Nothing could have prepared Kakashi for the aftermath of the kannabi bridge mission.
They sat in silence after Kakashi first woke up startled by Minato’s side. That night, He laid down and seconds later, he slept. And he woke up the next morning and the sun was there. They packed and they finished their mission.
They walked and placed the explosive tags and blew up the bridge and they finished their mission.
And they went on their way home.
He could see with clarity the blue skies, the green of the leaves, the soft white of the clouds. And when Rin made him stop for a second so she could check if his eye was healing well he could see how hard she was trying to not let her face show any of the (hatred) sadness she felt, how his sensei looked at him like he perhaps was a ghost as well.
He could see perfectly, which is why he thought it was strange how the world distorted and tilted on their second day returning home. Sensei had kindly informed him he had passed out while walking, Kakashi thought it sounded reasonable. They camped and the moon wrapped their bodies in her light and he once again slept soundly, gone were his thoughts.
The next morning when they stopped to eat Rin started crying, he didn’t know why. Sensei rubbed her back and patted her head and rubbed his own eyes. They kept moving.
Kakashi was only aware he must have passed out again because he suddenly realised he was being carried, laying against sensei’s warm back. He tried protesting but he realised he couldn’t move his limbs properly, the movement feeling heavy, lethargic. He wondered if his own body was trying to kill him. Wouldn’t it be a shame to break Obito’s promise so soon by expiring?
They arrived to Konoha eventually. Minato-sensei took him to the hospital, they put him on a gurney and shone lights into his eyes and asked him questions, and Kakashi, being the good shinobi he was, answered them all. He could retell perfectly the past few days, aside from the strange gaps where he guessed he was unconscious. Minato-sensei hovered as the doctor scrutinized Obito’s eye. They made him wait as they called an Uchiha in. Minato waited with him and it took some time for them to return, not with just an Uchiha, several of them, and none other the hokage himself as well.
They stared at him with angry red eyes and Kakashi couldn’t help but remember how they looked on Obito, the red. Kakashi watched in bewilderment as they talked about him, watching every movement, every twitch of expression, every pull of eyes in his directions, strangely he couldn’t hear any of it, even as he stared at their mouths.
He blinked and he was then staring at the ceiling of the hospital, alone. The dark of the night greeting him. The lights to the bathroom in his room were on. He forced his limbs to move, standing on his feet and slowly making his way towards it.
As he approach, he peered into the half opened door.
Minato-sensei cried to himself, as quiet as he could, opening the tap so he could wash his red face.
It looked ugly. Kakashi, so unused to dealing with emotions (much less other’s) felt uncomfortable. He didn’t know what he could possibly do for his sensei. So he quietly turned around and laid back again on his bed. His head hurt (his eye hurt) and thought back on the way the Uchiha stared at him.
Next day Minato explained him how the fainting spells were caused by Obito’s eye. Kakashi couldn’t turn it off so it was constantly burning through his chakra reserves. (Wasn’t it bad? How for a second he thought about how Obito was still dragging him down, despite throwing his life away for him? Hadn’t he been dragging Obito down with his sneers and condenscence and -). Rest would let him replenish his reserves, they advised him to cover his eye when not needed. Kakashi felt a bit guilty, knowing Obito wished to see the future with him, what future would he see if Kakashi kept his eye closed? He followed their instructions anyway, at least so that he would stop losing so much of his day to unconsciousness, they were holding Obito’s funeral in a few days and he couldn’t miss it.
Rin visited. So did Gai. Rin kept smiling at him, looking out his window and talking softly of silly things their team used to do. Gai brought flowers for his room and kept close, feeling glad Kakashi would be okay for some reason. Kakashi felt frustrated at how muddled the world looked with just his one eye open. Everything felt slow and distant and he thought that it was probably the medicine (the exhaustion) and he couldn’t know how his friends felt about him anymore when he relied on his perception only.
He managed to get discharged off the hospital before Obito’s funeral. He showed up. There was a strange lack of Uchiha (and an abundance of civilians). He kept his eyes dutifully pointed forward throughout the ceremony. He couldn’t look at these people’s faces, he was afraid of looking at Kushina’s (Obito had always been her favorite).
He went home, he closed his front door. He got his futon out and laid down. On his pillows, under his blanket. And now, finally physically well enough, his head free of the pain medicine he’d been under lately, able to think properly and move properly, he closed his eyes and he could clearly remember how Minato sensei cried on the bathroom alone. How Rin cried at their camp. How Obito laid down on a pool of his own blood with a hole where his eye was. And then Kakashi started to understand this curse Obito bestowed on him. One Kakashi would carry without a complaint, for he deserved it.
Now, without the abrupt faintings that would force his body into rest, Kakashi laid in his bed and thought of the past.
He couldn’t sleep.