Kakashi sighed as he and Sasuke left the village for a relatively easy-ranked mission. All they had to do was deliver a few things to a country, and protect its contents. Though, this village was very new, and so he only could follow the map and ensure that they made it there successfully. He put the items within the inside of his vest and pulled out a familiar orange book as he began to walk leisurely until they got out of Konoha's boundaries.
Sasuke rolled his eyes. "When aren't you reading porn, Kakashi-sensei?" He commented, striding beside the other, hands in his pockets.
Kakashi just simple replied, "When I'm doing it." As he spoke he turned his head towards his disciple. When the last word came out he just turned back to his book, acting as if nothing out of the ordinary happened. He knew it would quiet the already silent Uchiha heir, though he usually didn't mind the boy's sometimes idle chatter, he was at a rather interesting part in his book, and didn't wish to be disturbed.
Sasuke stiffened at the comment and looked away, even though Kakashi had already stuck his nose back in his book. Sasuke would've liked to retort, and he found a couple of good come-backs in his mind, but he still felt rather speechless, so... he decided against them.
Kakashi totally ignored the boy before he started to pick up the pace a little. Though, this mission really had no deadline, it would be better to finish it sooner than later. Kakashi still was reading his book casually, and seemed not at all phased by what he was reading, as it were almost an every day occasion for him.
Sasuke frowned, kicking his feet down the dusty path in silence. He'd grown to hate silence, despite how he used to desire it. Silence these days, it wasn't good for his mental state. It allowed for his mind to wander too far... too much.
Kakashi never know why Sasuke had suddenly come back to the village, nor was he going to ask. As far as he knew, not even Tsunade had known. Sasuke had deliberately kept it a secret. Though, Kakashi knew that the teenage boy had nightmares constantly. Kakashi also had his suspicions, but he wasn't one to voice them unless absolutely necessary, and he hoped it didn't have to come down to it. He could tell Sasuke had changed over the past year and a half or so, and so he concentrated less on his book, trying to give the boy an opening for conversation.
Sasuke noticed the change in the other's demeanor, and counted it as a blessing, trying to drum up a conversation. "So," he said. "How far away is this place, anyway?"
"Pretty far away. I've never been there myself." Kakashi said, now beginning to break into a run, "But the Hokage-sama gave us a route to follow so we should be fine." He said, continuing his mid-paced run. This mission was fairly easy, and he was sure he could do it on his own, but, according to a previous law, Sasuke was never to leave his sight, and, of course, that made things rather awkward in the bathroom and at night, as they had to sleep in bed.
Sasuke nodded, picking up the pace to keep up with Kakashi. "Sounds easy enough," he said, staring ahead of them rather emotionlessly. He frowned slightly as he caught a small whiff of something unpleasant; it was a thick, sickeningly sweet, metallic sort of scent. Almost, no, exactly like... Blood? He inhaled again, this time it was stronger, he stopped. "Kakashi-sensei," he said, although he was still unsure of why he still referred to the other as 'sensei'. "Do you smell that?"
Kakashi sniffed the air cautiously as he stopped. He nodded and referred to his former (yet Sasuke still was under Kakashi's care and learning from him) student to be quiet and jumped to a bush in the side. He watched as a carriage passed by in the path. Kakashi did nothing, as they were out of the fire country now, and had no rights of stopping the (presumably) foul-smelling carriage and its occupants. As if to support his thoughts, a sickening 'thud' sounded and a slain and brutally marred corpse lay on the road as a curse was heard, but the body was left there, the man not coming back for it.
Sasuke looked away, a sneer of disappointment passing across his face. He was no humanitarian, but it still was a morbid waste of life. He frowned. "Kakashi-sensei..." he looked back at the body… something wasn't right; the smell seemed too strong… like... it shouldn't belong to one body… but many. He recognized this fact, of course…having been there for his own clan's slaughter.
