The day that they added Ino's name to the cenotaph, Kakashi found that his traditional spot was taken. Where he normally crouched, a pink-haired young woman knelt close to the stone. Her knees nearly touched it.

Ino had been severely injured on a mission with another chuunin, dying on the operating table after making it back to Konoha. Her husband, Genma, was inconsolable in the hospital—Kakashi had sat with him while Ino had been in surgery. Genma had broken Kakashi's wrist when Kakashi held him back from the nurse on duty. He had been lucky—the chuunin who had brought Ino back had been shaken within an inch of his life by the distraught senbon user.

"I was away," the young woman murmured as Kakashi settled next to her to stare at the names of his own friends.

"You could not have known."

"I could have saved her—I would have known to support her chakra. She died, because they didn't."

Kakashi bit back the urge to say that hindsight was twenty-twenty. Instead he crouched next to her, staring at the names of his own friends. The two of them stayed where they were for several hours, but she showed no motivation to leave when he did.

Before he got up to leave, he slid silently from his squat to his knees next to her. An arm—an arm he himself had never had—slid around her shoulders, and he leaned his face in to brush her cheek with his nose. It was unspoken, his insight to her situation. It will still hurt, but do not let that hurt kill you—you are not yet fit to be seen by those who are gone. And with that, he left.