Kakashi and Asuma walked in silence towards the Hokage tower. Kakashi shoved his hands in the pockets of his pants and slouched forward watching the ground as they made their way through the streets filled with happy civilians shopping, browsing and eating. Fellow shinobi walked by as well, on their way home after long or short missions. Young genin and academy students ran by, pulling pranks and getting the last few moments of free time in before it really became too late to be outside.
It was only about 8:00 at night and Konoha would still be busy for at least another hour yet. After 10:00 was when the shinobi and civilians old enough to be out at night, and young enough to want to play would come out and hit the bars and dance clubs. Only hours earlier they had planned to be amongst them. It was one of the rare times when none of their group was out on a mission, and Raidou, Genma, Gai and Asuma had planned to grab some dinner then hit the clubs with Ebisu and Aoba and try to snag some tail. The typical thing for free young teenage shinobi to do in their off time.
"You shouldn't slouch or you'll be stuck like that you're whole life," Asuma murmured as they crossed another street nearing the tower.
"Thanks MOM," Kakashi grumbled; "I think my posture works fine. I'm the one in ANBU."
"Why do you think Genma freaked out when he saw you as ANBU?" Asuma asked putting his own hands in his pockets to bring out a cigarette, light it and take a deep drag.
"I don't know," Kakashi answered quietly.
"You don't think someone in ANBU fucked with him when he was on his way to see you do you? You have any jealous friends over there?" Asuma asked trying to puzzle the whole thing out.
"I don't think so, no. ANBU wouldn't do that. No one would dare mess with any of my friends," Kakashi answered his eye sparkling with killing intent.
"Yeah," Asuma breathed out a lungful of smoke as they started up the stairs to reach the Hokage's office.
"Did he have an assassination recently? He was saying something about how he didn't kill someone's mother," Kakashi wondered aloud.
"You'd know more about that then I would. I don't get why they don't just initiate him into ANBU when he does missions like that," Asuma wondered shaking his head and taking another drag on his cigarette.
"You should know better than that Asuma, he's not a jonin. He's great at what he does, but ANBU's more then undercover and assassination," Kakashi sighed taking his hand from his pocket to scratch the back of his head.
"I don't know how you do it," Asuma said, tossing his cigarette on the floor and stamping it out before walking inside towards his dad's office.
"You know how. The village needs people now. We're still far from recovering from the Kyuubi. We need to do what we have to, to serve the village and protect our special people," Kakashi answered strongly reaching his hand up to knock on the door.
Before he could connect the door opened.
"Asuma-kun, Kakashi-kun how are you boys?" the Sandaime asked smiling as he stood back to let them back into his office.
"Dad," Asuma greeted giving a half-hearted wave and walking past him to go and plop down on one of the chairs.
"Hokage-sama," Kakashi said nodding his head slightly and going to sit next to Asuma.
"Well, by the looks on your faces I'm guessing you're not here to tell me about some new girls you're going out with," Sarutobi sighed going to sit across from the young shinobi.
"Dad, you know Shiranui Genma?" Asuma said pulling out another cigarette and lighting it.
"Of course," Sarutobi replied steepling his fingers and resting his chin on his thumbs.
"He's in the hospital right now," Asuma answered taking another drag on his cigarette.
"He reported back from his mission this afternoon unscathed. What happened?" the Sandaime asked concerned, leaning forward.
"He broke. He had a breakdown," Kakashi answered, slouching in his chair. "Raidou and I were supposed to meet him. He was supposed to come get me, but he never showed. So Rai and I were going to his apartment and we sensed his chakra going crazy like he was fighting for his life, but it was incredibly unstable. As soon as we came in he attacked us. Then he took a look in the mirror and said something about needing to look like his father and he cut his hair off. He went crazy and smashed the mirror, and beat himself against the wall, and he was screaming about not killing someone's mother."
"That's when Gai and I showed up," Asuma took over. "He freaked out about Kakashi being ANBU and then just collapsed crying. We took him to the hospital and when the nurse was going over him he started saying he was going to kill himself so someone else wouldn't."
"We thought you might know what's wrong since you know about all his missions and, well, his past and dad and stuff," Kakashi added looking off to the side.
Sarutobi closed his eyes sadly and sighed. He remembered seeing Genma for the first time as a young boy. He must have been six or seven years old. He'd come running to the front gates of the city ragged and hungry, in a state of shock. He'd had yelled at the gate guards demanding to see Kakashi and his father screaming that he had to become a ninja.
The guards had restrained the boy getting him to calm down while they sent a runner to find Sakumo and Kakashi. After arriving and promising the guards to take care of him, Sakumo had taken Genma to him and plead his case to let him stay in the village and train to be a ninja.
It turned out that Sakumo had met Genma through Kakashi. Sakumo and his wife had a love of Kabuki theater and went out of town on occasion to watch the best company in fire country. Kakashi had wanted no part of it and had insisted on staying outside and practicing while his parents enjoyed the performance. It was then that Kakashi saw Genma.
Genma who was the son of the leading actress of the company. As such he was in training to become a kabuki dancer as well. He had been sent out on an errand and he had apparently appeared to be an easy target for some older bullies who wanted the money he had been given. Kakashi saw the boys surround Genma and had been about to go help when Genma suddenly attacked the gang. Even at that age, and with no official training as a shinobi, his chakra had been impressive and the deceptively fragile young man successfully laid all five members to the ground and finished by spitting a sewing needle through the hand of the leader.