"Shhh!" Kakashi hissed, holding the boy back, as he heard the clatter of another carriage coming near. The horses immediately stopped at the corpse, the owner- who was shrouded by a dark cloak that went over his head- muttered a few words of disgust before picking up the lifeless corpse easily and tossed it into the back of his caravan, moving forward. Kakashi knew another was coming, and Sasuke better be quiet. He knew this could bring up bad memories for the boy, but he couldn't help this. They just happened to bump into something, and had to wait it out.
Sasuke silenced himself immediately, mentally berating himself for not noticing the other oncomer sooner. He sat silently in Kakashi's grip, waiting for them all to pass, as there were undoubtedly more.
Kakashi released his grip on the younger ninja, looking over at the huge caravan of corpses 'what the Hell is going on here?!' he thought to himself, and he moved his eye back and forth to Sasuke and the caravan. He really hoped Sasuke didn't have a reminder from his past with all of these corpses being carried out.
Sasuke watched the caravan in some state between shock, disgust, and horror. What the hell... He shuddered as the stench of death crawled down his throat, hanging his head to shield his face with his bangs. He didn't want to show weakness to Kakashi, who was probably one of the only people in Konoha left who he respected, but this was affecting him... much more than he would've liked.
Kakashi turned to his 'partner' of sorts, and frowned. The best he could do was keep the boy distracted. He moved slowly towards the boy before trapping his hand behind his back and quickly pulling down his mask. He pushed his lips onto Sasuke's and let go of the boy's hands, patting the boy's back to show that he meant no harm. They both could use this distraction. Kakashi had never seen this degree of a massacre in a long time, and it was also clawing at his memories, memories he preferred to remain hidden.
Sasuke blinked as the other suddenly pushed his lips against him. W-What the hell?! He jumped very slightly and pulled back from the sudden contact, a glimmer of panic running through his eyes as he stared up at Kakashi. He fought to keep it under control, and managed, and in the instant that he calmed himself, and tried to cover-up his freak out, he was about to demand an explanation from Kakashi, but realizes he couldn't, at risk of being found out. He felt a slight blush creep over his cheeks at how much he'd over reacted, and prayed it didn't show... it was just.. Kakashi wouldn't've been the first one to pull something like that... Not that Kakashi would pull something like that... He reasoned. It'd just been... reflex, he supposed.
"Shh... I need a distraction Sasuke..." Kakashi whispered softly. He truthfully didn't mind having Sasuke's lips on his. Kakashi had, developed a few affections for his younger student, but he knew that he could still survive without Sasuke. It was small, but it still existed. "And I know you do to..." He added after a moment's break, moving back in, waiting for the caravan to finish.
Sasuke tried to calm himself, and mostly succeeded. It wasn't Orochimaru, and he knew that, plus Kakashi was entirely more reliable than Orochimaru was in the trustworthiness department. Although, it still seemed wrong to kiss with this much death hanging in the air, Sasuke locked lips with the other. It would get his mind off of things...
There was some sort of neediness within the kiss, Kakashi knew. It had only little emotional meaning to him, it was only there for a distraction purpose. It seemed to be helping Sasuke as well, though he was wondering what was going through the boy's mind, '3' he counted internally, pushing his lips a little closer to Sasuke's '2'' He continued and opened his eyes to observed Sasuke's face, unsure of what to make of it, '1'
Sasuke pulled back from the kiss, breathless. It was a sign he'd never been kissed properly that he didn't know already to breathe through his nose when swapping spit. Then he leaned in again, unsure of what else to do, Kakashi obviously wanted the distraction, as did he... but it felt strange to initiate things with the older man.
Suddenly, Kakashi's eyes widened and he pulled the boy away from the road and away from the direction the caravan was going. A loud 'bang' sounded in the distance, shaking the ground beneath them slightly, "Looks like they're burning the corpses...cover your nose Sasuke!" Kakashi said as he pulled up his mask and his hand blocked out the odor that was heading in their direction. Confusion was running through Kakashi's head on why all of his was happening.
