When We First Met – One shot
This story was inspired by 2 fan arts on Deviant art.
Naruto: Eight Years Ago... by: fanartist
Little Angel by: yume-darling
This story was also an inspiration from the beautiful and breathtaking snowy scene that I walk through everyday. It feels like I'm walking in a piece of art.Sakura is 4 years old, making Kakashi 18 in this story.
Disclaimer: Naruto belongs to Masashi Kishimoto.
Blah, this story should have been posted weeks ago, but I've been down with a cold. Enjoying gorgeous snowy scenes has their price.
Anyways… Hope you all enjoy the story!
A flash of white could be seen hopping on top of the nearest bare tree branch – shaking the powdery snow that had settled on the branch to the ground. Crouching low and blending into the environment, he observed the sight before him behind his porcelain mask. A breath of fog was exhaled.
Snowflakes swirled and floated around him; he had no doubt that this would be the last snowfall before Spring arrived.
Being placed on the boarder of Konohagakure for the last nine months had been - at most boring. The Hokage had received information that there could be an allied attack - an infiltration into the village of Konoha. His squad had been one of the eight squads that had been sent to monitor the boarder. So far, there had been neither activity nor the slightest hint of an attack. However, something told him that today was going to be different; something out of the ordinary was going to happen today – he didn't know to make of it. To him, it was either going to be a terrible thing or an incredible thing – there were no middle grounds. Everything in his world was black and white, there were no gray areas; nor were there any colours – all there was to his life, was life as a shinobi of the leaf.
The silver-haired Anbu dashed through the top of the forest; quickly scanning the snow-covered forest grounds for anything that stood out.
What was that?
Sliding to an immediate stop, he did a slick one-eighty spin and crouched low. Snow flew up around him as he held up a kunai to prepare for an attack. He shifted his mismatched eyes as he tried to pick up the same sound again with his ears. He kept silently still.
His trained ear picked up on the sound instantly. Following the sound, he leaped high onto the nearest snow-covered object that his feet could reach. He lifted his Anbu mask off his face. With the new height, he observed his surroundings more carefully for the second time without being behind a mask.
White… Brown… Black… Green…
This didn't make sense to him. His ears were perfect, there had to be something here – something he's missing… something his eyes skipped over. Being so high up, all he saw was the usual forest that he had grown so accustomed to over the past months, covered in snow.
White… Brown… Black… Green… More white… Pink… White… Brown…
Wait… Pink? When was anything ever pink, so far out here?
Genjutsu was the first thing that popped into his mind. He presumed that someone was using this to lure him in, using something out of the ordinary so that he would go check it out. Being an Anbu, his first logical reasoning was that there was an enemy nearby. It unnerved him that he couldn't pick up on their presence at all.
Was this part of their plan?
He snapped his Anbu mask back on and his brain started turning. The Genjutsu seemed harmless enough, but whenever something seemed harmless, danger was just around the corner. Pink seemed too innocent of a colour to him to be using it in an attack, there had to be something big that the enemy was planning – that he failed to see. The more time he took, the more time the enemy had to plan their move. He needed to figure this out fast. Closing his eyes, he concentrated and thought up of a jutsu.
When he opened his eyes, the pink was still there.
Using the kunai he had before, he quickly stabbed his left hand – hoping the pain will cause him to snap out of the illusion. It had definitely hurt. Blood started streaming down his hand. For a minute, nothing happened. He began to curse himself for being stupid and being quick to leap into an unknown situation. He had definitely been out in the cold for a little too long. A couple seconds passed. As the fresh blood dripped on the fresh white snow, he started to sense the presence of three other chakra sources.
So the pain he inflicted on himself hadn't been useless after all.
As quickly as his realization came, something sharp flew by and skinned his right bicep. The object that had flew by smashed into a tree and it shattered into a crystal clear powder.
Water element user… Mist is behind this?
He located the one who had attacked first, and summoned his Ninken after him.
"Pakkun, go back to Konoha and report to the Hokage that there had been an attack here. I will follow shortly to give a more detailed report."
With the short command, Pakkun ran back to Konoha.
