A Broken Past (A pre-Kakashi Gaiden fanfic)
Hatake Sakumo nervously paced across the floor in the waiting area. He was filled with anxiety and a little fear┘a young male nurse quietly approached him. "Sakumo-sama? It gives me pleasure to announce that you are the father of a healthy baby boy." Sakumos mouth dropped. Even though he had expected this, he was still surprised. He knew he would be. A great joy filled his heart and he beamed. "If you want, we can see how your wife and child are doing..." Sakumo nodded, with thankfulness. Ame is all right, he thought with pleasure, and now we are blessed with a son!
Hatake Ame, wife of Hatake Sakumo, gently hummed a sweet soft lullaby, all the while cradling a small bundle. Sakumo quietly entered the room and kneeled beside the bed. "Are you alright?" he asked her first.
"Oh, I'm fine; never better, in fact." Sakumo gave a smile, and then turned to look at the small bundle. Ame opened up the blue blanket and revealed a small, silver-haired baby, sleeping quietly in his mother's arms. "He looks just like me!" Sakumo commented after a moment. "Yes...and he makes me think of a scarecrow." "Ha! You're joking! You always are, you know?" Ame giggled. "No I'm not, silly! He's just like you..." Her face became mischievous. "Well, why not?" "Why not what?" "Name him Scarecrow." Sakumo stifled a laugh. "D-Don't you think that's a little...a little--"
"A little awkward? I think it'll suit him just fine, right...Mister Crop?" Sakumo blinked. Defeat. He smiled once again. "Alright, alright, you win. We'll name him Scarecrow." He winked at his wife. "Sometimes I really hate it when you do this to me." Ame shrugged and giggled. "Well, that's just how I am! You should have been used to it by now, you know." Sakumo turned back to his son, his eyes filled with love and attention. Scarecrow, he thought with amusement. Farmland Scarecrow. Hatake Kakashi.
When Kakashi had become two years old, Sakumo decided to show his young son the village and what possible future awaited him. "Kakashi-kun, get dressed. We're going to go for a walk today." Sakumo helped Kakashi to dress warmly, as autumn had arrived. Ame kissed Sakumo affectionately and embraced Kakashi. Sakumo then picked Kakashi up and let him cling on his back, with his arms embraced around his neck.
"Please be careful now, both of you!" Ame called after them.
"Oh, don't worry, we'll be just fine!" Sakumo began showing Kakashi the buildings that made up the Hidden Leaf Village, and explained to him what their purpose was. He showed him the many restaurants, bookstores, homes, and the ninja academy. Sakumo then stopped, facing the great Stone Faces, which overlooked the entire village. Sakumo gently lifted Kakashi down.
"What is it, Father?" Kakashi asked quietly, wondering why his father had lapsed into silence.
Sakumo pointed at the Great Faces. "Do you see the cliff, with the faces engraved on it?" Kakashi momentarily glanced at the faces and then turned back to his father. "Yes, sir." "Do you know who they are?" "No, sir." "They are images of our redeemed Lord Hokage, both in the past, and in the present. As the generations pass, there will be future Hokage that will be carved here, on this mountain. It is these people that make our village safe, and peaceful, and they will do anything to keep it that way." "Father?" "Yes?" "What do you do?" "Oh, me? I'm one of the many people who help the Hokage keep this village safe and peaceful, like it is now. I am a ninja, and you, my son, may become one too." Kakashi's sleepy eyes, which reminded Sakumo so much of his own, shown with admiration. "Really?" "Sure. But first, you'd have to go to school, and learn the basics of the ninja world...when you're a tad bit older, anyway." "Why can't you teach me?" Sakumo chuckled and patted Kakashi's silver hair. "I can teach you many things, Kakashi, and I will. But there are many things that you will also learn in a classroom as well." Kakashi gazed up at the cliff, and then back at Sakumo. "Then...I'll work hard so that you can train me!" He replied, excited. Sakumo couldn't help but smile with pride.
Sakumo and Kakashi continued walking through the streets the Hidden leaf Village. Kakashi looked wide-eyed at the colorful buildings and people walking to and fro on the streets as well. Kakashi especially noticed that some people greeted his father in a rather submissive way, saying: "Ah! Good afternoon, Sakumo-sama!" and "Lovely weather today, isn't it Sakumo-sama?" One woman came up to Sakumo and greeted him...and noticed Kakashi. "Sakumo-sama! Is this your little boy? This is his first time out, isn't it? My goodness, but he looks just like you!" She smiled warmly at Kakashi. "You should be proud, young man! What is his name?" "His name is Kakashi," Sakumo stated proudly.