Sasuke covered his nose, trying to block out the god-awful stench that wafted past them, glad for the thick fabric of his long-sleeves to try and mute it with. But there really was no salvaging the situation, he had to breathe eventually, and if he breathed through his mouth, the wretch just crawled down his throat. What the hell is going on...? He thought desperately, fighting back a gag reflex.
Kakashi continued to run away from the origin of the foul-smell of burning flesh. After a moment or two, he pulled out a map and compass to find out where they were, and where to go. He placed each object on a tree stump and drew on the map with a pencil, sketching out relative ways to get out of this area and to complete their mission, "Listen Sasuke. I don't know what the fuck is going on. But DO NOT get involved unless absolutely necessary. We need to get out of here before we start any trouble." He said before folding up the map and putting it away.
Sasuke nodded, his face looking dangerously pale, but he refused to let himself be sick in front of the other. Though his stomach twisted in tons of knots, just daring him to be ill, and that, compiled with his memories viciously assaulting him do to the familiarity of the situation... it was just not doing him any good.
Kakashi followed his little detailed directions on his head and on the paper. He had to be ready for the danger that was all around them. One hand was covering his mouth, and the other was in a position to grab a weapon if it was needed. As Kakashi expected, they ran into a river, but there was one thing he didn't expect - for it to run a dark red with blood. He looked back at Sasuke, slightly worried for the boy's reaction to this horrific environment. He knew - everybody did - of the boy's past. He hoped - prayed - that this didn't cause a fury within the boy, to remind him of his older brother. He knew better not to even mention his name around the boy.
Sasuke inhaled sharply, but as quiet as he could, trying not to let on to their presence. He wasn't about to get them killed. However, on the other hand, he was sure that as soon as the shock and adrenaline wore off and they were somewhere safe, he would have some kind of breakdown. And, unfortunately for him, he realized that he was never allowed to leave Kakashi's side, which meant, of course, Kakashi would be there when he did.
"Sasuke, we need to walk through this, the stream is calm enough... We can't afford to waste any chakra right now." He said looking at the boy cautiously. He knew Sasuke didn't like this, and neither did he, but the teenager was still a boy, and he knew that this was unnerving Sasuke. He was still naive, no matter how he may put it.
Sasuke stiffened, looking at Kakashi like he was insane. It was a small river... it wouldn't take that much chakra. "But," he began, but thought better of it. After all, what were ninjas taught? Never to question. He looked back at the river, and felt his stomach lurch again, the scent was awful. Dredging up memories he's tried to burry along with his soul. Bodies falling by the dozens, blood littering the streets. Decorating the destroyed Uchiha complex with its cruel red taint. He shuddered. But still it hadn't been like this... to taint all that natural water so thoroughly.., there would've had to be... a hundred, maybe more bodies upstream. All dismembered pointedly. He shuddered again and forced himself forward with Kakashi, stepping into the tainted stream and trying hard to ignore the warm liquid splashing about his feet. He felt himself having to force down another gag as the scent was doubled now that he standing amongst it. He remained fairly calm on the outside, trying to shut it out. His demeanor was broken only as the disembodied head of a woman, who appeared young, floated by them her hair tickling the teen's leg's cruelly. He looked away, the situation getting the better of him and buried his face in Kakashi's arm, which he was still holding onto for dear life. Suddenly he found that his self respect wasn't quite as important as holding onto what was left of his sanity.
Kakashi had looked down at Sasuke, care evidently in his eyes. He was worried for the boy, how he was forced to be thrown into a world of Chaos. As the head floated by, her mouth open in an empty scream. Blood was flowing through her mouth and out of the esophagus, like a morbid water fountain which was filled with diluted blood. Kakashi was tempted to wrap an arm around the younger nin, but another wave of that disgusting scent wafted by them again. He knew the boy was fighting a constant wave of nausea. His own stomach wasn't handing this scenario right now, but something similar already happened to him in the past, strengthening him against the disgust that continued to wash through him.
