Chapter 1: Contemplating Loneliness

A/N: My last shot at a proper fic. I'll let you guys decide what you think about it. I'm really tired of not having anyone review even though I've spent hours just thinking about how to amp the appeal. If no one reviews, I'm just going to delete this like all the other reject fics I have. It's rather demoralizing. But still I hope you'll skim through at least. If it bored it out of your wits that you don't even want to continue reading, please tell me at least. The ultimate humiliation for a writer is when no one appreciates the effort they put into a fic. I mean, I don't think I'm THAT bad at writing. Be harsh, by all means. I just want to know what you think. Thanks.

Kakashi Hatake sat by his window, contemplating. He was the unfathomable, the mysterious, the one and only Copy Ninja. He had dedicated his entire life to being a ninja. But he often wondered, especially now, when he was approaching his thirtieth birthday, was it going to be his purpose in life?

He looked down slowly at his finished mission report. He drank in his own neat handwriting, but somehow, he couldn't understand what he had written.

He looked up. It was drizzling. The sky was gray. Like how he felt. He cursed himself. How could he have submitted to such a cliché?

He glanced at the Makeout Paradise novel sitting beside his arm. He'd never really known how he'd come to like it. It wasn't even real porn. Jiraiya wouldn't be able to write porn (because he had absolutely no experience) for beans. It was smut, sure, because all the stories involved a girl being undressed and then before anything good could happen, the happy couple would get interrupted.

Yet, Kakashi enjoyed reading it. The storyline was phenomenal. Each book outdid its predecessor in terms of the drama. But in the end, the lovers always got to be together, even after long-drawn (in a good way) sequences that involved mafia bosses and ninja guardians. Kakashi always loved the fuzzy, warm feeling he got when he got to the end.

It made him think about his own life, whether it was missing something. He knew, and better than anyone for that matter, that he didn't like opening up. He was acting jokey, being the goofy sensei to Naruto, Sakura and Sai and the adorably domineering sempai to Tenzo when they weren't training or anything. But that wasn't really him. In fact, he didn't even know who he was anymore.

He loved them. They were precious to him, more than anything else. But he would sooner die than to tell them that. He had trapped himself in himself. He had bottled all his true feelings, leaving just an empty, indifferent façade in its wake.

Perhaps he'd lost it all when Obito, Rin and Minato-sensei died. They were the only people he had then. His parents were fleeting shadows in the crevices of his mind. He knew nothing of his mother. As for his father, he wished to forget that he once hated the man. He was ashamed of that. His father was a hero and he of all people had failed to see that. And he no longer wanted to think of that unhappy time. When he was alone. It was a time before he had known his teammates and sensei. But he hadn't wanted to come to terms with it.

He was too busy being a cocky brat to realize his own feelings before Obito died. And only after he did, did Kakashi learn that Rin and Minato-sensei meant the world to him. Only a stupid arse like him needed to 'learn' these things.

And when both of them died in the Kyuubi attack, he was finally alone. He was free of all worldly relations, free to do whatever he wanted. Yet he found that he wasn't happy with that. He remembered joining ANBU.

He remembered meeting Tenzo and all the other juniors he had taken under his wing. Good times. They were now his friends. People he could actually wave to in the streets. People he was comfortable with.

Then when he quit ANBU, he became a ninja sensei. And he met even more people. Asuma, Kurenai, Guy…everyone. They were all his friends. He smiled inwardly. Guy and all his 'eternal rival' nonsense.

Friends…who accepted him.

And those cute students of his. They looked up to him, respected him and were appreciative of his 'flaws'. To them, he was their cool-not-so-cool sensei. And he was happy for that.

Even though he might seem laid-back and indifferent. Even though he might seem uncaring and unappreciative. Even though he had a dozen cocky flaws. Kakashi knew, should any of his precious people fall into danger, he would risk his life to protect them.

But then again, he would never tell any of them any of this. He smirked. He had a reputation to keep up. He admitted, he was trying to 'act cool'.

Then something outside his window caught his eye. He stood up to get a better look.

It was Tenzo…and Shizune. The two of them were standing in the rain, just staring at each other. Rather intensely, Kakashi thought privately.

And then suddenly, Tenzo leaned forward and kissed her.

Shizune wasn't moving. Tenzo straightened, and looked away from her. He seemed rather abashed. Kakashi smirked and watched with amusement as Shizune jumped up and wrapped her arms around his neck.

Then they stared at each other once more, seemingly in complete ecstasy. And they embraced again.

And the couple walked off, holding hands.

Tenzo and Shizune huh? Pretty cute.

He never saw that coming. But now that he thought about it, as an onlooker, he had always thought that Shizune was the most comfortable around Tenzo. He was someone she could actually strike up a casual conversation with.

And she was someone Tenzo was able to impress. He had to admit, Tenzo was so hopelessly innocent that he turned off all the women he met.

That was when he suddenly developed a very strange desire. It was more of a wish, really. A tiny one.

He wanted to fill the void in his heart. This void had been growing ever since Rin died. It was a tiny hole at first, but as the years passed, it had expanded. And it was still growing.

And Kakashi didn't want it to consume his heart. He just wished for something to fill that void.

Perhaps there had been someone who had filled that void. After all, there were blanks in his memory. Blanks that were negligible, but sometimes would nag at you at the back of your mind. The kind you have after you wake up after a coma, or after a spell of unconsciousness and you wonder about the events that transpired while you were asleep. He couldn't possibly imagine what filled them. And there was the matter of his Mangekyou Sharingan.

How exactly had he gotten it? He hadn't killed anyone close to him had he? He thought of the day when it had appeared.

