Trigger warning: Attempted Suicide
Prompt: Kakashi has a failed suicide attempt.
Pairings: None. Team 7 love, man.
What did it mean to die?
Was it the cessation of life? Was it the loss of your spirit on earth?
Where would you go after you stopped breathing?
Kakashi stood before the monument in the Konoha cemetery. The steps that lead up to the monument honoring all those shinobi who lost their lives were wet with morning dew. Above, the clouds hung ominously, as if mirroring what the tall shinobi was feeling this morning.
His hooded eye gazed down at the polished marble, pondering what it would be like to have his name etched underneath it like all his other friends.
Obito, Rin, Minato, Asuma. Dad.
All their names hung in the air as his eyes skimmed over them. He frowned, feeling his chin quiver and he quickly reached up to his masked mouth to cover it. He felt like he was being suffocated.
It was something that always lingered in his mind, as if a small demon sat on his shoulder, poking him with these thoughts when he needed it least.
Often times, he tried to push it all away, diving into something else and transfixing his time on that. The first time his feelings overwhelmed him, he was still young. His adolescent body was just developing into the man he would become. He gutted himself and made himself into a shinobi after bloodlust, killing men in whatever situation he could. He invented the Chidori, punching his lightning blade into the chest of any man he felt should die at his hand. Minato-sensei had caught in, appointing him to the ANBU to perhaps distract himself. That time it only went away when he found purpose as a black ops captain.
The second time was when he hung up his ANBU mask, attempting to find purpose after the black ops. When he returned back to the regular Konoha military, he seemed to lack what he had once found in the ANBU even though he knew he couldn’t go back.
Then, Lord Third had mentioned he become a sensei to a new team of genin coming fresh from the academy. He didn’t seem to think he fit the bill for a teacher. He wasn’t like Iruka or Ibisu who seemed to have it within them. But nonetheless, he accepted and found purpose with Team 7.
Now, they were gone.
Kakashi had watched his young and inexperienced team grow into young adults. Naruto had been taken under the wing of Master Jiraya. Sakura worked under Lady Tsunade. And Sasuke was missing, rumored to be under the watchful eye of Orochimaru.
His team had grown up with it much time for their old sensei. Kakashi shoved his hands in his pockets as the air became heavy with the anticipated rain showers of the day. He breathed in, turning around to gaze at the hundreds of tombstones that lined themselves in the lawn before him. He lowered his chin, making his way down the steps and out the gates. His hand reached into his back pouch for his book, brushing against its spine before his mind suddenly wandered and his hand returned to his pocket. He could do it, he thought.
It would be easy. A kunai to the throat. A Chidori to the chest. He entertained the idea of leaving this world, wondering what it would be like to leave everyone behind. He wondered who would care.
He thought of Guy, his oldest friend. Nowadays, he seemed more immersed in training with Lee. There was you, a comrade turned lover for one night. Since then, there hadn’t been much contact between the two of you. He frowned at the thought.
He thought of Iruka and Yamato. Both of whom had their own troubles and work to take care of.
He thought of Team 7, frowning as he mentally evaluated each of his students. They were older now, more mature. Or at least, Sasuke was. Perhaps even Sakura. He wondered how Naruto would react.
Kakashi’s chest constricted as he walked the desolate road of Konoha. He was caught between wanting to release himself from the memories and feelings, and not wanting to cause the ones he loved such pain.
He remembered finding his father and how it had felt as though he betrayed him, left him for the dead to learn how to navigate this world on his own. It was such a disgrace to die of suicide back then. Kakashi walked passed a civilian who was sweeping the cobblestone, looking up briefly as the brooding shinobi passed. Now, as an adult, Kakashi felt something deeper than he had the past two times he felt this pain. He sympathized with his father’s actions, realizing the justification for them.
He ached for silence in his mind. Nothing seemed to work. There was no Minato to save him, pushing him into his next ambitious agenda. For a moment, he looked up, thinking that he had to be his own hero. And yet, the sky above responded with a single raindrop that fell between his eyes. He curled his eyes shut, disgusted that he couldn’t help himself.
So many men had died at his hand. He constantly felt as though his hands were soaked in blood. He continued to walk, itching his palm as he thought of the all the chests they had pierced with his chidori.