Sasuke only moved again because Kakashi's movements forced him to, and even then he didn't remove his face from its spot buried in Kakashi's arm, trusting in his sensei's ability to guide him. Which Kakashi did a good job of, it was Sasuke's fault, admittedly, that he lost his footing, he released the other's arm as he fell, too disoriented to catch himself in time as his body was submersed in the terrible liquid. He caught himself on the floor of the riverbed, and luckily it wasn't too deep, so he wasn't swimming in it, just covered in the blood-stained spring. He inhaled sharply, and almost panicked noise as he stood, shaking, it was obvious he was about to lose it. The seemingly harmless spring had become more like the river Styx, a mere flow of death, with countless lost souls attached to its presence. Sasuke heaved slightly, the bloody water falling off his bands and drenching his face, the taste was on his lips, the smell still fresh in his nose, and he could feel the cruel tickle of that woman's hair on his legs. "K-Kakashi-sensei..." He murmured helplessly, staring at the blood soaked deathbed of water. He couldn't've carried on that sentence if he wanted to, he was far too disoriented.
Kakashi grabbed Sasuke's arm and - as quickly as possible - moved Sasuke out of the river and rested the boy against a tree, "Sasuke?" He whispered with a voice full of concern. He wanted to ask the boy if he was alright, but it would surely get him a cruelly sarcastic remark and, he knew the answer already. He noticed the dismembered head tangled up in one of Sasuke's legs and he immediately kicked it away, a sickening squish was heard as his foot collided with the wet and decaying flesh. Water splashed out of the women's head, forcing one of the eyeballs to fall out of its socket but it refused to move. Kakashi then untangled the hair and threw the head away as water poured out from any hole and the eyeball flailing out, the optic nerve severing and landing on Sasuke's lap. ' Shit...' Kakashi thought to himself.
Sasuke shoved the thing away from his body, his condition only worsening by the sickening squelsh is made under his fingers. The feeling of the water logged, decayed flesh under his fingers was all it took to push him over the edge, the boy leaned over and lost what little lunch he'd eaten, letting out a dry sob before leaning back against the tree and hanging his head in shame. Some ninja… He thought scornfully. The taste of bile mixed in his throat with the scent and taste blood, which still dripped down from his hair to his face. He'd experienced plenty of awful things under Orochimaru... or even in the rest of his life. But this one topped them, without a doubt.
Kakashi watched as Sasuke was, in a way, indoctrinated into the blood and massacre that surrounded them. Vomiting was a typical reaction to a first-experience, and possibly more. It was to be expected that his disciple would go through such a process, but he didn't think it would be so, so soon. Kakashi pulled out a still-clean piece of fabric and began to rub Sasuke's hair and face down, "I puked the first time too Sasuke..." He whispered to comfort the boy. It wasn't a lie either. A soft smile was on his lips, the tight fabric displaying it slightly.
Sasuke scowled slightly. "This isn't the first time," He muttered, getting shakily to his feet. Never-the-less, he was glad for the affectionate motion, and the fact that his sensei was even trying to comfort him meant that at least he didn't look down on him for it. Which was a small comfort, but a comfort none-the-less. "We should keep moving." And get as far away from this placed as possible.
Kakashi nodded silently. He knew it wasn't, but he had presumed that it was the first time Sasuke had been in such close proximity to flesh so shriveled and decayed as that. Though, knowing Orochimaru, it probably wasn't the boy's first time in that department either. Kakashi would have offered Sasuke a hand, but it would have shown weakness on his behalf, and they were in a dangerous place. Though, if they weren't, they wouldn't be in this position. Kakashi noted how uneasy Sasuke was and frowned. He truly wished he could help the boy, but there was no way he could at the moment. Another thought dawned on Kakashi 'Has the boy killed anybody while at Orochimaru's...?'
Sasuke wobbled slightly, but shook it off and looked over at Kakashi, the man looked concerned. "What is it?" he asked, eager to move on and get out of the area.