Kakashi's sight picked up on the other two ninjas several meters away from him as they tried to plan their position of attack. They were both wearing ash coloured clothing, and had dark hair – one had dark brown hair and the other had long black hair. They blended perfectly into the shadowed snow-covered forest. With a gleam of their hiate-ate, he saw that one of them was from Kumogakure.
Cloud huh… This sure is interesting.
Turning his mind back to the battle, he saw that the one with the deep black hair disappeared with a flash. He appeared in front of his face, attempting to punch him in the face.
Taijutsu? That's rare.
Dodging his attack, he tried to return one of his own – only to find a dozen of Shurikens being hurled in his direction by his other enemy. The enemy had successfully punched a huge hole into the tree where Kakashi's head had once been.
The Taijutsu-user knocked Kakashi's feet from under him, making the Copy Ninja lose his footing. Deciding that falling would be the best choice, he spiralled downwards to avoid the shurikens. While gravity pulled him down, three more projectiles had been thrown at him and he couldn't dodge them. He held up his hands to block the three kunai. One of them had nicked his armguard; the other sliced the left side of his body; while the last one had pierced his left shoulder.
Quickly grabbing onto the nearest branch with his right hand, he flung himself upwards to land steadily onto a bark surface. Ripping the kunai out of his bicep, he hooked his hand on a scroll and pulled out a Fuuma Shuriken. Throwing the shuriken at the Taijutsu-user, he quickly planned his next move while running up behind his attack. While the enemy Nin dodged the huge shuriken, Kakashi pushed his Chidori through his chest.
A soft thud could be heard when the enemy shinobi fell a couple feet into the snow. At the same time, he heard his canines howl.
So they've done the job.
He logically figured out that since his canines took down the Ninjutsu-user who had first attacked with ice, and he just eliminated the Taijutsu-user; therefore the one that had been causing the illusions and hiding their chakra from him in the first place had to be the brown-haired Genjutsu-user.
The young enemy locked eyes with the silver-haired Anbu. That had been his fatal mistake. With Kakashi's Sharingan, the battle had ended quickly.
Steadying his breathing, he tried to decide what to do. He knew he had to report back to the Hokage, but if he went back now he would only be sent straight to the hospital.
He was definitely not going to the hospital for this.
Pulling his mask off his face, he wiped his brow with his blood stained hands. He turned his head towards the direction where this whole mess had started in the first place.
The pink was still there.
What is going on? The enemies are gone…
Placing the mask in place once again, he decided to check it out. Inching closer, he hopped on the trees until he was on the branch directly above the pink object.
With a hint of surprise in his voice, he whispered to himself.
"It's a little girl…"
He hadn't seen one for a long time. It was odd. Why was she here?
It's dangerous here. What do I do?
What did he do? He has not talked to anyone other than his squads of Anbu for the past couple months. Did he even know how to talk to her without scaring her?
Why am I so nervous anyways? It's just a little girl. What happens if she starts screaming?
Without another thought, he slid from the branch and landed in front of her.
The little girl snapped her head up in surprised, stared at him, widened her eyes, opened her mouth – and screamed. It had been more like a short yelp as she ran behind the tree trunk to hide herself from the older male. Hugging the tree trunk as close to her as possible, she peaked out to look at him with one eye and quickly hid again.
Kakashi noticed that this tree's branches were dense enough to block the snow from falling between and underneath it. The little girl seemed to be cold, but nevertheless dry.
His sensitive ears picked up on soft sniffles and hiccups.
So that was the sound I heard before…
"Hey… are you okay? What happened?" Kakashi tried his best to sound as gentle as he could without scaring her. He made his way around to her, only to have her run from him, back to the opposite end – as far away from him as possible. Raising his hand to run through hair, his fingers bumped into the edge of his porcelain mask.
Oh, that's why…
Lifting his Anbu mask off his face, he approached the little girl again.
This time the little girl peeked at him with curiosity, and the first thing that came to Kakashi's mind was 'gorgeous emerald eyes.' He didn't notice the pink hair as much as those round eyes; the pink hair that caused all of this mess in the first place.
The girl hid herself from the Anbu every time they met eyes.
Am I really that scary?
