A/N: This was originally published as a standalone piece, but I added another oneshot that I had sitting around unfinished on my computer... turns out it's a perfect companion and segue to this story about Kakashi! Sorry if you get the notification and are confused...
"Are you okay, Kakashi-sensei?"
Something was wrong, horribly wrong.
"I'm... alive." Kakashi tried to stand, but a meaty hand came down on his shoulder.
"Not so fast," Chouza rumbled, squinting at the wreckage around them. "Alive you may be, but you're bleeding. Chouji, see if you can find a medical nin."
The burly youth, his tattooed face beaming with happiness, leapt away with surprising grace, easily maneuvering between the piles of rubble.
Kakashi swiped at his face, feeling wetness. Tears? No, his hand came back glistening red and he remembered with a gut-churning shock what Pein's last attack had been. A nail whistling through the air...
Obito... His hand fell from his face.
"Rin… Kakashi, are you okay?"
A terribly small, pale face peering at him from beneath a boulder.
Their tug on his arm and their push on the rock was pointless and he told them so.
Kakashi jerked. Sakura was scrabbling across the rubble toward him. She looked dirty and exhausted; her usually bright eyes had dark circles smudged beneath them. He recognized the thin veneer of control she held over her emotions and knew that she would break down soon. Most ninja did every once in a while, especially after a catastrophe like this... but usually they found a private place before the tears started. He just hoped she would too.
"Yo," he said, in a pale imitation of his usual cheer. "Ah, Sakura, you don't need to check on me, I'm sure there're many other—"
"Where are you hurt?" she demanded, ignoring his dismissal.
Kakashi glanced at Chouji and Chouza who watched from the side. Surprisingly, it was Chouji who got the hint.
"Tousan, let's go see if we can help dig more people out of the rubble. That slug—Katsuyu-san—said that there are others coming back to life."
"Right, let's go." Chouza nodded at Sakura, as if handing over Kakashi's care, and the two left.
"Okay, now where..." Sakura trailed off as Kakashi opened his left eyelid, ignoring the throbbing pain as best he could. He couldn't see through it, but his right eye was fine and the horrified shock on her face was not inspiring. Great. Now he'd have to find a way to shake her back into professionalism, but his head was aching too much for him to think too clearly...
"If I'd done what you said from the beginning, to come back and rescue Rin, none of this would have happened! It's my fault! What kind of shinobi am I?"
"Are you in much pain?"
Kakashi smiled wryly to himself. Again, he'd underestimated her. Sakura's shock was still there, but she'd pushed it aside quicker than he had, and was already rummaging through her medical nin pack.
"I've… been better." He paused. "Did Katsuyu tell you...?"
"That Naruto's alive?" Sakura's face softened with a tremulous smile. "Yes.... Here." She handed him a canteen of water and half a ration bar. "Eat. The painkiller I'm going to inject might make you sick if you don't have something in your stomach."
Kakashi paused. Sakura stared at him. He stared back with his good eye.
"Oh, for crying out loud," she said, turning around with a huff. Kakashi lowered his mask and downed the ration bar in two big bites, washing it down with a few gulps of the lukewarm water.
"Can you remove it?" Kakashi said, letting her know it was safe to turn around.
"The nail? Yes... When was your last vaccination appointment?"
"Sensei, please tell me you've had a tetanus shot."
Kakashi shrugged. "It might have been a few years. These types of things aren't really on my priority list."
"And reading trashy literature is?" Sakura grumbled under her breath. "Some genin are digging through what's left of the hospital to recover any medicine that's salvageable, but it's unlikely that anything in a glass vial survived. So you'll have to check in with Shizune or me as often as possible… in the next few days. We can monitor and keep an infection under control with a seal for awhile, but you will need the shot eventually."
Kakashi nodded with uncharacteristic docility. It really wouldn't be nice to wake up from Pein's last attack only to die of an infection.
"Let me take a look before I do anything." She disinfected her hands with quick bursts of chakra.
Kakashi opened his left eyelid again, the pain nearly making him vomit, and kept the other eye half open as she knelt close to examine the wound.
"Rin, with your medical jutsu, please take out my sharingan and implant it into Kakashi's left eye...."
"This will hurt, Kakashi-kun," Rin whispered, eyes red-rimmed, "If I give you a painkiller strong enough, you won't be able to fight..."
"How attached are you to this eye?"
"I can become your eye…"
"Why do you ask?"