“Kakashi,” looking back, he saw his young cherry blossom walking down the cobbled street, her heels clicking on it. He felt his chest tighten, looking at how much older she looked since the last time he saw her. She certainly didn’t need her old sensei anymore.
“Sakura-chan,” he turned, bowing his head.
“How are you?” She asked, placing a gentle hand on his lower arm. She smiled at him, and he suddenly felt exposed, as if she knew his thoughts, despite it being impossible.
He looked down at her, wondering what she could possibly want with him. Perhaps she needed more training. His heart lightened, excited to feel wanted.
“Fine,” he replied shortly. “Why do you ask? Is there something you need me to do?“
She gently smiled, tilting her pink head and letting go of his shoulder.
“No, Lady Tsunade suggested I come speak to you,” she told him. His heart sank again. "She said you quiet during your last mission briefing. More so than normal.”
“Oh,” Kakashi nodded, trying to hide his disappointment and sound surprised as he continued down the street.
Kakashi waved a hand, dismissing his only female student, “no reason.“
He wasn’t about to confide in a 15-year-old student. She nodded your head as Kakashi looked away, not noticing the suspicious look in her jade eye as she gazed up at the copy-nin. She took his shoulder in your hand, stopping him.
"Anything bothering you, Kakashi-sensei?” She frowned, looking up at him. He stared down at her, the look in his eye deep and forlorn. He felt his chest tighten, the demon on his shoulder whispering to him.
She doesn’t really care, it said.
“Nothing,” he replied, turning away.
The pink hairs kunoichi stood there, rain beginning to pour itself from the sky onto the stone road. She watched as he began to walk away, lifting a hand to wave a goodbye.
* * * * * * *
Kakashi sat on his bed, his elbows resting on his knees. His chest felt like a weight was sitting on it. His body ached for the sleep that only came in small intervals throughout the night. Dawn had just barely opened its eyes when the silver haired ninja stood, the rickety floor board creaking under his step. He walked into his bathroom, turning the light on to wash his face.
He splashed water over his skin, feeling the cold water against his face. Feeling something other than the perpetual ache in his head. He opened his eye, staring at himself for the first time in what felt like days.
The circles under his eyes were darker than he remembered. He lifted a hand, tracing the purple circle under his eye and down the scar that resided to just above his lip. He remembered how it felt to get that. The pain he felt.
No matter how many memories Kakashi seemed to recall, none of them could penetrate him. He tried to think of happier memories, the feelings of joy and accomplishment. And yet, the sad, tired eyes stared back at him.
He gritted his teeth, angry. He clenched his eyes shut, feeling tears spill from under his lids as he inhaled sharply.
“I can’t anymore,” he whispered. “I just can’t do it anymore.”
He felt himself kick the cupboard, his arms flailing and punching the mirror before him. It shattered, glass sticking to his knuckles. An ugly wail bubbled up in his throat, all the memories of people dying to resurface. Minato, Obito, Rin, Dad. He wanted to forget about it, to be the strong shinobi so many admired. But he couldn’t keep being strong. He couldn’t continue to be the strong one in the village.
Kakashi bent over, yanking his mask off so that he could breathe. The air in the room felt so thick, like his lungs couldn’t handle it all. His teeth showed as he gritted them, feeling himself sob in a way he never had. He shoved things off the counter, anger, resentment and disappointment surfacing. He reached in the drawer of the bathroom, pulling out a bottle of painkillers.
He walked out of the bathroom, throwing caution of the glass out the window as it cut the bottom of his feet, leaving footprints of blood as he reached into the nightstand next to his bed. He reached in, grabbing a kunai and twirled it in his fingers. Heaving, he pushed himself against the wall and slid down, staring up at the ceiling.
Who would find him? Would he remain here, dead, for days? They only wanted him for his physical strength. And even that was wavering the older he grew. His time as a shinobi were numbered. He lifted the silver blade, pushing it against his finger.
He contemplated his options. With shaking hands, he opened the bottle and shoved a dozen in his mouth, swallowing hard. He exhaled, looking up at the ceiling. In his hand, he clutched the blade, feeling it cutting into his palm. He considered lifting it, imagining it slicing him, and yet, he didn’t.
