Title: A New Name to Visit
Summary: "He…" her voice was shaky and low. "He…n-never liked you…coming…on…on your own…" A Kakashi/Sakura one-shot.
Disclaimer: Naruto is not mine, never has been and it's probably rather safe to say never will be, so get over it already and just let me write my fanfiction.
A/N: I'd like to thank this really big loser for beta-ing…lol just kidding! ;D Thanks, love, and hugs to Melissa, my new beta-reader!
His gaze fell on the freshest name, only hours ago having joined the ranks of Konoha's fallen. A brief memorial service would be held later, but for now he was left alone to his grief. He focused on that name—the name that would never be far from his mind; the name he would always come back to visit.
He clenched and unclenched his fists in his pockets. His eyes bore into the name, memorizing how sunrise reflected off it. Daylight was nearing, drawing him further and further from the reality that was no longer. As if on cue he began to feel her presence creeping closer. He didn't want her to come—didn't want her to see. He wanted to protect her and shelter her from this new reality. If he didn't then they would both know; if he didn't then they would both wake up; if he couldn't then they would both have to move on.
She was closer now, in his mind he could see her tear-stained cheeks and he could almost hear her soft gasps of tentative, reprehensible sobs. He knew what she would do. She would come to him, tug on his arm and draw his attention away from the name. She would look at him with brimming, pleading eyes and silently beg for him to make it better like he always had. He focused harder on the name, willing himself to be able to make it better. He couldn't—he never had been, why would now be any different? Why would it be now that he could force reality to revert to its normal flow?
He cursed himself. What must have happened to her passed across the movie screen in his mind. She would have found the scroll tossed across their kitchen table haphazardly. She would have obviously left their home straight-way after reading its contents. Like him, she was probably still clothed in sleep-wear. She would have been as shocked and as desperately hesitant as he had when he first read the scroll brought in the middle of the night by the anonymous ANBU messenger.
He had not roused her from their bed when the messenger arrived, nor had he woken her before he left. He had trusted in false hope that he could have spared her from some sort of pain by waiting to tell her himself. He wanted to tell her after it was already set in stone; after it had already been forever recorded in history; after it all became real and unchangeable. One of them had needed to be there however. He had been the one to leave and he had been the one to stand stoic—as any proper shinobi should—as the name was chiseled into stone, despite the pain that shot through him as if that very stone was his own flesh.
She was just behind him now. He was expecting the tug on his arm to come anytime and he studied the name harder, as if to make up for the time he would have to look away from the monument and to his companion. Instead of drawing his attention away from the name however, her arms slipped beneath his own and snaked themselves around his middle. She buried her head in the valley between his shoulder blades and grasped to him with desperation and fear.
He hung his head almost shamefully as he felt her body shudder against him. Soft hiccups escaped from her as she tried to quell her shameful tears. A damp spot was slowly forming where her eyes were pressed shut against his back. He turned slightly and tried to take hold of her and bring her to his front. She whimpered like a shy, wounded animal and clutched tighter to him. He squeezed her hand reassuringly and tried again to bring her in front of him. She complied reluctantly, her grip on him only lessening slightly as she was dragged to his side. Once she had come far enough around him to catch the slightest glimpse of the deathly black stone she dove into his chest, forcefully enough to almost make him take a step back to steady himself. Her sobs became more pronounced as she twisted the front of his unbuttoned shirt in her hands and began soaking his chest with her salty tears.
His arms wrapped themselves around her shoulders and pulled her even closer to him with reassurance. He pulled his mask down, bent his head and pressed his lips to the top of her head before nuzzling her bed-tossed hair gently. A heaving sob erupted from her and she attempted to latch onto him tighter. His hand slowly rubbed up and down her back, soft words coming naturally from his lips to sooth her, the single voice of their anguish.
After several moments, her sobs grew tamer and soon they were coming in large, heaving sighs. He squeezed her tightly for a moment and let the hand rubbing her back slowly rise to the back of her neck where he gently began to massage her tense muscles. She relaxed against him, her hold on him slackening a little as she rested her weight against his body. Another shuddering sigh escaped her as his massage ceased and both of his of his arms tightened around her shoulders again.
"He…" her voice was shaky and low, "he…n-never liked you…coming…on…on your own…"
He kissed the top of her head again and lifted his eyes enough to glance at the name again.