"Kakashi..." The woman chuckled softly and turned back to Kakashi. "But doesn't that suit you so well? Here, I have a present for you, young Kakashi-kun..." The woman dugged into her pockets and took out a small, white shuriken. "It's only a toy," the woman admitted, "but I'm sure that at your age, you can practice with it?" Kakashi studied the toy shuriken with eagerness and smiled at the woman. "Thank you, ma'am!" "Such a polite gentleman, too! You are indeed the son of Sakumo! Ah, you're so cute!" The woman patted Kakashi's hair once more and then bowed respectfully to his father. "Thank you for your patience, Sakumo-sama. And goodbye, little ninja boy." With a smile, the woman walked away.
It wasn't until shortly after that Kakashi asked: "Father, why do people come up at you and greet you like that?" Sakumo didn't reply for a few minutes, then he threw back his head and laughed. "I suppose you could say they admire me. I don't like admitting it myself, but it is rather obvious isn't it?" "Yes...yes, it is." "Oh, there's nothing to worry about. To me, it's as if the people wish me good luck, when they say things like that. I guess you could say that it gives me...motivation. Not that a ninja needs people greeting him like a hero to have motivation; as long as you have a goal worth completing, stick to it. Never fall back, even if you fall. Do you understand?" "Yes, Father, I understand." Sakumo studied Kakashi's face, and saw that despite how young Kakashi was, he did understand. Sakumo allowed himself a moment of pride; it was every father's dream for a son to walk in his footsteps and become as he had become. At least, that's how he always thought of it. He never bothered to ask any other fathers what they thought, but, still, it didn't seem to matter to him.
When evening began its approach, Sakumo took Kakashi to one last location; one that he thought was very important. Sakumo stared at the ninja memorial stone, in the training area. "Kakashi..." He softly began. "Yes?" Kakashi whispered, knowing from Sakumo's voice that this was a very special or important place; perhaps even more important than the Great Faces. "Look very carefully at the stone...can you see what this stone represents?" Kakashi studied the stone carefully; being only two, he had not studied kanji or reading just yet. Still, there were arranged as if--
"Names?" Kakashi asked quietly. "Yes. This stone shows all the names of the ninja who died to protect this village. They are the greatest heroes that ever existed, because they put their love of the village and its people above the love of oneself. You see, Kakashi, loving yourself will never be mankind's number one life priority. Not unless they are selfish. No, we must show love and kindness towards others and protect them with that love, no matter what the cost. That is what those heroes showed, Kakashi. That is why they are honored by having their names written on this stone, so that people will remember and reflect on their sacrifice. You understand?" "Yes."
"Sometimes...I...I come here and try to think about what their last moments must have been. To forever leave their loved ones here on this earth, while they believed they were doing the right thing. I sometimes ponder if they are watching us from Heaven." "Heaven?" Sakumo smiled. "The place any good person will be, if he believed that what he did was right and loved others, and believed that there is always One Person who loves us, no matter what." "One Person?" "Yes, no matter what horrible experiences you may be come across, there will be a special Friend who will help you through that time." Kakashi looked at the stone. "It's rather dreary..." He said.
"Ah, well, it is a memorial stone to the dead." He chuckled. "What else did you expect?"
Ame smiled as she heard Sakumo and Kakashi come inside the house. "Well, well. If it isn't my two favorite men!" She turned to them and smiled. "I just finished washing and drying the dishes, so I'm finally done for the day!" "Terrific!" Sakumo cheered, gently placing Kakashi on the couch. "Wait right here; I'll be right back." "Sakumo?" Ame paled, her voice beginning to break up with fear. "Sakumo, wait! What are you doing?" "Don't worry, don't worry," Kakashi heard his father's voice coming from another room.
"Please, don't!" "It won't hurt him, Ame. After all, it will be his one day." "But he's too young!" Ame began wailing. "He's just a little baby!" Kakashi peeked up at the top of the couch, curious to what his mother was crying about. Sakumo then walked with, what seemed to Kakashi, a large knife. Ame came in after him, terribly pale. Sakumo stood in front of Kakashi and showed him the blade. "Do you see this, Kakashi?" His son nodded with awe. "Now, watch carefully..." After what seemed like several seconds, the blade Sakumo was holding began to illuminate with a blinding white glow. "This is the blade that gave me my nickname, the White Fang. Kakashi, do you remember what you asked me about? About why many of the people were treating me respectfully? This is why┘this blade which I hold gave me my nickname, the Leaf Village's White Fang. It is because that I have worked hard as a ninja and followed my commands and doing what I believed was right, was I able to go so far. I can only hope that it happens that you become as blessed as I am Kakashi. One day..." Kakashi stared at the white light; seemingly hypnotized by it. "Kakashi, please don't take it just yet," His mother fretted. "It does seem dangerous for you...when you graduate from the Academy, I'll allow you to practice with it; not before." Sakumo grinned. "Your mother is correct...as usual." The light vanished. "When you graduate, Kakashi, I'll show you what you can do with this. But now..." Ame carefully picked up the heir to the white blade. "Now is bedtime."
