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[Fic]: Steps to Death
mine!
devlinnreiko wrote in whitefangs
 

Disclaimer: I own none of the characters.

Title: Steps to Death
Author: devlinnreiko
Genre: horror/angst
Rating: PG -13
Warnings: suicide, blood...Jiraiya
Spoilers: none unless you don't know Sakumo's story

Okay this is the second part to the one-shots I’ve written. This one deals with Sakumo’s suicide and Kakashi. I tried to approach his instability from a different way so hopefully it turns out okay. If anything confuses you it will most likely be in the first fic ‘As Long As I Can’ and most of the interaction is original as I haven't seen anything similar :)

Enjoy. 


Kakashi walked into the darkened room; it was a bright morning but the blinds were drawn close and no sound could be heard. The small boy waited at the door seeing if his father would answer him His father has grown reclusive and Kakashi found it harder and harder everyday to communicate in ant way with his father. Ever since the one mission his father went on two years ago when Kakashi had told his father what the others did to in excluding him, his father had been slipping away from him. It made him break having to see his father in such denial. 

A smell drifted across Kakashi’s nose causing his face to cringe. 

“Dad?” His quiet voice called out. There was no answer. Walking into the room he spotted a figure over by the window. Shafts of light made their way through the blinds of the window highlighting pieces of the figure. Kakashi crept into the room trying not to make noise. Coming to the table Kakashi looked at his father. He noticed the smell was the open bottle of ink sitting next to his father’s hand. 

“Dad?” Kakashi asked again. No response. Getting a little anxious Kakashi reached out a hand to gently brush against his father’s slumped shoulder. 

He retracted his hand as the shoulder moved and the head of his father looked up, silver hair unbound and slightly unkempt. 

“Oh hello Kakashi. Is it breakfast already?” He asked quietly with no trace of emotion. 

“No. I waited for you, but you said to eat if you didn’t come in ten minutes. It’s eleven o’clock now. You told me that at nine.” Kakashi answered fidgeting with the hem of his shirt. He watched his father look towards the window and then down at whatever he had been working on. Sighing he gave Kakashi a sad look. 

“I’m sorry. I got too wrapped up. Did you need anything?” Sakumo asked watching his son trying to figure out what was going on. He lost track of time, days as well as basic routines in his daily life. A few times he had forgotten Kakashi’s name and the fact that he had a son. 

Sakumo started to deny many things in life; the value of life, people, Kakashi. He had constant worry (when he remembered) about the fact of Kakashi being left alone. He was both proud and scared about his seven year old chunin. It had been a year since Kakashi had graduated, but the respect he had hoped people would give Kakashi at this still seemed far away. Who would respect a top jounin failure and then believe a young son could restore his honour? 

Sakumo didn’t know that person then. Kakashi wasn’t his tool…maybe Konoha’s but not his own. Sakumo could only be happy (slightly) to see that Kakashi had received such an honourable and understanding sensei. 

Focusing back in, Sakumo looked at Kakashi who was staring back at him patiently. 

“Dad can I?” Kakashi asked. Sakumo stared back. 

“Did you say something?” Sakumo answered. 

Kakashi inwardly sighed. His father wasn’t there again. 

“I wanted to know if I could go train since sensei is on the mission.” Kakashi asked again. Sakumo winced slightly at his son’s question. He never liked the idea of Kakashi training alone, away from him without his sensei. He had been unable to go with Kakashi. He found himself too weak or ill to pick up weapons or train. Not that he dwelled on it much anymore. After a minute passed, Sakumo sighed. 

“I actually have something for you to do. It’s like training.” Sakumo said. “Kakashi, come help me up.” 

Kakashi quickly walked around the table and slowly helped his father stand. After a few long moments Kakashi stood next to his father. He still barely reached his father’s waist. Looking up he studied his father. Sakumo still retained a young appearance, but it looked very tired. His eyes had dulled and his skin looked ghastly. Feeling his father move, Kakashi let go and watched as his father walked across the room. Sakumo searched through a shelf pushing things out of the way. 

