They ran and ran, trying to escape the rocks that were falling above them like rain.
At Rin's cry, Obito turned around and saw Kakashi on the ground trying to stand up. Obito extended his arm and tried to get to Kakashi but it was too late, there was a loud bang and then his vision was obscured by the dust.
It was so strangely quiet. Obito opened his eyes and stood up slowly, looking at his left side. Rin was beside him. She was fine even though a bit dizzy like himself. Obito gave a relieved breath.
What had happened? Oh Right, the cave was crashing down around them, and rocks were falling everywhere! They ran and then- Kakashi!
Obito turned around and gasped. Kakashi was on his back, unable to move. The upper half of his legs were crushed under a big rock. The blood drained out of Obito's face at the gruesome scene. "Kakashi!" he cried, running to his teammate.
"Obito. . ." Kakashi's voice was soft and Obito felt a thrill up his spine. "You have to go."
Obito shook his head and tried to push the rock. Please move-please move, he prayed but nothing, the boulder didn't move, not even an inch. He felt angry, panicked, scared, weak, too much weak! The confidence he had gained earlier was gone. "Why!" Obito yelled, crushing on his knees. "Why I'm always so useless!" He hit the rock with his fits. "I have activated the Sharingan for nothing!"
Why was all this happening? First Rin, then Kakashi's eye and now this. What did they do to deserve this hell? Obito wished he had been the one crushed under the rock.
Someone cupped his cheeks with warm hands and Obito blinked his eyes, blinded by tears. Rin stared down at him, brown eyes full of determination. "Obito, don't, I really need your support now."
"W-what?" Obito was confused. What could he do? He was a useless ninja, who couldn't save a comrade after the promise he had made to himself. He was scum!
"We can still save Kakashi." Rin let go of his face and knelt beside Kakashi. "Kakashi-kun," she said softly, grasping his right hand. "Do you feel your legs?"
Kakashi didn't answer. He looked away, avoiding eye contact.
"I know you'll not like what I-"
"No-" Kakashi breathed heavily. "I don't want-"
"This is the only way!" Rin interrupted him. Obito was shocked, Rin never raised her voice with anyone, let alone Kakashi. "We'll not leave you here!"
"You can't do this!" Kakashi insisted.
"Rin! Can you tell me what you are talking about!" Obito interjected as well.
Rin looked at Obito, this time with teary eyes. "I have to amputate Kakashi's legs."
Obito froze. He had been so distressed that he hadn't thought about this solution. There were a lot of ninjas, lucky enough to survive, who had come back at home without a limb, or lose more than one. But to think that Kakashi would be one of them. . . This is gonna be hard on him. He had lost his eye not even an hour ago because of Obito.
Kakashi shook his head frenetically. "No!"
"Kakashi-kun," Rin pleaded.
"I'll not let you do it!"
"And we'll not let you die!" Obito shouted, finally coming back to the present. "If Rin says this is the way to help you then we have to follow it!" He had activated the Sharingan and, even though he couldn't see the chakra pathway system like the Byakugan, he could see that Kakashi's chakra was disrupted from the knee down. Obito didn't want to imagine how Kakashi's legs looked like under that damn rock. They couldn't lose any more time and Rin was of the same opinion.
"The more time we waste, the more of your legs you're going to lose."
Obito had to keep himself from wincing at Rin's words.
"But-" Kakashi was starting to argue again.
"I'll not let you give up, Kakashi!" Obito cut him off. He didn't know how Kakashi felt but he would not leave him now.
Kakashi rested his head back to the ground and closed his eye. "What kind of shinobi will I be without my legs, Obito?" The words felt like a slap in his face. Kakashi looked so defeated and Obito felt his heart crush as well, but he had to be strong now, for Kakashi.
Obito moved closer to Kakashi and grasped his left hand. "One who endures."*
Kakashi looked up at him, he stayed quiet for a moment and then chuckled. His eye was wet with tears and a small drop made his way down his dirty mask. This was the first time that Obito heard Kakashi do something similar to a laugh and saw him cry. Why did it have to happen in a situation like this?
"Will you stop to lecture me today, Obito?" And now that stupid Kakashi made jokes too. Obito rubbed a hand over his eyes and chuckled as well. No more tears today. "Only when you stop to be so stubborn, Bakashi."
Kakashi let out a shaky breath and nodded. "Rin, do it."
Rin took out the few medical tools she still had with her and the medical kit she had given to Kakashi for his promotion. "I'll try to save as much as possible," she said softly.
Obito trusted her. If someone could do that, this was Rin.
Obito held Kakashi's gaze and squeezed his trembling hand. He will be there for him. "You can do this, Kakashi."
Blood, there was too much blood. Obito wanted to scream, to cry, to throw up, to pull at his hair, but above all he wanted to kill that bastard of Iwagakure.
Rin had finally ended the surgery. Obito didn't know much about medical jutsu. Minato-sensei had once said that Rin will be one of the greatest medical-nin one day but for Obito she was already today.
Kakashi had cried and squeezed his hand through the surgery. They had to use Kakashi's own mask to prevent him to hurt himself but also to prevent being heard by Iwa-nin. Obito had never seen someone in so much in agony. Unfortunately, Rin had lost most of her equipment after the capture and had to work with what they had, this meant no anesthetic. She had also had to use the tanto of Kakashi's father. Obito shuddered. He wanted to delete those imagines from his mind.