Kakashi had been impressed and went to greet the older boy. Once Genma found out Kakashi was a shinobi he had been very impressed and the two became fast friends. From then on, every time his father and mother went to the theater, Kakashi would meet Genma and they would train together.
It was during these times that Genma told Kakashi about his father. Apparently his father did not even know that Genma was his son. He told Kakashi that his mother said that his father was a missing nin and had no interest in having children. Genma told Kakashi that his mother was with a lot of men but that she told him that the only one she really loved was his father and that's why she couldn't tell him about Genma. Whenever he came in to see her Genma would have to stay with another dancer from the company and claim to be his son. He had only ever spotted his father through cracked doors and peeking around from backstage to the audience, for his father also loved to watch kabuki. Sometimes he would follow his father to a bar he frequented when he was in the area and listen to him speak trying to learn all he could.
Just weeks before Genma showed up in Konoha, he had told Kakashi that his father was going to be coming again soon and he planned on hiding in his mothers closet so that he could finally get closer to him learn more about him. Sakumo said that Kakashi told him Genma was so excited he was finally going to be able to be close to his dad. He had seen the way that Sakumo and Kakashi were so close and he figured that his mom just didn't understand ninja. Genma told Kakashi that with his help he had gotten strong and surely that was all his father wanted, a strong son. Maybe once he knew Genma existed he would train him to be a full fledged shinobi just like Kakashi.
Things obviously did not go as planned. After a few minutes, Genma's father had felt Genma's presence in the closet. His chakra had gotten stronger but he still didn't know how to suppress it. He had smashed the door open and pulled Genma out of the closet, yelling at his mother, calling her a lying whore. He had known that Genma was his son as soon as he felt that chakra and seeing practically the spitting image of himself in Genma he had thrown the boy into the wall and proceeded to brutally murder his mother in front of him.
Sarutobi did not even know how Genma had managed to escape and make it all the way to Konoha, but somehow he had made the journey. After hearing his story and having the White Fang and his son vouch for the young boy, Sarutobi had allowed Genma to enter the ninja academy. The boy was talented and once in a safe friendly environment he had flourished. He often entertained his friends by performing the kabuki that he had learned and the habit he had picked up of using sewing needles as projectiles made his progression to senbon just the endearment that the then projectiles master had needed to really take him under his wing.
The Sandaime knew that Genma had worked hard so that someday the opportunity to avenge his mother would come. He had chosen to specialize in assassination and undercover ops and had done marvelously. He had just reached the title of special jonin not too long ago in fact.
All this considered however, he didn't understand why Genma would have cracked at this time. After the Kyuubi attack, everyone had been forced to complete insane amounts of missions. Anything that could bring money into the village to rebuild it. As such, even such highly skilled ninja's as jonin were sometimes sent on quick low class missions because there weren't enough genin and chunin to spare. For the past month or so, all Genma had done were these comparatively easy, stress free missions. No one had been killed on any of them, not even accidental deaths.
The third felt old, not for the first time today. It was always horrible when one of his shinobi broke under the strain, but it was worse when it was the young ones, the ones still showing the beautiful glow of youth, and even in some ways innocence.
"I'm sorry boys," Sandaime sighed again, resting his hands on the arms of his chair and looking at his son and Kakashi. "I don't know what could have happened to make Genma breakdown, but I promise I'll do my best to find out what I can. I'm sure the medics know their business well enough to help him get through this. He'll be needing you boys as well. Especially you Kakashi-kun. I'll make sure I have time to go visit him tomorrow and see if he'll talk to me."
"Yeah, we were going to visit tomorrow too," Asuma replied breathing a sad stream of smoke from his mouth.
"Isn't there something we can do for him, Hokage-sama?" Kakashi asked looking plaintively up at him from behind his mask and bushy silver hair.
The boy looked so like his father. It was a shame that Sakumo had ended the way he had. There were so many troubled young men in the village, his own son being one, that sometimes it tore at his heart. He loved this village with everything he had. He loved all the people in it, that made it so strong. Each of them carrying the will of fire passed down through the generations, uniting them and making them family.
"Yes Kakashi, there is some thing we can do for him. We must be strong for him. We must show him that he has family here in each one of us. We must let him know that he is one of our precious people. I'll make sure I speak with him tomorrow. For tonight, you boys should go eat something and get some rest. My guess is, it's going to be difficult to see the state Genma is in tomorrow," Sarutobi said bracingly standing up from his chair.
"I wish Shizune was still here. I think she really would have been able to help him," Kakashi sighed as he and Asuma stood to leave.
"I do as well boys," the third replied quietly thinking of one of his beloved students and her apprentice.
"See you tomorrow boys," Sarutobi waved as the boys trudged out.
"So much destruction of life among my students and their friends. Oh Tsunade-chan. I hope that Shizune-chan is bringing some happiness to you, wherever you are," the old Sensei thought wearily, "I won't let any other members of our village go down the road of destruction without a fight."
Considering what he would have to do tomorrow to arrange his schedule so he could be sure to see Genma, the Sandaime third Hokage walked to the window and looked out into the beautiful night scenes that his precious village painted before him and with hope in his heart was able to give a small smile.
Ok so sorry that was short. Just one more chapter after this for this part. I was hesitant to put in Genma's history here as I plan to do a more comprehensive version more from Genma and Kakashi's view but I think it's important to the over all story and shouldn't take away too much interest from it when I get around to writing it. I hope you like my ideas for Genma's background. I have given it a lot of thought and I think it's an interesting story and I hope you agree! Next chapter, Genma, Danzou, the third and all the gang! As always please R&R!