Disclaimer - Naruto, all characters, and settings belong to Masashi Kishimoto. I am not making any money money from the loving theft of his intellectual property.


The village is gone and with it the hospital and with that the morgue.

The dead lay outside, shoulder to shoulder with the dying. Medics in training wander around them, administering deadly amounts of morphine to the ones that can't be saved and won't stop breathing. Others work to exhaustion on the ones with a chance.

Sakura can see Tsunade leaving a hastily erected tent, hands soaked in blood, in search of assistance or just a place to sleep so she can regain enough chakra to rejoin the fray. Sakura knows she should be doing the same but she's too numb to feel tired anymore.

She walks among the long gone and the abandoned, checking off the ones she knows even just in passing. She almost passes him over, but her highly trained mind refuses and forces a second browse.

She recognizes the hair first; pale gray and oddly coifed.

She forces herself, almost against her will, to really look, to make sure.

She kneels in the dust next to his body and moves his hitai-ite up to rest on his brow as she peels open his left eyelid. The eye itself if dark, almost black. She pulls open his right eye and it too is dark, but not so dark as the other.

She feels down the neck of his Jounin sweater and her fingers come in contact with something, some bit of fabric, bunched around his neck. It feels far smoother than the rough cotton she'd been praying she'd continue to touch.

Slowly, hesitantly, she pulls the fabric up his neck. It's attached to something, a black sleeveless top she dreads, under his shirt. She pulls it up to rest over his nose and carefully tucks and pulls it to fit where it should.

She leans back to sit on her ankles and looks.

There is no denying it, even to herself. This is Kakashi-sensei.

She has a little bit of chakra left. Not near as much as she wishes, but it's enough for this.

She rests a hand above his heart. There's no beat and he's cold. She gives up hope, adds him to her personal list of the dead, and probes his body with a tendril of chakra just so she knows how it happened.

Five hours he's been dead and she can feel every minute of it in every tenth of a degree of temperature his body's lost. He's also lost a lot of blood.

She probes his body a little further and finds the fatal wound easily. His hips have been crushed. She looks at the sheet covering him, right about where is hips would be, and has to look away before she starts sobbing. A fragment of bone sliced his abdominal artery. If not for that he would have lived, except without the use of his legs. His spine is crushed.

She opens her eyes and looks at him, pulls his forehead protector back over his eye, and fingers his hair until it is the way he usually keeps it. She looks back down on his face and realizes that she's just seen him maskless but doesn't remember it at all.

She pulls it down again, slowly, taking the time to analyze every detail.