A year passed. Kakashi began noticing that Ame was becoming paler and paler and not as energetic as before. One afternoon, when she and Kakashi were playing with his toy shuriken, she seemed out of breath and could not catch up. Worried, Kakashi paced back to her. "Mother? What's the matter?" Ame smiled, despite her gasping loudly. "Oh, it-it's nothing, Kakashi...I suppose I'm growing old before my time, huh?" He looked somberly at his mother. "You were able to run as fast as me two weeks ago..." He said softly.
"M-Maybe we s-should stop playing for now, all right?" She panted and feebly began walking back to the household. Kakashi followed by closely, two minutes later.
Six months later, Ame retreated into her bed. She was gasping constantly, and Kakashi was afraid for her now. He very quietly asked what was the matter with her, only to be responded by silence. Sakumo had heard from the Konoha doctors that Ame's illness was unknown; there was no cure, no chance for recovery. Sakumo would soon lose a beloved wife...and Kakashi, a mother.
Three weeks later, Ame died in her sleep, almost peacefully to Sakumo, in her bed. The next morning, Sakumo quietly announced to his son that Mother had left for Heaven, but that she would always continue watching over the two of them. Being only three, Kakashi didn't completely understand that his mother was gone for good. He thought at first that she would only be gone for a few days, perhaps even for a few weeks. At the funeral, however, Kakashi realized that she was gone...just like that. It was the very first death he had ever witnessed, and one of the few peaceful ones. Many people attended the funeral to pay their respects to Konoha's White Fang's wife. Some of the people chatted quietly with Sakumo, others gazed sympathetically at Kakashi and telling him what a good boy he was. It was the first time Kakashi met the Third Hokage, as well. It almost happened by surprise; Kakashi was staring blankly at his mother's casket, when a warm hand touched his shoulder. He almost jumped with surprise, and turned to see the Third, smiling sadly at him. "Today is a rather big and hard day for you, isn't it, Kakashi?" He was a bit surprised that he knew his name, but he was taken by the Hokage's aged smile, that made him think of a grandfather's. He spoke kindly to him, and Kakashi liked him right away.
When the funeral was finished, Sakumo, Kakashi, and the Third were left. The casket was lowered, and as it was, Kakashi tossed in a bouquet of flowers, that were his mother's favorites, and quietly stepped away from the hole. Sakumo placed a note besides the tombstone that he had written, and an attempted drawing from Kakashi of her favorite animal as well.
Now age five, Kakashi entered the hallways of the Ninja Academy in Konoha. Just minutes before, he and his father listened to the ninja instructors, welcoming them on them for their first year of the Academy. Kakashi went to his first class, and felt prepared to complete any assignment.
Six months passed. On that year's Open House night, Sakumo curiously looked around for any of his son's achievements. To his surprise, he found none. He felt someone tap his shoulder. "Sakumo-sama?" He turned to see Kakashi's instructor, Kudaku. "Kadaku, where are Kakashi's papers?" "That's what I wanted to talk to you about," Kudaku responded, wide-eyed. He looked around at the busy parents, going over their children's works. "If you come with me, here, please..." He led Sakumo to a private room, and invited him to sit down. Kudaku then went to a drawer and took out a large stack of papers, and began organizing them.
"Is Kakashi...doing all right?" Sakumo began slowly. "I mean, are there any problems or...?" "No. Not at all. Actually, there's something very important I'd like to discuss about him." "Oh?" "Your son, and I don't think this should be too surprising to you, but...I guess I should just be blunt about this: Kakashi's a genius, Sakumo-sama." Sakumo ears perked up. "Oh?" He pretended not to be surprised, but, the truth was that this was quite something. Even he had to take some time before graduating from the Academy, though he was rather young.
