Hatake Kakashi is born bathed in blood, wails echoing throughout the hospital. The nurses hold him with pitying eyes, rocking him gently in an attempt to soothe him.
The father is unresponsive in his grief when the widwives try to hand the baby to him.
Eventually, two men in masks reminiscent of a boar and an eagle come to take the newborn to the Hatake compound alone.
(Hatake Sakumo doesn’t meet his son until days later, the boy having been cared for by shadows the first few moments of his life.
Sakumo’s eyes are full of regret as he gazes at the weeping infant in the crib.)
When Kakashi is six, he steps into a quiet house.
He mutely enters the living room, and feels blood soak into his socks.
He stares at his father’s cold body, sword sheathed in his stomach, and wonders why he isn’t surprised.
(Oh. He’d been anticipating it.)
He walks over to the corpse with heavy, resigned steps, and lays his head on his father’s side.
Blood stains his cheek and his hands with every shift, but Kakashi thinks this is what was meant to happen.
It was bound to, since his father was a coward.
When Kakashi is seven, he meets a bright young man called Namikaze Minato.
Something warm fills into his gut at the sight of him, but he ignores it, as he stares in mild disbelief at the unfortunate highlighter yellow coloring of the teen’s hair.
Kakashi flies through everything Minato teaches him— or at least tries to teach him. Kakashi takes to all of the skills and techniques like a bird in the air, and Minato can’t help but think his protégé went and saved a nation or two in his past life.
He settles for teaching the genius basic fuinjutsu and starts to ramble to him about his theories on jutsu creation.
When Kakashi is twelve, he makes his first attempt at creating an original technique.
Minato had already created a powerful swirling sphere of pure chakra and destruction, and well, hey. Kakashi wanted to see if he could do it too.
Kakashi allows chakra to weave between his fingers in the form of sparks, and, like a lighter, the snap of his wrist lights his entire hand up in a somehow familiar, yet overwhelming white electricity.
His arm tingles, and Kakashi revels in the feeling.
The preteen grins under his mask, before promptly collapsing on the ground, courtesy of the burns traveling up from the tips of his fingers to the junction between his neck and shoulder.
He blurrily watches in dazed glee as yellow flashes come streaking toward him in panic from across the field.
When Kakashi is thirteen, he meets a frankly annoying boy and a shy girl.
(He thinks he’s going to love them, but glares the feeling away when Minato whispers the exact thought to him in a teasing, jovial tone. Tch.)
He spends a whole year of his life bickering and wrestling and arguing with the dark haired boy— who had a terrible fashion sense and a horrid obsession with candy, who was slow in learning and as far from punctual as the Land of Fire and the Land of Snow, who had pretty onyx eyes and a heart of gold, who begrudgingly gave thanks to him whenever useful advice was given, who took every opportunity possible to make jabs about his hair, who teared up at the sight of his adorable ninken puppies, who stupidly choked on a sweet during one of the most important moments of his life.
He spends a whole year staring blankly and exchanging commiserating glances with the brown haired girl— who was painfully shy around him for a while, who would treat his scrapes and cuts with a pinch to the arm and an exasperated huff, who would join him in rolling his eyes when their teacher would blush around a certain redhead, who had cool purple rectangles marking both of her cheeks that he had never bothered to ask about, who would high five him behind their sensei’s back when she’d manage to squeeze in an undetected, polite insult at somebody.
Kakashi spends a whole year falling into the routines and familiarity, as if he’d known them for decades.