He was silent for a moment, reflecting on the image of the silver-haired boy running up to him early in the morning, demanding why he had been left behind and then silently grasping hold of the lone man's hand, standing silently beside him until it was time to go.
"He…" his voice croaked back, "never liked to see you cry…"
She heaved another sigh into him, remembering the image of the green-eyed child threatening to kick the butt of the man she was leaning against for making her cry after presenting her with an especially special surprise anniversary dinner.
They remained silent for a few moments, letting the memories wash over them. Finally he pulled away from her just enough to look her straight in the eye. Slowly, she opened her reddened eyes and blinked up at him. He softly brushed his lips against her own and cupped her chin in his hand, looking at her with concern and empathy set in his grim features. "Do you want to look?" he whispered, softly stroking her tear stained cheek with his thumb.
She bit her lip and closed her eyes. Slowly, she nodded and allowed him to slowly turn her towards the monument. His arms slid around her middle for support and slowly, she opened her eyes. Slowly, her eyes skimmed over the long list of names—some slightly familiar to her, some vaguely recognizable and some a mystery—before coming to the very bottom of the list.
Hatake Obito the name read and she reached a tentative hand towards the smooth stone. The moment before her fingertips could brush across the name her hand withdrew of its own accord. Her hand was caught mid-air between illusion and the reality that her son—her only child—was truly dead; that Obito would never be coming back from his latest ANBU mission.
She had thought it was too early for him to join ANBU—he was only fifteen after all—but his ever-proud father had pointed out that that he himself had only been a year older when he had joined the ranks of Konoha's elite. Obito had proven to her, his father, himself and the entire village that he was more than qualified, completing almost a full year of service before that one last mission.
He noted her hesitation; it was the same hesitation he had been experiencing before her arrival: the feeling of not knowing if they could ignore reality or not. He hugged his wife closer and inhaled the scent of her hair deeply. His eyes slid shut; she needed him and his strength. "It's alright, Sakura…" he whispered into her hair, for the both of them to hear. He slid his hand along her arm and with a small squeeze of encouragement, he led her fingers towards the stone and slowly, they memorized the shallow ripples Obito's name made against the smooth, cool surface of the stone.
"Kakashi…" she breathed softly, a new flood of tears threatening to fall. He retracted his arm and it glided back into place around her waist. Her hand remained extend though, gently bushing against the characters.
After several passes, her hand slowly went to her chest. He nestled into her neck and let her deep breaths captivate his attention. Her hand slowly crept around his neck and tangled itself in the some stray strands of his silvery hair. "Kakashi…"she whispered again. His lips gently pressed against her neck before he lifted his chin to rest on the top of her head. They studied the name for some times before she slowly uttered his name a third time. He kissed the top of her head, letting her know he understood the message she could not convey, before squeezing her tightly and continuing to gaze at their son's name.
It was nearly eight o'clock before the two of them were disturbed. He drew up his mask just before their new companion took up a post next to them. The new member of the group stood silently watching them for a few moments before softly clearing his throat.
"Yes, Hokage-sama?" the older man asked delicately, knowing that the woman in his arms could not trust herself to speak.
"Kakashi, you know you don't have to refer to me that way..." The man received no acknowledgement for his response. "Kakashi…Sakura…I think he would have wanted you to know that he was successful…"
"Thank you, Naruto," was the reply as one onyx eye turned towards the blond man.
"He served proudly."
"We know," the jounin replied softly, attention turning again to Obito's name.
"Would you like to know the details?"
"Maybe some other time…" he said, as his spouse nodded in agreement before turning to smile gently, but sadly at her friend. The blond hesitated before nodding back and then turned to consider the name on his own for a moment. The three remained silent for nearly half an hour, letting memories of Obito run through their minds. Then, wordlessly, they came to the decision that it was time to leave.
"He was a good candidate to become Hokage," Naruto mused as the group slowly turned away from the monument and headed past the clearing where the infamous bell exercise had taken place those many years ago when Sakura and Naruto had still been under Kakashi's tutelage and where Naruto had put Obito's genin team through the same drill while they were under his leadership.
Kakashi's arm wrapped around his wife's shoulders and she leaned gently into him. "Thank you, Naruto," Sakura whispered, her voice finally returning to her.
A/N: If it ate my spaces I apologize..:shrug:.