"A real genius, Sakumo-sama. I haven't seen anyone with his level of intelligence of such a young age since...ever. His level is beyond this, Sakumo, WAY beyond this. I don't believe we should keep him here any more than we have to; it wouldn't be fair to him and the other children if he stays." "I am flattered about this, Kudaku-sensei, really I am, but don't you think separating Kakashi from his peers would a little...I don't know..." "He'll be fine with you until we get two more children around his age and level here and graduated. And we'll also send Arashi over to you, to, you know, get acquainted with the child. If we match this wisely, he'll be a very good sensei over him, I'm sure of that. He's young, but he has the potential now; he always did." "Of course. He was trained by Jiraiya-san, after all. Although, he does have quite a quirky personality, but he's very likeable. And talented." "Which is why I thought you should get Kakashi to meet him! And Kakashi is still a young lad, a very young lad, and if he is trained by you or Arashi...chances are, we'll have quite a valuable ninja." Sakumo sighed. "It's just that I'm worried if this will affect my son in any way. You know as well as I do that I don't want to harm him..." "Well, try thinking about it, and when you're ready with an answer, let me know." "Alright." He stood up and headed towards the door, and then stopped. "Actually..." "What? You changed your mind already?" "Give him a test." "A what?" "A test. A hard test. I want to see if he has what it takes to graduate that early." "Very well, Sakumo-sama. I'll prepare a test for him tonight and let him test over it tomorrow morning. I give you the results as quickly as I can." "Thank you." The next morning, Kudaku led Kakashi to a private room and gave him a test packet and explained the meaning of the test and explained the rules to him...
Two days later, Kudaku called Sakumo in the classroom after school to show him the results of the test. "Look at this Sakumo, there are very few mistakes in this pamphlet. Very few! And I designed this to be chunin-level! He's the first Academy student I've ever taught to be able to pull something like this! You know what this means, don't you?" Sakumo grinned. "He passes. He graduates early and Arashi and I will begin training him." "Right. And I guess you're proud, right?" "Oh, yes. More than you'll ever know..."
When Kakashi was getting ready to go to school the next morning, Sakumo came in and suddenly stopped him. "You must know by now; Kudaku-sensei told you the morning you took your test that you were way beyond your classmates entirely. As of now, you may consider yourself a graduate." Sakumo smiled, proud. "We can celebrate later in the afternoon. You are now a Genin. You should be proud of what you showed during your days in the Academy, and now, you must work even harder."
Kakashi smiled, happy that Sakumo was happy. They then heard a knock at door. Kakashi slowly peeked out to see that a tall, spiky blonde-haired man with a smiling, warm expression stood in the doorway. "So you're Kakashi?" The young man said, once he was invited indoors. "My name is Arashi, and I'm going to be help teach you what you need to know about your new ninja life?" "You're a Jounin?" "Yes." "You look terribly young for a Jounin, sensei." "Well, you look terribly young for a Genin." Arashi smiled. "You've got quite a kid, Sakumo," he told him later on, privately. "I'm going to enjoy having him...I know I will." "Just be sure to be kind to him without spoiling him," Sakumo said with a smile. "I keep on worrying that all this attention from me will affect him in a bad way..." "Are you joking with me, sir? I'm sure he's the happiest young boy in Konoha!" Arashi grinned.
Kakashi waited for both the men to accompany him out, eager to start his missions as an official Genin. Sakumo had told Kakashi not to be disappointed with the mission he was assigned, as each mission would, little by little, make him stronger and more capable of doing harder missions that require more experience. Of course, Sakumo thought of the fact that Kakashi was one of the youngest Genin that had ever graduatd from the Academy--if not the youngest. Sakumo was proud that Kakashi had the intellectual and possible strength, but was still worried that he wasn't experienced enough. For that, he and Arashi would have to give him special training assignments in much of his spare time. That way, Sakumo, and inevitably Kakashi, would learn much in just a short amount of time.
About a year had passed, and now, six-year old Kakashi, was ready to take the Chunin exam. He had long ago completed the required amount of missions to take the test, but when Arashi brought up Kakashi's recommendation, many of the elder ninja almost the dismissed that single fact. "He's too young," one of the elders said.
"Even if he is Konoha's White Fang's son, he's still likely too inexperienced. I'd hate to endanger him just for the rank of chunin. It could kill him!"
The Third Hokage was silent with the debate. Finally, he turned to Sakumo. "Do you trust that your son is able to take the extreme measures and dangers that come from the chunin exams, and that he is, without a doubt, ready?" "Yes, Lord Hokage." "Arashi, do you believe that your training with Kakashi has paid off and made him eligible for the chunin exams?" "Oh, yes. He's quite sharp, has excellent physical ability, and learns quickly." "Then I will allow him to enter into the chunin exams. I wish your son luck, Sakumo-san, and hope he does his best." The Third Hokage handed him a permission slip for admission to the test. Sakumo and Arashi bowed respectfully, and both parted their ways; Sakumo heading home to explain to him the anatomy of the chunin exams, while Arashi going to his house, taking a look at the most likely Genin who would be able to join Kakashi at, or near, his level. He'll need a team soon, Arashi thought. That way, he'll begin training the way his father wants him to be trained: Knowing how to take care of his teammates.
