The sky was dark due to all of the rain the night before as the jounin walked along the empty streets towards his destination. The memorial stone in the center of the village, the one place that he could actually speak what was on his mind or in his heart to his fallen teammates. The one place he wished he never had to leave.
Obito had been a crybaby and a liar, but he had been a better man than him.
And Rin...she had loved him with all her heart, and he had betray her.
Fuck he missed their smiles, the sounds of their voices, the odd personality quirks that defined them as individuals. He was a at least ten feet from the stone when he stopped cold and blinked his one eye, the sight before him was a puzzling one, disturbing on some level even, but because of his curiousity he stayed firmly rooted to the spot where he stood, moving only to duck down behind some bushes off to his side as he watched the little one in front of the stone.
She was small even for her age, her clothes were dirty and torn, the pale skin of her cheek and her arms and legs were covered in bruises, indicating abuse of some kind. Not supriseing considering who the child was. Even he was'nt able to squash the fleeting feeling of rage churning in his gut. This was the Kyubbi container, his late sensei's child. But all he could see was the demon that had stolen his last loved one from him.
He wanted to tear the child apart, but knew better. He could already sense several Anbu, and the Hokage lurking near by waiting for something to happen.
He watched the girl reach into her pocket and with a little bit of difficulty pull out a pouch and started to empty out the pouches contents onto the marble base of the stone. He frowned a bit when he noticed some of the things that she arranged on the flat part of the stone. Red, blue and green marbles that she pushed off to the side. Some silver foil covered kisses, the candy made him cock his head. What was she doing? He wondered curiously as she continued to pull little things ranging from toys, to candy, to silk flowers.
It took him a while longer to realise that the things that she was laying on the stone was offerings to the dead, the lost ones who had no real resting place or grave. When she was done laying everything out she scrambled back away from the stone and dropped to her knees and hung her head and seemed to be waiting for something to happen. She was whispering softly to herself as she sat there.
He was'nt sure how long she stayed like that. An hour, two hours, the the silence was finally broken when she started to cry. The terrible wrenching sobs reminded him of all the times he had sat here and broken down, crying for the people he had loved to return to him and make him whole again and for a second he didn't see anyone sitting there crying but his sensei. His heart clenched painfully in his chest as an Anbu moved out of the bushes and picked the child up while the Hokage came forward and looked at the things that she had placed there.
She had come here to apoligise to the people that she had supposedly killed. She had brought the toys, and candy, and flowers to tell them that she was sorry for what she had done to them, thinking that it would make things right again. It was a childs logic, innocent and sweet. Much like the girl herself. He looked at the sobbing child and felt his heart aching in his chest. How could anyone in the village possibly mistake her for the demon? He wondered as he picked up one of the kisses and smiled a bit.
The signifigance of the kisses candy was'nt lost to him. She had answered her own question about how to kiss someone who was'nt there. You leave them a different kind of kiss.
He looked up when Kakashi finally decided to come out of hiding and started walking over to them. Despite his lazy demeaner the man looked wary of the girl. Sarutobi frowned as he caught Kakashi glarring at the child for a second. Did he still see her as the Kyubbi?
"Lord Hokage." The man greeted him but his eyes stayed on the child.
"Kakashi, I didn't expect you to come here so soon or I would have taken her from here long ago." Sarutobi lied to the jounin as he looked at the girl, her crying had quieted down to the accasional hickup, and shuddering breath. Her eyes were closed, she must have cried herself to sleep.
He reached out and brushed some of the moisture from her cheek and smiled sadly. "Poor thing, she comes here daily to apoligise for causing such sorrow..."
"Good. She should apoligise for causeing so much pain and suffering." Kakashi growled without thinking. Sarutobi looked at him, or rather glared at him. If he could get away with killing him for that remark he would have killed him by now.
"Your a fool Kakashi. This girl is as human as you or I, and she is suffering because of us."
Kakashi looked at the elder with a funny look on his masked face. This little brat could'nt possibly be as human as they were, there was just no way. "I don't think I understand." Kakashi said honestly, because he didn't understand. Sarutobi gave him a sad smile.
"Look at the world from her point of veiw Kakashi. She was an infant, a new born the day that the demon attacked-"
"So, we could'nt beat the demon and her father used her to seal it away because he knew that we could'nt kill it. We are too weak to kill it. It is because we as humans are weak, that she has been suffering. It's our weaknesses that have caused her to get beaten, cursed, and almost killed time and time again. This is not why the forth Hokage used his little girl to save us. He used her to save us because he knew he would die that day, and she would need someone ot care for her. He had hoped that in return for saving us, we would take care of her and love her." But sadly the people had turned on the child and tried to kill her.
Kakashi had a thoughtful look on his face as he glanced at the sleeping girl. He was'nt sure what to believe. On one hand he still thought of the girl as a demon, and on the other, some small part of him could see her as human. Like him. Like his lost loved ones.
He looked at the old man curiously. "Minato had always hoped that you would be the one to love her the most. He had wanted you to take her in, but we knew that you had the bad tendicy to see her as the demon and might attack her. Minato is probably crying right now, because his precious little girl, the one that he sacrifised to save us is so lost and unloved. If he could do things over again I doubt he would bother saving anyone but her."
"He must be so disappointed."
"Yes, I suppose he is. And you are one of the people who have let him down and disappointed him the most Kakashi." Sarutobi said and was pleased with himself when the man flinched as if he had been struck. Kakashi should consider himself lucky that that was all he was going to do to him for his words earlier. He reached out and took Naru from the panther Anbu and cuddled the girl close to his chest and vanished.
He didn't want to stay close to someone who would hurt his little princess. And Kakashi had much to think about.