Kakashi looked at the teen, slightly worried but still confident, "Have you ever killed while under Orochimaru Sasuke?" He asked bluntly and quietly, seemingly unnerved by the way he said his sentence and about the alliance switch. He didn't know what that snake had tried or was willing to try to convert the young male. But, he knew that the snake would lower himself to anything, it's not like he could fall any further within society's eyes. Kakashi had though of this due to their danger they accidentally walked into. Sasuke might have to defend himself, since a simple incapacitation would not be so simple with what they were dealing with.
"Yes." Sasuke said, almost blankly. He'd almost shut himself down, beating down his emotions for the sake of performance. It was a typical Shinobi habit, and one he had perfected working under Orochimaru.
Kakashi, for some odd reason, was the one who wanted to teach Sasuke how to kill. He wanted to show the boy many things. He wanted to be there when the boy made his first kill, and he felt disappointed. He knew he shouldn't be. He had a more-than necessary affection for his student, one that would normally be shunned by society. But, he didn't care. Kakashi also noted Sasuke's emotions completely vanishing from the boy. He hasn't seen it to this level before, and he knew why Sasuke did it this time. Too much was going on. But, one of them needed to stay level-headed, and he was the one able to do that. "That's good," He said, hiding his disappointment, "You might need to if we run into others." He said simply before moving again, being careful not to breath through his nose.
Sasuke nodded, picking up the pace to keep up with Kakashi. His nose was beginning to become numb to the scents around him, perhaps because it was so soaked into his clothes, he couldn't escape it if he wanted to.
Kakashi continued on in silence, but suddenly stopped and put an arm in front of Sasuke and connected their backs. He reached for his pouch and crouched into position.
Sasuke froze and assumed a fighting position, kunai in hand. His eyes darted to every angle around them, searching for the threat; he stood at the ready, and glanced at Kakashi.
Suddenly a rabbit popped out of nowhere, but Kakashi remained crouched, as he watched the rabbit through peripheral vision. He tossed shuriken at the rabbit, instantly pinning it to a tree. No explosions happened. But, after a few seconds, the once-white animal suddenly imploded, guts flying everywhere. Kakashi wasn't fazed and blocked a sudden attack with a kunai and a 'clang' sounded as metal met metal.
Of all the things that had happened that day, watching a cute, fuzzy rabbit be ripped from its happy little world via explosion was probably the most tolerable, but even if it had been unbearable; Sasuke didn't have time to dwell on it, as he was attacked as well. He fended off the first blow and hopped back, standing back to back with his sensei as he'd always instructed, it helped the two cover each other's blind-spots and still keep their eyes on the opponents. He moved to meet the next attack, suddenly wishing he still had the chakra infused katana he'd always fought with when he was serving under Orochimaru. He'd brought it back with him when he ran, but he hadn't taken it on this mission, he could live without it, and the mission hadn't seemed dangerous. Had he been expecting much fighting he would've, but having it with him tended to make people stiff. Like it wasn't just a weapon, more a trophy from his days with the snake. Which was ridiculous, to Sasuke, he would never keep a memorial to that.... thing that called itself his sensei at the time. But still it was written all over the people of Konoha's faces. When they looked at Sasuke, they saw only 'the traitor'. And the weapon didn't help much. So, to keep in his true sensei's good-graces, he left it, as often as possible. The rest of them, he didn't care. They could think what they wanted. But Kakashi, he was a different story, and Sasuke wasn't sure why...
Kakashi reached his other hand to stab his offender in the gut, though he was blocked. He sensed more were coming. This really wasn't the best of times to be here. He knew of Sasuke's weapon. And had he wished that the boy had brung it, but, at the same time, he was a bit grateful the boy didn't. He knew Sasuke's potential, and knew that the boy could become a bit dangerous. Though Sasuke had seemed to prove his almost-severed allegiance with Konoha was still good, Kakashi still had a doubt. No, the doubt was there for a very different reason. He was afraid that Sasuke would leave him. Not Konoha. If Sasuke left the village, he would be a permanent missing-nin, never able to return again. The boy was let in again, but he knew that Sasuke could never be fully trusted again. Sure, it was for the boy's thirst of power, and Konoha was currently lacking in training people specifically. But, if Sasuke left Konoha again, he and Sasuke would become enemies, they would no longer be able to see each other without fighting. He didn't want that because Sasuke was his former student, but more specifically, because he was Sasuke. Kakashi's allegiance was with Konoha, and he plans for it to remain that way. But, if Sasuke left, he wouldn't know what to do. Sure, he would probably kill the boy. But what then? What would happen to the great Hatake Kakashi? He didn't know, and he never wanted to. He moved slightly, fighting the enemy before stabbing the man's stomach and dragging it up as far as it would go and pulled out the kunai, blood now quickly seeping into his clothes.