Sakumo sat on a bench outside, gazing into the setting sun. He should be okay, he thought. By now, they've probably started the second exam... Sakumo still felt worried, though. He wondered how well Kakashi would do against older and more experienced Genin. He sighed and closed his eyes. Just relax, Sakumo, he thought. You did all that you could. It's all up to him now...
To what seemed like forever to Sakumo was in reality a mere few days. He had found out from the Third that Kakashi had successfully passed the first and second exams with flying colors. Now, he was well on to the third exam, which consisted on the one-on-one fighting matches. A small break was decided. It was then that Sakumo decided to lend Kakashi his white chakra blade. "One day, it will be your main weapon," he promised Kakashi. "And you need to know how to use it well. I think this is the best opportunity for you to learn how to use it." He carefully placed the placed the chakra blade in Kakashi's hands. Kakashi's expression was serious, but at the same time, awed. He had only seen the blade a few number of times...the blade that had made his father's name famous throughout the world. And it would be his one day... "Now, Kakashi, I want you to try to channel your chakra through the blade," Sakumo commanded, folding his arms.
Kakashi nodded. If he did it correctly, the bright light he had seen coming from the blade, would be from him. He closed his eyes, made a hand sign with one hand, and focused his chakra to his hand. Once he felt he had succeeded, he channeled that chakra to the blade, and opened his eyes. The blade was beginning to glow with an aura of white. Smiling with pleasure, he turned to his father. Sakumo nodded with approval. "Now, you must come towards me and attack me as though you mean to kill me." Kakashi hesitated. Sakumo, knowing he would pause in surprise, reassured him. "I'll be fine, Kakashi. You're quite remarkable at your age, but only if you can put your fears past you and learn to kill, you will never be a true ninja." After giving it some thought. After all, he trusted his father. If his father said he'd be okay, he'd be okay. He was hardly ever wrong, and Kakashi respected that. With the charged blade ready to slice anything that came in his way, Kakashi charged full speed at his father. Sakumo threw five shuriken at Kakashi, who easily avoided them. Kakashi then twisted his body to land a blow on Sakumo with his feet, only to have his foot grabbed. He then swung the blade over Sakumo's head, slicing pieces of his father's pony-tail. Hours of this and other types of training were how Kakashi practiced, resting and eating only when he got tired.
The day finally came for the third and final exam. Kakashi had gone ahead to wait with the other participants, Sakumo, Arashi, and many others watching in the stadiums. The Third and other leaders of different countries were waiting patiently in a higher elevation of the stadium. Kakashi and his match would be in the third battle. After watching a Sand Genin successfully win his first match against a Rain ninja, and a Waterfall ninja's victory against a Rock ninja with minor injuries, Kakashi went to the center of the arena where the proctor and his opponent, a Grass ninja, were waiting. Arashi began hearing people giggling, and knew why: A little boy, who was a mere six-year old, would be facing a ferocious Grass ninja at the age of thirteen. The Grass ninja stifled a laugh when he saw Kakashi. "He's just a KID!" He gobbled. "Are you guys just handing me an easy victory or what? You're getting soft on me?" Kakashi didn't say anything, his face expressionless. Apparently, he was ready for this, too. The Grass genin stared at Kakashi, all the while smiling to himself. "You know, kid, this whole thing is a joke. You shouldn't even be here. Maybe you were able to come this far, but you definetly won't stand a chance against me; I'm the strongest in my team. So, here's the deal kid: You forfeit this match to me, and I'll let you go without a scratch and a chance to live. Huh? Whaddya say, buddy?"
Silence. Then a quiet, cool voice said, "Sorry, but I just can't lose any battle here without a fight, from here on out." The Grass ninja stared at Kakashi. "Oh, tough guy, eh?" He planted a large katana in front of him. "Kid, you just signed your death sentence." Kakashi gave a shrug, as if he didn't care, and pulled out his father's blade. Both could hear several people in the audience gasp.
"That's the White Fang's chakra blade!"
"But...why does he have it?"
"I hear he's the White Fang's son."
"Really? Heh. If that's so, this is going to be pretty interesting..."