After a few minutes he found what he was looking for. Turning around he beckoned Kakashi over. Kakashi 
obediently walked over. Sakumo knelt to be level with Kakashi. He held up a scroll. 

“Here.” Kakashi looked at his father before taking the scroll. 

“What is it?” he asked. 

“It’s a summoning. Kuchiyose: Doton: Tsuiga no Jutsu. There dogs that have helped me many times before. I found them when I was a little older then you are.” Sakumo said hoping he was right about the ages. 

“How do I summon them?” Kakashi asked turning the scroll around in his hands. 

“Well first it’s a blood contract, so you’ll need to either bite your finger or give it a quick small cut with a kunai. It’s got instructions in it for you, so you’ll figure it out.” 

“Okay, I’ll try it.” Kakashi said. Sakumo lifted a hand and put it on Kakashi’s cheek pulling down the mask, taking in his son’s face. It had grown a little colder but it still was the same face that brought what little joy Sakumo could receive in life. 

“Why don’t you go out to one of the training areas? Don’t come back till you can get a decent summon okay?” Sakumo said locking eyes with Kakashi. Kakashi nodded. Sakumo’s lips curved slightly, hand lingering on Kakashi’s cheek longer than needed. Ruffling the soft silver locks, Sakumo raised the mask over Kakashi’s face before standing up slowly. He gave Kakashi a gentle but firm push out of the door watching Kakashi looking back, but he continued down the empty hall. Sakumo would have been happy to see Yukimori trailing after his son, but the white dog unfortunately been killed by a villager when he and Kakashi were in the village. He sighed at the memory. 

The villagers were at the height of anger at Sakumo for the mission. A villager had verbally attacked the Hatakes. Yukimori had growled at the angry villager, when he didn’t stop. It wasn’t till the villager pushed Sakumo who knocked Kakashi over in his relapse did Yukimori jump at the villager locking his strong jaws on an arm. Before either Hatake could interfere the villager had, in defense, taken his kunai and drove it into the dog’s white neck. A gurgle-growl was heard before the villager pushed Yukimori to the ground. 

A crowd surrounded the four, silence settling through the crowd. Sakumo brought Kakashi to his feet, before silently turning towards Yukimori and the villager clutching his arm in pain. Sakumo knelt, scooping the big, limp dog in his arms before standing and walking through the crowd with a grim look on his face. Kakashi followed silently staring at the open-eyed face of the dog. Sakumo had taken Yukimori to the forest and picked out a favourite area of the Hatakes and buried the dog under the tree. 

Sakumo sighed at the memory knowing that perhaps a summon of a dog(s) would make Kakashi happy. He continued to stare even after Kakashi had left the house. Moving away from the door frame, Sakumo walked back over to the table and sat down picking up the brush he had been writing with before, a sense of dread hanging over the room.


Kakashi quickly walked to his favourite training area. He and his sensei came here often since it was well secluded. Walking into the open area, Kakashi looked around before sitting on the ground. Unrolling the scroll he found that another scroll had been rolled up within it. Figuring it was the instructions Kakashi put the one scroll down and read what was written. 

The instructions were clear and simple, but Kakashi knew that it was the chakra control and personal ability that would do it. Absorbing the instructions Kakashi grabbed the other scroll and stood up. Deciding against biting his finger this time, Kakashi grabbed a kunai from his pouch and gave his finger a swipe of the blade. Blood welled up and he ran it along the scroll. He preformed the seals flawlessly, Kakashi called the summon and waited. 

Nothing happened. Sighing he let go of the scroll and picked up the instructions. He looked it over before picking the scroll up. He tried a few more attempts before finally being able to get a reaction. A puff of smoke appeared but that’s all he received. A little success he thought. The morning passed by quickly for Kakashi, before it was mid afternoon; Kakashi had moved over to the shade of the trees. 

“Kuchiyose: Doton: Tsuiga no Jutsu.” he called out and was surprised when he received the reward of a small pudgy grey black eyed puppy. Kakashi cocked his head at the puppy. The puppy looked at Kakashi before disappearing. Kakashi sighed frustratingly. He grabbed the scroll and tried again, a little more forceful. He again succeeded in calling a dog, a little different from the last. This dog again disappeared. Kakashi crossed his arms and sat down. 