Rin ended to bandage Kakashi's second thigh and then sighed tiredly. "I'm sorry Kakashi-kun, you had to suffer so much." She moved away a silver lock from Kakashi's sweaty front and put back the mask in his place.
Kakashi didn't answer. His dull grey eye was unfocused. He had stopped to hold Obito's hand a while ago. He is alive this is what matters, Obito reminded himself. He squeezed Kakashi's hand one last time and moved him away from the boulder.
They had been inside the rubble of rocks for quite a while now. Obito could see that the enemy was still outside, and he couldn't wait anymore to beat him.
"Rin, I'm going to take care of the bastard."
"Be careful, Obito," Rin told him, patting his shoulder.
Obito nodded and gave her his orange goggles.
"Take care of those and Kakashi, I'll be right back."
The pain had been so much. The burn on his shoulder and cut of his eye were just a tickle compared to what he had felt and was feeling now.
Kakashi opened slowly his eye, he must have zoned out for a bit. Rocks, he could only see rocks. His hand fell on his leg and he winced. No please no. He tried to stand up on his elbows but he was too weak and fell back on the ground. He could hardly breathe, the smell of his own blood was overwhelming. Kakashi swallowed back the bile rising in his throat.
"Kakashi-kun, don't push yourself."
Kakashi turned his head at the familiar voice.
"Rin? Where. . ."
"I'm here," Rin answered, finally in his view. She was alone. "We have to get out of here."
"Where is Obito?"
"You don't remember?" Rin asked him, worried. She had dark circles under her eyes. "The rocks? You-" she trailed off and her gaze fell on his legs. Or what had remained.
Kakashi bit his lip. Of course he remembered, how could he forget? It was impossible to forget that pain.
Kakashi raised his head and saw Obito peeking up at them from the edge of the crumble. He looked a bit bruised, but nothing to worry about.
"I did take care of the asshole, now we have to go."
Rin nodded. "There could be more of them coming."
Obito jumped down and kneeled in front Kakashi. "How do you feel?" he asked.
Kakashi raised an eyebrow. "What do you think?" he snapped. He didn't want Obito's pity.
Obito looked away and scratched the back of head awkwardly. "Right sorry." Kakashi sighed. He was too exhausted to deal with emotions. . . Obito turned around and bent over with his back towards Kakashi. "Come on, Kakashi, put your arms around my neck," he said, patting his shoulder.
Every movement sent more ripples of pain through his legs and Kakashi had to bit lips to hold back a cry. With Rin's help, Kakashi managed to settle on Obito's back and they secured the position with a rope tied up around their waist. He closed his eye and rested his head against Obito's shoulder as Obito tried to hold him without touching his wounded area. The voices of his teammates were just like a distant echo.
They got out of the crumble and Kakashi opened his eye when he heard Rin gasp. They were surrounded by Iwa-nin.
It was like the situation could only get worse in this mission.
The crumble under their feet collapsed with an earthquake jutsu of the enemy and Obito and Rin jumped away. Kakashi could barely keep track of where they were going. They jumped from a tall tree to another but suddenly Obito stopped and hissed. "We are surrounded."
They could go faster without him. He was just a dead weight now. "You should me leave me here and go away," Kakashi said, tired.
"Shut up, Bakashi!"
"But I'm just a burden, you could be a lot faster without me."
He deserved to be left behind.
Obito kneeled and removed the rope around their waist. He turned around and leaned Kakashi against the tree trunk, holding him by the shoulder. Sharingan eyes glared at him. "Why don't you understand it? I will not abandon my comrades!"
Kakashi grimaced at the loud voice. "This is not about missions anymore, your lives are at stake!"
"You went from one extreme to another!" Obito said frustrated, shaking Kakashi's shoulders.
Rin stepped beside them and tried to move Obito away. "Obito, don't!" she reprimanded him.
"You have to go, for Rin and-" Kakashi started.
"I will protect both you and Rin!" Obito shouted.
Suddenly a third tomoe appeared on each of Obito's red eyes. Kakashi stared wide-eyed at Obito.
"What now?!" Obito asked annoyed.
"Your Sharingan," Kakashi said, shocked, "has a third tomoe now."
Obito shrugged his shoulders and stood up like nothing had happened. "Rin, stay here with Kakashi! When you see the chance get out of here!" Obito jumped away and Rin took his place in front Kakashi. She hold a kunai, Sensei's kunai Kakashi noticed. And this was so wrong, he should be in front of Rin together with Obito, protecting her from the enemies' attack.
Kakashi closed his fits and looked down at his thighs for the first time. There wasn't much fabric left, Rin had to cut his trousers to do the surgery. The almost three-quarter of his thighs she had saved was bandaged up neatly, but the wounds must have opened during their escape because now the bandages were stained with blood. They were gone. Kakashi's shaking hands clutched the fabric of his trousers.
Rin said something to him, but he couldn't understand her words. His ears were ringing. Kakashi looked up and, even though his view was starting to fade, he saw a ninja came towards them as Rin knelt before him to look at his legs.
"Rin!" he gasped before everything became black.