The Grass ninja gasped, and then took a closer look at Kakashi. "Yes, the White Fang is my father," Kakashi calmly replied. "Don't let it bother you, though. Didn't you just say that you were going to kill me? Well? Then do it. You have the skills. Do it. Just try." The Grass ninja narrowed his eyes and gave a fierce war cry and charged at Kakashi. He easily was able to evade the attack, and with great speed, was able to counterattack his foe. He threw three rounds of four shuriken, each heading correctly towards the target. Although the Grass ninja was quick, three of the shuriken had successfully struck him. The Grass ninja saw that what he was facing was, indeed, a prodigy. If things kept on going at this rate, he would definitely lose the match...and very likely, his life. He sighed, and closed his eyes, thinking of his next move. Kakashi saw this and paused as well, waiting patiently for an answer; movement or verbal.
The Grass ninja raised his hand and announced that he would forfeit. "I can't fight you, kid, I know that. You're just too...quick for me. That's all." Kakashi shook his head. "You know it's a lot more than that. Even though our age differs greatly, I've greatly surpassed you. You are no match for me." The Grass ninja widened his eyes. So this is what the son of Hatake Sakumo was like...a skilled genius, as expected of one of Konoha's most legendary and powerful ninjas ever.
The third exam passed by rather quickly. Kakashi had won his next two matches, but lost his last one. It's okay, though, he thought. They will judge all of us on how we skillfully we attacked. There may be a good chance that some of us will become chunin, even if we were defeated.
The weeks passed quickly. Then, one day, Kakashi was called to the presence of the Third Hokage, along with his father. The Third had his hands folded, and was smiling when he saw the latter come into his presence. "Sakumo-san...Kakashi-kun. Welcome again. What I wanted to discuss with you is the results of the chunin exam...I think the both of you will be quite interested to know that Kakashi has been approved by myself and the other country leaders, to be of chunin-level, alongside two other participants." Sakumo smiled down proudly at his son. Kakashi was too surprised to speak, but Sakumo knew that he was just as pleased as he was...may even more.
Two years later, Kakashi was now eight years old. He was given more and more difficult assignments alongside his father and Arashi. Arashi and the Third had talked about Kakashi's team, and they would soon see that if two young Genin from the Academy were at least close to Kakashi's level, they would be assigned to Arashi as soon as possible, alongside with Kakashi himself. Sakumo was placed on more dangerous missions now, some of them were S-rank, so Kakashi was not allowed to accompany him. The last time his father left for the next mission, he embraced Kakashi and told him how proud he was of his achievements. He also told to keep training and to get stronger, so that he could pass down his legacy to him. With that, Sakumo was gone. When he returned, everything changed...
The mission was a disaster. It would have been avoided, too, if Sakumo's comrades were not captured. As a result, Sakumo had to make very difficult decision...a VERY difficult decision. He chose to rescue his friends and comrades rather than to complete the mission successfully. With that one error, everything fell apart. Konoha suffered greatly, and who was to blame? Hatake Sakumo, who had once been the proud joy of Konoha, and an inspiration to young shinobi, such as Kakashi. Kakashi was waiting by the door when Sakumo returned. Instead of seeing his father's usually sunny expression, he was stunned to see that his father's expression was dark and rather somber and sad. Concerned, Kakashi could not stay silent. "Father? What is it? What's wrong?" Sakumo looked at Kakashi sadly, and then turned away, without saying anything to him. From then on, everything changed to Kakashi. Where people would have smiled and treated Kakashi like a treasure, they scowled at him and turned him away. Kakashi was hurt by this, although he didn't show it often in public. He knew what his father had done; thanks to that, Konoha had decreased in power and was under a depression. All that could have been erased was damaged by his father's philosophy. Now, Sakumo was paying the price by being disgraced, and the people's anger spread to Kakashi as well. One day, when Kakashi was coming home from his training, he came inside, when he heard a terrible noise coming from deep inside the house. To Kakashi, it sounded as though animal was slowly dying a very painful death. Scared, he cautiously investigated the rooms one by one, the noise getting louder and louder. Then, he finally came to Sakumo's room. What Kakashi saw would discourage him for weeks to come--maybe even years, His father, Sakumo, was scrawled into a ball on his bed, and while trembling so violently, was wailing a terrible cry. Hatake Sakumo was crying his bloody guts out. Kakashi gasped, still frightened, but even more, shocked. His father NEVER cried! Never! Sure, there had been times when Sakumo was down, and he had become a little more somber when Ame, Kakashi's mother, died of that terrible illness, and sometimes Sakumo would play he was crying, and Kakashi knew he was always kidding┘but this? This was the worst thing Kakashi had ever witnessed in his young life! The wailing and sobbing were so unfamiliar and so awful, that Kakashi, just for a few moments, wished he could embrace his father and cry with him. He wasn't used to this. But then again, everything had changed. It was as if Sakumo, the young king, and his son Kakashi, the prince, had been exiled by the rebellious people. Except, in reality, if wasn't the people who betrayed them; it was Sakumo. Because of him, the people would suffer for months to come. And they were giving Kakashi and Sakumo the cold shoulder. Quietly, Kakashi closed the door, and walked slowly to his room, undressed, and went to sleep, while all the while, Sakumo would continue crying...and crying...and crying...