Without knowing the reason why he was so intent on helping her, he decided to plan this out. How would he approach her without scaring her? What was she so scared of? What happened to her? He normally wouldn't have cared about any other kid. They were all the same to him, just bratty, snotty kids, who thought the world revolved around them. But there was something different about this rosette haired girl that drew him to her - that called him to help her; he couldn't just walk away from her like he normally did with other kids.
Letting a sigh escape his lips, he rested the back of his head on the tree trunk as he tilted it to look at the sky.
Cloudy, grey, powdered snow falling from the sky, bare tree branches, a flash of pink… … … huh?
He turned to look at the kid.
No, she was definitely still here on the ground. Then what is that pink that I'm seeing above me?
Deciding to check it out, he jumped vertically to hoist himself upwards towards the pink object that he saw. His eyes widened as the object became closer to his view.
Nearing the soft pink object, his doubts were confirmed.
Something rare was happening here.
It's a branch of Sakura blossoms… How is that possible? They don't bloom until the end of March at the earliest… How did I miss it before?
Dusting the snow off the flowers, he had realized something. He had been right. Today had definitely been different than all of his other days that he had been on duty. Something different happened, and he couldn't help but to think that it linked to the girl that was currently standing below him.
There's something about her…
Staring down at her, he met her gaze as she stared back with her moisture filled eyes.
She has bright emerald eyes… Pink hair and green eyes… what a weird and exotic combination…
She blinked at him, and then she glanced at the pink object that was within arms reach from Kakashi. The silver haired ninja broke a tiny branch of flowers off and swiftly dropped down, just like he had the first time, to meet face to face with the young girl.
The girl squealed with surprise and dropped backwards onto her butt. Being embarrassed, she flushed a light shade of pink. She quickly stood up, wiped her eyes and tried to stand up as tall as she could. She gave the copy-ninja the deadliest glare she could for her age.
Kakashi kneeled down in front of her, held out the flowers to her and gave her the best smile that he could without turning his smile turning into a smirk. His eyes crinkled into a fine line. He must have guessed that he had a friendly smile when he was genuine about it, because the little girl didn't run away this time and she had stopped glaring at him. She looked down to the floor and Kakashi rested one of his hands on the top of her head. This made the little girl look up at him with more curiosity.
"The flowers match the colour of your hair."
He didn't know what he was doing. He was injured, he had to go back to Konoha to report the attack, he was in the middle of duty, yet here he was, under a tree, awkwardly trying to make conversation with a little girl. He scratched the back of his head. It was a habit of his, whenever he was feeling awkward. Who knew where he picked this strange habit from? While she continued to wipe her tears, Kakashi handed the branch of flowers to the girl. She took it with a timid smile.
Kakashi asked gently, "What happened?"
The little girl gazed at him and mumbled something along the lines of 'I can't tell you.'
"Because you're not my friend."
A dark eyebrow rose.
"Alright, well lets be friends."
The little girl's face brightened up. With a grin she said, "Really?"
Showing her little teeth, she asked what his name was.
"I'm sorry I cannot tell you,"
Placing a finger over his lips, he said, "I'm an undercover ninja, and I cannot tell anyone my name."
The girl looked confused.
"Then how do people know who you are? How do you make friends?"
"That's not very fun…"
"I'll be your first friend then!"
Then with determination she added, "If you can guess my name!"
Kakashi spoke the first word that came to his mind.
She looked surprised and astonished. With her mouth opened wide she asked, "How did you know??"
Kakashi tapped the side of his forehead.
"I'm the smartest ninja around."
"Yup, and I guessed Sakura because of your pink hair."
Sakura absent-mindedly tried to flatten her own hair, while Kakashi combed his hand through his. Appearing to be deep in thought, little Sakura stroked her chin and closed her eyes. Kakashi closed his also, and then he asked, "What are you thinking about?"
"What your name is, but I'm not as smart as you..."
Kakashi was surprised that for a little kid like her, she had the attention span for more than ten seconds. One of her emerald eyes opened and looked at Kakashi, only to find one of his eyes opened looking back down at her.
Sakura giggled and due to the awkward circumstances of being caught staring, Kakashi chuckled.
Then Sakura exclaimed at him, "Stop copying me! You are a… what was that word that I learned yesterday… hmm…"
Sakura's eyes shifted back and forth while searching for the right words. Kakashi's eyes followed.