He reached for the bottle again, shoving five or six more into his mouth. Kakashi leaned over, holding the back of his neck as he rested his head on his knees. He stayed there, feeling time ticking in his ears as he waited. The world drifted in and out of vision, his heart rate accelerating and then dropping. He felt the control over his body drift from him as his torso slid over the wall and onto the floor.
His world turned black.
And then, he heard it.
* * * * * * * * * *
“Kakashi-sensei!” It sounded as though he was underwater. The world around him felt far away and his body felt like it weighed a thousand pounds.
In his living room were Sakura and Naruto, bursting into his living space with joyous smiles and a bag full of hot food.
“We came to bring you breakfast to cheer you up!” Naruto hollered.
When no one answered, both of his students frowned, lowering their arms.
“Kakashi-sensei?” Sakura called, her voice lower than before.
“Sensei, aren’t you happy that I’m home?” Naruto laughed nervously. No answer.
“Maybe he’s not home?” Sakura suggested, putting down the bag of food.
“Not home so early?” Naruto frowned, “Or maybe he’s just sleeping. Let’s go wake him up.”
Before Sakura could stop him, Naruto pushed past her and into his bedroom. The blood visibly drained from his face when he saw the scene before him. Kakashi laid on his side, arms tangled, holding the blade of a kunai. Blood trailed from his hands and into the bathroom, his feet bloody with shattered glass.
“No!” Sakura yelled, running up to his lifeless body. Quickly, her hands began to glow green, assessing him. She gritted her teeth, tears streaming down her face and onto his mask.
“Naruto! Go get Lady Tsunade!”
* * * * * * * * *
“You’re not going to die on me!” Kakashi heard through fogged hearing. He fell in and out of consciousness, feeling Sakura working on his body with her own chakra. His body didn’t feel like it was his own.
More voices around him came into proximity. The voice of the Hokage yelled, barking orders. His body was picked up and put on a stretcher. He drifted back into darkness.
“You’re not leaving us, Kakashi!” Tsunade murmured aggressively as he stirred. She yelled orders to Sakura as his body rumbled over to the Leaf Hospital blocks away. Black.
He stirred again, feeling his body being poked with IVs, fluids being pumped into his body. The sound of his heartbeat monitor rung in his ears.
“Kakashi!” he heard. The voice belonged to Naruto. Black.
“Kakashi-sensei!” he heard again, his eyes only half opening to a blurred vision of yellow and orange.
“Kakashi-sensei, why would you do this?” Naruto asked, his voice distraught. “You didn’t need to do this. Everyone - everyone loves you. If you needed something - I am here. Granny Tsunade is here! Sakura and - Sasuke! We’re here!”
“Kakashi-sensei,” another voice. Pink. “Can you hear me? If you can, I just wanted to tell you, you are the best sensei. You -”
* * * * * * * *
~3 Days Later~
“Kakashi,” Tsuande sat opposite of him, discharge papers in hand. “I’m here to talk to you.”
“There’s nothing to talk about,” Kakashi murmured, fiddling with the bandage on his palm.
“There is plenty,” Tsunade frowned. She paused, staring at him as he sat in his hospital bed.
“Kakashi,” Tsunade began again. “I just wanted to tell you something. I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and want to help. So many people want to help.”
“I’m sorry,” Kakashi frowned.
“Don’t,” Tsunade shook her head. “I don’t want to hear about how you’re sorry. I see your life and how you’ve overcome so many things. The weight of it all must be unbearable. But you are not alone. When you want to give up, tell yourself you will hold off for just one more day, hour, minute—whatever you can manage.“
Kakashi looked away. Carefully, the Hokage placed the discharge papers on the edge of his bed.
“I have an appointment scheduled for you to see a counselor-”
“You will,” Tsunade returned sternly. She nodded and began to walk away before turning and looking back at him.
“Your team loves you more than you understand. They still love you.”
Kakashi looked away again, feeling his chin begin to quiver.
On his nightstand next to him was a card, something he always thought to be too cliche and tacky. However, this time he would cherish it. For it was signed by all of the Konoha shinobi.
Get well soon