A/N: This fic takes place some times after Naruto left the Hidden Leaf with Jiraiya.

The Memorial

She was there because the place marked the beginning of Team 7. She held on to the memory of how her surrogate family came to be, because it was all she had left now.

The person she loved more than anything in life betrayed the village, leaving her with a hole in her heart. And then as if it wasn't enough already, the person she depended on more than she herself realized departed soon after also, taking away another bit of her sanity. It was how she started her daily visit to the place, because the loneliness was overbearing.

She was left behind again, and she hated it. When she was there all by herself, the thoughts occurring to her were of her incapability, her weaknesses and her broken team.

He was there because he wanted—needed—to honor the memory of his late best friend. It was the only place where he was allowed the luxury of dwelling in his past mistakes. When he stepped out of the memorial site, he was a servant of the Leaf again, and a shinobi was not allowed to wear his heart on his sleeve. Every morning he spent a considerable amount of time just gazing at the name carved on the stone because he always failed to find the right words to say to the person who gave him more than just his life.

He had been accustomed to loneliness, until his students walked into his life. He had found precious companions again, but soon the history repeated itself. In a cruel twist of fate, his team fell apart and he was powerless to stop it. Yet another reason to visit the place every morning.

He failed another promise again, and he hated it. When he was there all by himself, the thoughts occurring to him were of his failures, his dead comrades and his disbanded team.

They were bound to come across each other during their morning ritual, and meet each other they did. At first no words were spoken, but each acknowledged the other's anguish even if the reasons behind might not be the same.

Time passed by, and they still went there every day at the crack of dawn. She still mourned the loss of her beloved comrade; he the loss of his prized student among other things. But when they stood before the memorial stone side by side, the only thought occurring to both of them was that they were not alone in this world.

Not anymore.

- The End -

Author's Note:
This is the first installment of a series of unrelated short stories capturing KakaSaku moments I intend on doing. The only problem is that I don't exactly have any plans (just some vague ideas), so update will come only when creativity and/or inspiration strike…