assumes it's because Tenzō thinks Kakashi's mad at him (Tenzō does not think this, both because Kakashi is rarely mad at all, and certainly not at him, and because he doesn't have the emotional space or skills in this moment to consider that Kakashi does feel any particular way about this situation)
Kakashi, who is trying his best but sucks at this kind of thing, is getting frustrated with the apologies, and uncomfortable because it feels like they're directed at him, even though they aren't. It's an unbearably uncomfortable position for him to have somebody apologize so profusely, especially somebody he sees as a trusted teammate and friend, and especially for something that's so clearly out of their control. He doesn't want it.
So, frustrated, he redirects. "What happened on this mission to fuck you up this bad?" the only real indicator of his frustration is that in this sentence his language is more coarse, where before he'd been very placatingly careful, and the expression he makes at Tenzō's arm.
He's thinking "well, this sucks and we're not getting anywhere with it, so I'm just going to ask what happened and get it over with."
Then we see Tenzō's full face again as he takes in the question. Around here, when I add color, the page will begin to shift green, and lighter green near the bottom.
Then, as his hair begins to lift, as though it's floating in water, with a blank face Tenzō will say that he doesn't know what happened.
Then, turning to fully face Kakashi (or us, the viewer) for the first time in these four pages he will correct himself, and say "nothing. nothing happened." But he will be green, and much like within the test tube he was raised in, he will be unclothed and his hair will be floating. The first time we're fully asked (by his direct eye contact) to understand and relate to his feelings, he will make it very clear to us the viewer (and Kakashi who is with us, listening to Tenzō say nothing happened when Clearly Something Happened) that the world he's experiencing for the moment is at odds with the body he's sitting in and the room he's sitting in it with, and that's why he's having such an incredibly difficult time processing anything.
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