"You may lose it." Sakura sat back, brushing a strand of dirty pink hair from her forehead. "The nail went in deep to where the optical nerve connects to the brain. Pein's resurrection jutsu must have shaken it loose, but from here it appears that the nerve may be severed."
"And from now on I will see the future…"
"Can I still keep it?"
Sakura looked surprised. "Sensei, you may never see out of that eye again. But it's not inconceivable that we could do an eye transplant..." Her voice trailed off.
Kakashi finished for her. "But you can't because of the existing scar tissue, correct?"
Sakura nodded, looking miserable. "Tsunade-sama told me about... about the mission where you got… the sharingan, in case I would ever have to treat an injury like this." She paused, biting her lip. "There is a chance that it might recover. I... I don't know how much a sharingan is different from a normal eye. Perhaps there are additional protections..."
Kakashi let her hopeful words die in the air between them. They both knew that the chance of him ever using the sharingan again were slim to none.
Well. Only one thing to be done.
I will see the future…
"Take the nail out and seal the wound for now. I need to go find Naruto. If he's not back by now—"
"Things appear to be finishing up," said a gentle voice behind Sakura. One of Katsuyu's clones wiggled its eyestalks in their direction. "Pein is dead."
"Did Naruto...?" Sakura half stood, staring at the slug.
"No, young mistress. I cannot be certain, but it appears to be chakra exhaustion."
Kakashi let out a relieved breath. Finally. Sakura stared for a moment toward the horizon where Naruto in the demon-fox form had last been seen and then turned back, refocusing.
"Roll up your sleeve," Sakura ordered, retrieving a hypodermic needle from her pack. "This painkiller will help when I remove the nail."
"No painkillers. I need to be able to think and move."
"Do it, Sakura."
"Kakashi, protect Rin..."
Rin's tears as he pulled her up. "Obito!"
"Rin, we have to move!"
Sakura smoothed the sealing paper over his eye, and the bleeding stopped almost immediately. Kakashi could even feel the pain receding to a dull throb as the seal interacted with his body's chakra.
"It's done," she said, her voice quiet. Kakashi struggled to his feet, staggering a little as blood rushed from his head. Sakura found his forehead protector in the surrounding rubble and handed it to him, her eyes solemn and weary. He tied it on, lowering it to cover the seal paper, and reached out a hand to tousle her hair like he had when she was still a kid. She looked up, surprised.
"Have Katsuyu spread the word about Naruto and gather the village. I'll bring him back."
Amazingly, his ninja supplies had survived, though the pouch was torn and would have to be replaced as soon as things settled down. Kakashi turned his back to Sakura to bite down on a soldier pill, relishing the quick influx of strength and energy. As well as increasing his depleted chakra reserves, the soldier pill also acted as an adrenal stimulant, making the pain in his body easier to ignore: for the moment, anyway.
Kakashi rubbed some blood from his face onto his palms, flashed through familiar hand seals, and slammed his palm on the ground, the spidery lines of text barely visible over the rubble.
"Kuchiyose no jutsu!"
His ninken appeared as the smoke cleared, tongues lolling out, ears perked and alert. Pakkun stopped mid-yawn as his habitual lazy eyes widened at the destruction around them.
"I'll explain later," he interrupted, going among them to pat heads and rub behind ears. "There are a lot of people buried around here, guys. Dig where you can and lead others to the rescue. Got it?"
Affirmative barks all around. Kakashi nodded. "Pakkun, you're with me. The rest of you, disperse!"
They left in a flurry of wagging tails, noses to the ground. Pakkun leapt to his shoulder as Kakashi raced through what had once been the market street, filling the little dog in on what had happened.
"Naruto's going to be coming from somewhere," he finished as they approached the tree line right outside the village. Amazing, really, that something was still standing… "And you know his scent best."
"Got it." Pakkun leapt down, and Kakashi stopped on a convenient branch, out of breath despite the soldier pill still crackling through his veins.
I can become your eye… and from now on I will see the future…
Kakashi rubbed at the blood trickling from beneath the seal. "Not anymore, Obito. Now you can only see the past."
Author's note: this fic came from a confusion on how extensive Kakashi's injuries actually were and what might he be thinking should he lose the thing that's propelled him through the years. So, yeah, I'm not sure if the sharingan is actually gone in canon, but I think it would be interesting if it was one of the casualties of Pein's attack.