He was training, doing the one-handed climb up the cliff. It was a special chakra exercise that would improve his chakra control and usage. He had his heart set. He was going through his self pep talks. They involved his wanting to protect the village. To protect everyone who had become so precious to him. Surprisingly, he managed to get himself pumped and serious about the whole thing.

He even conjured up images Obito and Rin. Perhaps he was secretly fearful that Naruto might get taken away and killed by the Akatsuki, after the whole Gaara thing.

He was climbing, training as hard as he could. He'd been at it for a few hours.

Then he'd felt an acute pain in his eye and he'd nearly fallen off. He had probably lost consciousness, but when he came to, he was seeing the world in a completely different light.

His Sharingan eye let him see things he could never imagine. It was like he was able to see the intentions of all the living things, even the plants. He could see the finest details of the chakra they exuded, little flickers he hadn't been able to see previously were as clear as day to him.

And he felt like he understood everything. Why a plant had to grow. Why the eagle had to hunt. He understood it, completely.

The knowledge was of course, overwhelming, but still amazing. And there was that feeling. Power.

He knew. He had to power to lord over whatever he set his eyes on. His eyes had invisible tendrils to bind their limbs and at the whim of his mind, he would be able to manipulate them like a puppet.

This power scared him. Yet it excited him. He had a new tool to protect everyone around him. And he swore that he would learn to use it well.

And he wondered if this person even existed. A person truly precious to him. A person who was so close to his heart, that should he kill them, he would activate the Mangekyou Sharingan. Perhaps he had killed someone precious to Obito.

The way he saw it, he was doomed to singlehood.

Of course, he had a couple of fangirls here and there. He'd flirted with women. But none of them gave him the feeling that they were The One. Perhaps Rin was the only one who had managed to give him an inkling of what that feeling would be.

She was probably the only one who he admitted that he'd been a little in love with her. But she was gone too soon.

Perhaps Kakashi Hatake was destined to be a lone wolf. Perhaps his real happiness lay in protecting the village as a ninja and nothing else.

But Kakashi had a feeling that wouldn't bring him real happiness. He loved being a ninja of course. He loved knowing the fact that he was carrying forth his father's legacy, knowing that Obito lived within him, knowing that Rin and Minato-sensei would be rooting for him, wherever they were.

The moments ebbed away. The time was near. She'd found the body and exhumed its grave. Preparations were almost complete.

But. She'd have to be very precise, or all her preparations, all her hard work would have been for nothing.

Failure or success…there would be no difference. This would be the first and last time. She was doomed either way.

She clutched her cloak closer. It was drizzling and she was very cold. She began coughing violently, and a pool of blood collected on her palm.

Pneumonia. It was in its late stages already. She was going to die anyway, even if she wasn't going to do this.

She stared at the corpse. Eight years. It was already eight years old. But the corpse was surprisingly well preserved, despite being exposed to the elements. She assumed that it had been embalmed.

The corpse was fully clothed in a ragged kimono. The skin was still pale, just a little gray and rather taut.

The face was umarred, but strangely distorted. She had probably been quite pretty. And she had two stab wounds on her chest.

This girl. She would be brought to life.

The cloaked woman pulled out a tiny inkpot from her pocket. She uncorked and dipped her right forefinger into it.

She brushed the dank hair off the forehead and began to write a word. She didn't know what it meant though.

She'd spent hours practicing on the surface of walls. Her blood had been her ink.

The ink she was using now was made of a special concoction of crushed berries and animal bones.

It was nearly time. She didn't have a watch. Yet she knew. She could feel it in her bones. She was nearing the time.

She wrote the same words on the body's left palm. Then right palm.

She shifted to its feet. Left sole, then right sole.

Then she proceeded to its chest, where the heart would be. And she wrote a different word. One that was far more complicated then all the others and had to be written in a single stroke.

She wasn't very confident. She had the most trouble with this one. But she had to do it right. She had no other choice.

It was time.


At once, she fell, clutching her throat, choking.

And she fell still, coughing occasionally, her dull brown eyes observing the corpse.

At once, fair skin began to grow, pulsing with millions of little blood filled capillaries. Blood was circulating. Nerves were joining, forming, connecting to bring life to the body.

When the skin had grown completely, the woman smiled to herself. He had chosen well. She was the lovely. She remained, lying on her side. She knew that a hundred million things were regenerating, forming and growing under that skin.

Her heart was pumping again, sending out that vital life force to the entire body.

The cloaked woman felt her own chakra drain from her body. But she was content. She watched hair grow from the scalp of the nearly-live girl. Long, luscious blond tresses. This girl, resembled her mother so much.

The girl was in her prime. Coming to life in her prime. The cloaked woman watched, some of her own lank red locks falling over her face.

This technique would make the girl age appropriately from the moment of death. At once, the girl's face and body became visibly more mature. Perhaps it would be more apt to call her a woman now?

The cloaked woman gasped, clutching her chest. Was it…this painful?

Her vision blurred and she just glimpsed the girl—now a woman beginning to stir. Joy and warmth filled her heart. She would leave with no regrets now.

"Take care…of…my son…my son—Kakashi."

Thanks for reading kids. So can you guess who the cloaked woman is? As usual, I will be eternally grateful if you reviewed. Even if it's a flame. By the way, the identity of the resurrected girl will be revealed in the next chapter. And yes, she is somehow linked to Kakashi's Mangekyou and Obito (one of his family members—not sister!). And I couldn't help myself. I love YamaShizu too much. Oh yes, if you're wondering why I said Rin was killed in the Kyuubi attack, it's because I felt that it would make the most sense s'all.