“A dog’s not gonna appear to a little brat like you ya-know.” A voice came from the surroundings. Kakashi looked around and spotted the person. Kakashi blinked at the person who sat on a branch staring boredly down at Kakashi. 

“Jiraiya-sama”. Kakashi said boredly. Jiraiya stared back. 

“Is that the way your father taught you to greet me, or more importantly, your sensei?” Kakashi narrowed his eyes and gave a bored look. 

“They said not to flatter you.” Kakashi said. Jiraiya huffed and jumped off the tree branch landing behind Kakashi. 

“I see your father gave you his summon. Did he forget to teach you it?” Jiraiya asked sarcastically. “Well I see he gave you instructions.” Jiraiya said noticing the scrolls. Kakashi turned back around and preformed the jutsu. Jiraiya sighed at the attempts. 

“A prodigy you might be but even you need help. Which, I can help you with if you wanna do something for me.” Jiraiya said scratching his chin. 

“You’d want me to do something cute for a bunch of ladies and then you can tell them you’re looking after me.” Kakashi stated. 

“Well it would be for a just cause.” Jiraiya said turning to the side a bit. Looking back he noticed Kakashi wasn’t looking at him. Leaning over the small boy he looked over the scroll. 

“Hurmph.” 

“What?” Kakashi said not looking. 

“I think ya might be doing that wrong.” Jiraiya said. Kakashi turned his head and stared up at him. Jiraiya stared back at the silver haired boy. Laughing he stepped forwardtill he was next to Kakashi and crouched down. 

“Well ya got the basis of it being a blood contract, but you have to sign your name and give finger prints of the hand you want to summon with.” Jiraiya said taking the scroll and laying it out in front of Kakashi. Kakashi glanced over at Jiraiya, who caught the movement of his eyes. 

“Well don’t just stand there staring at me. Try it out.” Jiraiya said. Kakashi looked back before taking his kunai and proceeded with Jiraiya’s directions. Performing the seals he pressed his summoning hand on the ground and called out the jutsu. 

Smoke billowed and Kakashi stepped back when the space filled. Looking back at Kakashi was the same pudgy grey puppy that he first saw. The only difference this time was that it stayed, wagging its stub of a tail wildly. Kakashi blinked. 

“Well there ya go. Seems to recognize you now at least.” Jiraiya said grinning. The puppy, which Kakashi guessed was a bulldog, sat with eyes on him. 

“I don’t get it. Shouldn’t the dog be bigger? I don’t see how these puppies are going to help me on missions.” Kakashi said watching the puppy. 

“Well what did you expect? How else do dogs trust? They’ll grow. They’re your summons now so they’ll grow when you raise them.” Jiraiya said obviously. Standing up, he stared at the boy watching Kakashi putting a hand out and the dog sniffing and licking it. Looking up his noticed the sun was beginning to set.
‘The hot springs will be busy soon.’ He thought grinning. 

“Well I think I’ve done enough today. No job is ever too small for the ‘Great Jiraiya’. I got other things to see to. See ya brat.” He said before making his way through the forest. Kakashi watched him go before turning back muttering ‘pervert’ under his breath. 

“I guess I can try a few more times before I go home.” Kakashi said. He practiced for another hour or so before deciding to show his father what he could do. Grabbing the scrolls he rolled them up before placing them in his pouch and making his way home. 

Kakashi walked slowly down the street to his house seeing a few others making there way to dinner. The lights in the section weren’t the greatest but Kakashi still managed to find his way. Seeing his small house up head Kakashi started to get anxious as he neared. Pushing it aside for hunger he reached the bottom of the few steps leading to the door. Looking at the door Kakashi was stopped at entering. Shaking his head he slowly walked up the steps till he reached the door. The house looked dark. He thought maybe his father went out but quickly pushed that idea away. Opening the door he stepped inside the house. Standing there he felt eeriness seep to him. Taking off his sandals he looked around the small room. 

