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Lost on the road of life

Chapter Text

Kakashi was lazying about on the tree-branch. It was a good day for reading, the sun was warming him pleasantly through the rustling leaves as it slowly rose, making it's way to the zenith at a crawling pace. Down below Naruto was scribbling out a fuinjutsu seal on a large scroll. Every now and then, between flicks of his pages, Kakashi would glance down to see how much progress his once-pupil made. His eyes flickered over the smooth lines, careful strokes, then back to the small writing of his well-worn Icha Icha Paradise.

 

Soothing. This was hardly something Kakashi was needed for, but Naruto had asked him to help spot any errors. The blond man was trying to recreate his fathers Hiraishin no Jutsu. This once he wanted to make the seal as big as possible on a scroll, just to be sure that he wouldn't make any mistakes. Kakashi was one of the only people who had seen – and been able to study – the Hiraishin tag that Minato had wrapped around the handles of his thee-pronged kunai. With the Sharingan he had previously had, before it had been ripped out and replaced by his own eye, regrown due to whatever impossibility Naruto had pulled out of his sleeve at that point of time. Something about the Six Sage? Whatever. It was not like Kakashi needed it, even though it had helped him immensely in the past. The jutsus he had learned thanks to its abilities to copy movement and his eidetic memory were still quite well stored in his mental storage. It was a rather cramped library at this point, which by far overshadowed his... other collection.

 

Still, while he was knowledgeable about Fuinjutsu, it was by far not his best practice. If it had been anyone else – or even anything else – he would have refused. But if he could help Naruto figure this technique out at the end of the day, well... maybe it would make up a little for having been absent during the kids childhood. Orders or no orders, if things had happened differently, maybe Kakashi would have been an elder brother. Instead he had delved into ANBU, immersed himself so far in his bloody work that it was a miracle he had made it out halfway sane.

 

He hadn't really been allowed near Naruto otherwise. And even if he had tried – at least a little – to watch over the kid as Inu... it was not the same and not nearly enough. Maybe he had managed to dissuade a few civilians, but direct contact...? Yeah, not even as ANBU watching from the rooftop on the 10th of October had given him that, but at least he had sometimes made sure the kid was still alive.

 

It had still hurt to look at Naruto and not be reminded of his teacher.

 

A few years down the line he had become a teacher himself and by then... well. Too little, too late, wasn't it?

 

Watching Naruto grow into his own had soothed that hurt a bit. Maybe he was not the greatest teacher himself, his affinities not aligning much with the blond rascal, but he supposed it had turned out all right in the end.

 

A chuckle escaped him and he quickly turned a page, ignoring the accusing pout that was aimed at him from below.

 

“Yosh!” Naruto said, jumping to his feet and clapping his hands together in excitement. Curious Kakashi lowered the book a little to see over the edge of it. With a hum he slowly closed it and jumped down from the tree, slowly sauntering over to Naruto and the seal on the scroll spread on the ground. His eyes flickered over the lines again, trying to find a fault in the incredibly intricate design.

 

“Hum.” he said, then hesitated.

 

“It... looks good, but-” something niggling in the back of his mind. He narrowed his eyes, stepping closer just as Naruto eagerly flickered his fingers to activate the seal.

 

His eyes widened, his body instantly jumping forward to stop his once-student as he felt the build-up of way too much chakra loading the air like static.

 

“Wai-!” he tried to shout, too late. The only thing he managed was a shove at the black-orange shape, making Naruto fly back and hopefully out of range of whatever this thing was, a few lines just a little crooked and out of place combined with the amount of chakra could spell disastrous consequences. The next thing he felt was the black ink trailing over his body like wiggling snakes, chakra surrounding him in near stifling amounts, then immense pain of being ripped apart only to be put together and repeating the process over and over again. He didn't have air to even scream and no sense of time, it could have been a second or a day, or years for all he knew. The strain on his mind was almost too much, pain overshadowing everything and then...

 

Nothingness.