Weeks passed. Kakashi slowly grew accustomed to his father's sobbing. The people's anger to Sakumo and the emotional damage it caused was so great, that Sakumo now never left the house. Kakashi left the house only for training and missions. Arashi often joined him, and occasionally asked Kakashi how his father was doing. Kakashi would respond by a sad silence. It seemed to Kakashi that the only people that were kind to him now were the Third Hokage and Arashi. Sakumo had now grown distant from the son, and the rest of the world, something Kakashi had never imagined would happen. Some days, when Kakashi needed his father's attention, Sakumo would stare blankly into the air, seemingly not hearing Kakashi's words and not even noticing his beloved son. Still, despite what he did and what it caused, Kakashi showed love for his father. It felt as though it were up to Kakashi now, to carry their burden of shame, and to make things as things once were. To do this, he felt that he would have to study hard and train as much as possible, and hope that the Third would assign him more experienced and harder missions. He trained constantly with Arashi, and he would study different techniques under him, and some jutsu. Still, he never forgot his father's lessons; he felt as though the blade and the long talks, out in the back, sitting together, sharing stories and lessons, were his inheritance from Sakumo. Not honor. The day finally came when Kakashi's life was to be changed forever. One evening, a few months after Sakumo's disgrace, Kakashi was walking through the village. He then heard his name coming from one of the buildings. Curious, he eavesdropped.
"Arashi, believe you me, that child of Sakumo's doesn't deserve to be on a B-rank mission with you! Don't you think it's...unbearable?" "Kakashi is quite strong and intelligent for his age, and his experience is growing as well, Ato. You and I both know that." "But he'll no doubt end up like his father, putting his teammates first before the priority of the mission! Sakumo defied the shinobi rules, Arashi, and I believe that brat of his will do the same one day!" Kakashi gasped. Brat. What an ugly word. Why had he been called that? He loved the village. His father loved the village prior to his demise. Why were people giving the both of them the cold shoulder for something Sakumo believed was right?
"He may have the talents, Arashi; he may have the intelligence and strength. But, mark my words; it is people like Sakumo and Kakashi that will ultimately destroy this village!" "I'm afraid I don't know what you mean." "Because of his father, the village is now in one of the worst depressions we have ever experienced!" "Kakashi is a remarkabl--" "Don't tell me who's remarkable and who's not! Talent doesn't matter now! It's the completion of successful missions that what keeps this village alive! Sakumo damaged that! And what more I believe, his brat will no doubt do the same!" Kakashi couldn't take this anymore. Hatred. Dislike. It was all about that those days...Kakashi began running. He heard Arashi run out to see him and say to Ato, "Now look what you've done, you fool!"
He kept on running, blindly. To his home, and then to bed, where he could sleep. As soon as he slammed the door inside the house though, he froze. Everything was quiet. Silence. No wailing. Although Kakashi was glad of this, he was all the more disturbed by this silence. It seemed evil to him, somehow. But why? Slowly and cautious, Kakashi began exploring the house again, quietly, room by room. Finally, he came to the living room┘he saw, right before his eyes that his father, Konoha's great White Fang, was dead before his feet. A blade was stuck into his chest; it was obvious that he had committed suicide. Kakashi stared wide-eyed at the body, all the while gasping for breath. It was a nightmare┘it had to be! But when he pinched himself, he saw that he was still standing in front of his dead father. His heart began to beat faster, his face began to sweat and sting with emotional grief┘but he did not cry. He did not cry. He remembered his father's smiling face, and the nights they spent outside, talking and chatting together. All gone, forever. When he finally spoke, his voice was a hoarse whisper. "Why...?" he asked the body. "Why did you do it...? Didn't you remember me? Why did you have to leave me all alone?" Shuddering, partially because his sweat on his back had gone cold, and partially of shock, Kakashi knelt down besides the body and slept, cuddled up besides it. Some of the blood from Sakumo's chest had poured onto the tips of Kakashi's hair. And all the while, Kakashi slept, dreaming of better days.