"COPYCAT!!! YOU ARE A COPYCAT!"
She made a face and stuck her tongue out at him.
Kakashi chuckled out loud; then started laughing as if he hadn't laughed for years.
Copycat… How right she had been.
Pretending to be angry, she puffed out her cheeks and questioned him.
"What's so funny?"
With the second true smile that he gave in months, he ruffled her hair and gently whispered, "You're a very cute kid."
"I'm not a kid! I just turned four years old!" She held out four tiny fingers to show him just how old she was.
Then she went silent.
Kakashi quickly wondered what's wrong, but his worries were pushed aside as she spoke again. She stared at him with her emerald eyes opened as wide as she could.
"Am I really … cute? You think I'm cute?"
Kakashi simply stared at her and wondered why she took this comment so seriously, so he replied with an honest answer.
"Yup, you're the cutest kid I've seen."
With a blink of an eye, little Sakura launched herself at Kakashi and hugged his knee. Kakashi suddenly knew what happened. He had seen this type of reaction before. There had been times when he was a kid where he wished someone would praise him, and whenever someone did, he always took it internally and all the praise given to him made him more proud of himself. He would never understand girls. When Rin cried, he remembered giving her a cold response that everything was going to be okay. She had hugged him so hard; he thought his ribs were going to crack.
Her story suddenly became crystal clear to him. She was not accepted. Other kids her age did not welcome her and she found no place with them.
He heard her whisper something into his knee. He crouched down lower so he could hear her.
"Common, you've got to speak up. Be confident"
Only inches away from his ear, Sakura looked at him, grinned and shouted, "ARIGATOU, COPYCAT-SAN!!!!"
It was Kakashi's turn to be surprised, and in turn he fell, butt first into the snow. Specks of snow piled on his head as he smiled at the giggling Sakura.
Then with the widest grin she could muster, she continued, "You're cute too! Your eyes are very… hmm… good looking! I like this one. It's got a pretty picture on it!"
She leaned in close to him and pointed to his Sharingan. Kakashi was happy that she didn't find it scary – after all it was Obito's gift. He was also surprised that she noticed the different shades in his eyes; so he wasn't the only one who noticed people's eyes more than anything else. She hadn't seemed to notice his silver hair.
How was she so observant? She was only four! Damn, she's going to be a smart kid when she grows up.
Sakura's smile faded for a while and a worried expression replaced her carefree one.
She blinked, pointed at him and she asked, "Are those… Boo-Boos?"
Kakashi had forgotten about his injuries, as these minor ones didn't really bother him that much at all. He chose to remain silent.
Sakura continued, "You are hurt! Who hurt you?"
Kakashi continued to stay silent as the information was classified, and he was definitely not about to blow his career just for a kid.
She rambled on, "If I tell you what happened to me, will you let me help you?"
Deciding that he didn't want the girl to ask him anymore questions, he nodded. The girl tore the ends of her white dress off and started to bandage his right bicep. Kakashi looked over his shoulders to watch her at work. Her tiny fingers tried their best to tie a neat and tight bow over his cut. It turned out a little bit messy, but at least it stayed on his arm. Kakashi made a small smile to himself.
It's the thought that counts, I guess…
She started to talk.
"Did you want to know what happened?"
"Well… hmm… my friend and I had a birthday party today and someone wanted to play hide and seek. So I went into this forest and waited for someone to find me… I don't know how long I have been here… I took off my coat earlier because it got stuck to a branch and I ripped it. I thought I could hide better without it…"
As her story continued, her tears rolled off her round cheeks.
"But it started to get cold, and … no one found me. I think they forgot about me... they always made fun of me because I have pink hair and… and… big forehead… sniffs…"
The copy ninja sat still. He was correct on another piece of information - unaccepted. She gave him a small smile.
"I am happy now, because you found me! Now I'm not alone anymore and I am glad you found me so that we got to be friends! You are going to be my best-est friend ever!"
Then she lost her enthusiasm, "Well… only friend… but hey… do you know how to go home?"
Kakashi nodded. Little Sakura hugged his arm as a fresh round of tears made their way to her eyes.
"Thank goodness… now we can go home!"