Sasuke grabbed his opponent's arm, twisting it behind the man's back and cracking it. The teen wasted no time in taking advantage of his opponent's moment of shock and weakness, dragging his kunai across the enemy's throat, and dropping his corpse to the ground, where the blood poured out to mingle with the other's. The blood of the many people he'd obviously had a hand in slaughtering. Sasuke couldn't help but let a dark thought pass through his mind at how much the man deserved it. Which he couldn't prove, and shouldn't approve of, but it crossed his mind none the less. He shook off the kunai, sure that this kill would bother him later. Or rather, hoping it would.
Kakashi turned to see Sasuke's hand kill the other assailant, and felt a rush of pride run through him, even though he didn't teach the boy how to kill. Kakashi shook it off and turned, signaling Sasuke to follow and continued to jump away from the enemies that were surely coming to them, but still in the relative direction to where they were headed. He'd rather there not be anymore loss of human life, as it was done unnecessarily in mass amounts.
Sasuke followed quickly and silently, keeping his kunai in his hand, all the teen wanted was to be out of this hell, and to get the stench of blood off of him, though as sure as he was it would come off his body, this day, it's sights, it's sounds, would be imprinted in his brain forever.
Kakashi ran, following his compass which his pulled out occasionally and found a hut far from the forest and road that the massacre and total destruction had happened. He cleared the house before nodding to Sasuke to come in. Ask the boy entered Kakashi looked at him and said, "Get some sleep Sasuke. We'll find a clean body of water to wash tomorrow." He said simply before carefully removing his shirt, but leaving his vest on and his mask. "I'll keep watch."
Sasuke really, REALLY didn't want to wait for tomorrow to wash, but he reluctantly nodded. He wandered through a doorway and pulled his clothes off, all of them -as they were blood-soaked-, and crawled into the rather make-shift futon. It was covered in dust, and the materials were dingy, which caused him to wonder how long it'd been since anyone had lived there.
Kakashi subtly admire Sasuke's body as the boy undressed. It was something that was admirable. He couldn't explain how beautiful Sasuke was, how elegant he seemed. True, the boy naked before him had done something for him, but he remained calm and totally unfazed. He would never let his emotions to Sasuke, well almost never. There always were holes even to the most seemingly, flawless plans. As the boy crawled into the bed which actually had enough room for two, he sat back, but his ears remained open for any unusual sounds that they might have 'visitors'. He would not pull out the book. Instead, he pulled out a protein pill and tossed it to Sasuke, "Here." He said before adding, "You'll need it, assuming you wouldn't want to eat for the next couple of days."
Sasuke looked at the pill and nodded, setting it beside him, really, he couldn't stand the though of putting anything in his mouth right now. But later, perhaps the next morning, he would partake in the tiny pill, to abide his hunger for the time being. He lay down and snuggled into the rather ratty blanket, deeply desiring the release of sleep. Although his nights were usually plagued with nightmares, nothing could compare to the events of the day, which were wearing heavy on his chest, so he closed his eyes, embracing the grip on exhaustion.
A/N: A collab story between myself and Maelza. ^^ Hope you enjoy… hope it keeps you all satiated for now.. to bide off your killing me for not updating my other stories. –sweats–
Ahem, anyway~ Basically, no code because I'm lazy, and I did Sasuke, she did Kakashi and almost everyone else.