Ten Swords for Solace
A Xenocide Production

AN: I once thought about writing something when Jiraiya died. I think I actually have something written down here somewhere. It galled me and heartened me both that Kishimoto had no fear of killing off some major characters. This is a series of short insights to Kakashi's character. What makes him tick, how he thinks, what he feels behind that mask of his. There will be ten of them, eventually. I only write them when inspired or feel like I'm in the appropriate mindset.

Enjoy and review…………please?

Summary: A keen blade can be as soothing as a mother's lullaby. Unsheathe me, child, and I will sing for you.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. Thank God.

Hatake Sakumo was a respected shinobi, feared throughout the Elemental Countries, even by his village at times. He was silent, swift, and deadly. Every motion, every action, every deed was performed with the utmost efficiency unto perfection. Konohagakure held him in such high esteem that only the Three Sannin themselves commanded more respect.

Children fought over the honor of being his namesake in mock battles that culminated in the massacre of entire enemy villages in the dusty streets and grassy courtyards.

His colleagues admired him and modeled their actions to reflect his, striving for that unattainable perfection that only Sakumo could achieve and radiate.

His superiors were proud that they owned such a fine weapon, a White Fang they could wield in defense of their home and to the envy of their enemies.

But despite this honor, despite the praise and adulation, and despite the fact that he was very nearly pressured by various factions to seek the tri-cornered hat and robes of the highest office, Sakumo was a gentle and humble man.

He was prone to laughing loudly and often. He always told the worst of jokes, and though they garnered more groans than laughs, he would roar in laughter at them.

Sakumo loved to cook and could been seen many a night conspiring with a young Akimichi Chouza to create the finest spread the Akimichi had ever had the pleasure to taste or view. Akikio, Chouza's mother, schemed with the rest of the clan matriarchs to marry him to a young Akimichi woman, if only to obtain his valuable orange little cookbook that he kept close to his heart at all times.

He married a poor, young flowergirl named Ran. He had often spied her selling her lilies in the marketplace next to the Hokage's tower and became entranced with her doll-like beauty and nightraven hair. He wooed her with daisies and bad puns, stopping each day by her booth to present her his hard-sought prize and flash a smile. Ran grew to love this gentle man, but her eyes darkened whenever they saw the hilt of that sword jutted over his shoulder. Sakumo saw these looks and swore upon his name that if she would only marry him, he'd lay down his sword.

So she did.

Sakumo was reluctantly granted an early retirement in view of his extraordinary efforts in the trade route conflicts with Sunagakure. The Akimichi conceded defeat with a banquet fit for the Shogun in his lavish palace in Fire Country's capital.

A year later, she died in childbirth. In bitterest agony, he named the spindly bundle that had killed his flower Kakashi, and took his Fang as his lover.

Sakumo did not smile. Sakumo did not joke. Sakumo did not cook.

He killed. He swung his sword. He flashed his fangs.

Kakashi's first memory is that of a sword as his father wiped it clean of blood.


Do let me know what you think, dear readers.