Making the gesture to rip another piece of her dress off, Kakashi stopped her.
"You are ruining your dress. I'll be fine."
Before Sakura had a chance to respond, Kakashi reached into his pack and took out a small blanket. He wrapped Sakura in it.
Giving her a quick peck on her forehead, he said, "Your forehead is fine, you're going to be very pretty when you grow up."
Sakura's eyes sparkled up at him, and he hoisted Sakura up to his shoulders and started to walk.
"Let's go home."
He handed her the branch of flowers that had been forgotten.
Sakura delightfully exclaimed, "I'm going to keep these flowers forever!"
Kakashi smiled as he knew that those flowers are probably going to die in a couple of days when she forgot about them. As she sat on his shoulders, Sakura hugged his head close to her little body to keep her balance. Kakashi looked over to his bicep.
It stopped bleeding…
It was a small cut to begin with, but the little girl had saved him the trouble of getting another wound treated at the hospital. He was grateful. By meeting the little girl, he proved to himself that he still had some feelings in him after all. All the time he had spent on Anbu duty, he feared that he didn't know how to socialize anymore. He had been alone for the past nine months. He had feared that he turned into one of those lone soldiers who were never the same after duty – even after they returned to the village. The way he took down 3 enemy Nins today without hesitating or pausing to ask questions, the way he ripped out the weapons that were embedded into his skin, the way his brain told him the first abnormal thing that happened was a Genjutsu… He scared himself. He needed rest. Always being on his guard for more than half a year was beginning to take its toll on him – even if nothing happened much. He was getting a little paranoid. He was glad that he had an excuse to go back to the village. Some action happened today and he was thankful that his time at the border hadn't been wasted. He snapped out of his thoughts when Sakura shuffled around his shoulders and started to whisper to him.
With that tone of a whisper, he guessed that she was falling asleep on his shoulders.
"When I grow up… I'm going to be just like you…"
"Yup…When I grow up… I'm going to be the smartest and strongest ninja… I'm going to be even smarter than you!"
She gave a light giggle and Kakashi responded with a light chuckle as he heard her soft, even breathing on top of his head. He knew that by the time she grew up to be that excellent kunoichi, she won't remember him at all. She only just turned four years old, and children don't actively remember their actions and events that occur to them, until they were at least five years old – late months of four years old if they were special.
For the countless time today, he smiled to himself. He would remember her. Being in the same small village of Konoha, he was sure that he would run into this pink haired, cute emerald eyed girl again. She was special in appearance. She stood out. He did too, but with her being so young, she wouldn't remember this meeting at all. He didn't know why this fact saddened him, but he would cherish this day – this memory.
She was special. Who knows why? Perhaps it was because she was the first little girl that he had seen in month or that she could unintentionally mind read his thoughts. Perhaps it was the fact that she could make him laugh and smile with the over-mature things she did as a four year old, while the next second she could act her age and be totally childish.
Maybe he would see her again when she turns out to be a kunoichi. For some reason, he believed her when she said she was going to be a ninja. He knew most kids don't remember half the things they say, and they change their mind all the time; yet he felt as if she had made him a promise - a promise that she will be a great kunoichi, and that they will meet again in the small village of Konoha.
This was their first meeting - a meeting he would always remember, and a meeting that she would forget.
I'll have to hold you to that promise.
Hopefully you all enjoyed this. I tried to tie most of it to their personality and future selves – such as Sakura being a little medic and growing up to be the smartest kunoichi. I also tried to make her act like a child as much as possible, hope this turned out okay.
This was my first fight scene – EVER! Lots of research had been put into this, as to when Kakashi had developed the Chidori and when he had his Ninken (Ninja-dogs), so nothing contradicted each other. Also a lot of research had been put into this as to what his mask was made out of or which 2 countries were most likely to be allied to attack Konoha in the age where Kakashi was an Anbu. His wounds had been placed in those various spots due to where the artist drew his injuries in "Little Angel".
The credits for the nickname "Copycat" goes to Crimz. It is perfect for Kakashi. Thanks – couldn't have done this part without you! Thanks to K for providing some answers to the many questions I had.
Hopefully everything went smoothly… If there's anything that doesn't make sense, once again please tell me! =]
Review Please - Thanks!