When he woke up, he was in a bed and blankets wrapped over him. He immediately knew that he was in the house of Arashi-sensei. Arashi came inside the room shortly after Kakasi woke up, and Kakashi told him of his father's suicide. Arashi nodded solemnly. He told Kakashi that the funeral was in two days. The funeral was small; not many people came in to bid farewell to their great hero. Kakashi thought that perhaps they were still too angry. Arashi-sensei and the Third Hokage were there, of course. The Third flashed signs of sympathy towards Kakashi and told him that it was okay to cry, if he wanted to. Kakashi flatly refused.
Later that afternoon, Arashi saw Kakashi sitting alone against a tree nearby the burial site, arms crossed. "Kakashi?" No answer. "Kakashi, I'm very sorry about these last few months. I know it must have been awful for you." Kakashi narrowed his eyes. "It must have been very painful. I can feel it too, but Sakumo--"
Kakashi quickly turned to face Arashi, his eyes filled with an emotional suffering. "SHUT UP! I never want you to mention my father to me ever again!" With that, Kakashi quickly stood up and dashed away from Arashi.
"K-Kakashi! Wait a moment!" Arashi called after him. Kakashi ran into his house and slammed the door, only to have Arashi open it less than ten seconds later. Arashi found Kakashi on his bed, shuddering with the terrible memory, shame, and a bit of anger.
Arashi shook his head sympathetically at Kakashi and sat at the side of the bed. "I'm sure he didn't want you to be unhappy, Kakash--" Kakashi stared at Arashi with cold eyes. "If he was a true father and really loved me, he should have stayed with me and cared for me! He didn't care!" "Yes, he did care!" Arashi said quietly. "He wanted you to become a great ninja, like himself, and--" "He broke the rules. He should have completed the mission first, before rescuing his comrades," Kakashi stated, almost to himself.
Arashi closed his eyes and sighed. There was nothing that he could do; no amount of scolding or lecturing would change the boy's mind. He had seen what had happened to his father, and would now try to prevent something like that from ever happening again, so that he could slowly ease the pain and erase the dark memories. Arashi stayed by Kakashi's side for the remainder of the day, but said nothing more.
A year passed. Kakashi by now was wearing a suit of clothing included a mask which allowed him to conceal his face in. Though Arashi never asked why, he did have a feeling of why Kakashi decided to wear a mask almost all the time: To hide from his past; to never again call him a brat and say that he is a disgrace as well because his father failed in a vital mission. This might have been a reason, but Arashi never knew for sure. It could have been something else. Kakashi himself had changed, as well. He hardly smiled now, and became cold with those who did not follow the regulations. Shortly, after the Third Hokage had finally assigned a team to Arashi and Kakashi, Arashi could see this in him when he would scold his fellow comrade, Obito, for coming late or for being a coward. He tried to resolve the boys in the most serious of fights, but could never change Kakashi's mind himself. Arashi sometimes wondered how Sakumo would react with his son's new personality.
Whatever happened, though, the smiling son of Konoha's White Fang was gone, replaced by a serious, book-by-book young man. Fate had changed the young lad--for better or for worse?
(A year later after Kakashi Gaiden)
Hatake Kakashi, age 14, stood in front of his father's grave. His headband was overing his left eye now, because of his new Sharingan eye power. Moments, ago, he had visited the memorial stone in the training area, where his friend and comrade, Uchiha Obito, had his name carved. Kakashi took out a small note, wrapped by a string, and placed it next to his father's marker. Even though he didn't open it, he knew what it said:
I know what you did what you had to do, and I understand,
Though it did cost you your respect, and ultimately your life. I have regained the Hatake name, which I know you would be proud of if you were here, through hard work and a special friend. Is he with you in Heaven, Father? Have you seen Mother? Does she look like an angel? One day, I will see all of you. Father, I feel if that you did not make that mistake...many bad things would have been prevented. Then again, many good things might have as well. You helped me gain Obito's Sharingan, in way I cannot describe. Obito would have not made it clear what you meant by teamwork, if I had not been so serious about my ninja life and the missions. In a way, though you didn't say anything, you helped me grow stronger, and I thank you, Obito, Rin, and Arashi with all my heart. And I will continue to pass down what you taught me. As new lessons occur, old lessons must also be remembered.
Love your son,
(PS-Say hi to Obito and Mother for me, please)
Kakashi headed home. The white chakra blade, which had broken in the battle Obito had been killed in and Kakashi's Sharingan was gained, sat in corner, silent all the while. Kakashi stared at it for a while, and then thought that one day, if possible, he could have it fixed┘ He then closed his eyes and remembered all the people that had made him stronger... Ame...
Behind his mask, he smiled, and five tears fell from his eye, each shining with love and respect for each of those special people that had taught him a great many things.