“Dad?” Kakashi called out. No response. Taking a step forward, and then another Kakashi’s feet led him down the small hallway. He looked in the kitchen but didn’t see his father there. Clinging to the walls he quietly stepped toward his father’s work room. Seeing the door closed Kakashi knocked twice before waiting for a response. Receiving silence Kakashi fidgeted with the hem of his shirt. Knocking again he received the same silence. 

“Dad?” Kakashi called out, ear to the door. He heard the slightest of movement. Taking in a breath he slowly slid open the door wide enough for him to cross. 

Looking around the room his eyes quickly fell to the figure on the floor. His breath quickened a bit as he stepped into the room. 

“Dad?” He called out before his nose was assaulted with a foul smell. Cringing he stepped forward. His eyes fell to the floor as his barefoot stepped into something warm and unpleasant. Looking down the smell was forgotten. Following the trail he saw it go right to his father. Taking another step his noticed the tanto limply in his father’s hand coated in the same substance on the floor. 

“Dad?” He again called out, voice faltering. His knees gave out soon and Kakashi collapsed to the ground not caring what he was kneeling in. His hands shook as he reached out towards his father unfortunately to have them placed upon the opening in his abdomen. Kakashi closed his eyes and quickly moved his hands out of the way. Leaning forward he noticed his father’s face was facing the ground and covered by his hair. Pushing his father’s shoulders back a back he managed to move the head to the side and pushed his father’s hair out of his face. He gasped silently. His father’s eyes were moving slightly. Oh god, his father was alive, barely, but still alive. 

Sakumo’s eyes slowly found Kakashi’s. They could barely stay opened. Kakashi hands shook as he grasped his father trying to hide the evidence. 

“K-shi.” Was barely whispered as they became unfocused and dead. Kakashi stared tears building up in his eyes. 

“Dad…no.” He called out pressing his face into his father’s arm. He pulled down his mask which was giving him trouble. His cries soon became sobs as his shook his head into his father. 

He wanted his father to be proud and happy again, but that was crushed. He’d lost Yukimori and his father. He continued to call out; clutching his father’s shirt wishing it was a dream.


Dusk fell and the streets in this area became quiet. The Hokage walked along the road, finally getting time to pursue this issue. It wasn’t so much as he finally got time but it was the some odd meeting that a certain person had missed. 

Sandaime walked up to the Hatake house. His eyes searched for signs that someone was home. Frowning he approached the door. Knocking he waited for an answer. Receiving none and knowing that Kakashi would be here and should have answered, Sandaime grunted. He knocked again. Upon the third try he found the door unlocked. Concern filling over privacy of the residents the Sandaime opened the door and entered. He was met with the same silence Kakashi had. 

“Sakumo? Kakashi?” He called out. A sound was heard nearby. Sandaime walked the same path Kakashi had. Turning on the lights in the hallway Sandaime saw the opened door. Making his way over, he was met with an unexpected sight. 

Light from the hallway flooded into the room lighting up the two bodies on the ground. Stepping forward Sandaime quickly was at their side the bottom of his robes staining with blood and bodily fluids. 

“Kakashi?” He called out. He noticed the tear-soaked face of the child and put his hands on the boy to pry him off gently. 

“No, let me stay.” Sandaime heard and saw Kakashi clutch his father. Sandaime’s eyes saw the tanto and then saw the death poem Sakumo had written on the floor next to his head. 

‘Seppuku.’ Sandaime thought grimly. All thoughts of his true purpose for being there left. He now had to take away one of the strongest shinobi’s he’d known from a lonely, now orphaned boy. 

“Kakashi, you have to let go. There’s nothing you can do.” He cooed gently. The boy shook his head slightly refusing to let go of his father’s shirt. Deciding on an alternative he stood up and left the room. Five minutes later he returned with a few medical-nin waited in the other room to take the body once he got Kakashi.
Sandaime entered and came back to Kakashi’s side. He wished the boy’s sensei was here, since he would probably have better luck. 

“Kakashi…you can’t let him stay like this. It’s not helping him. Come along now. We’ll go get you cleaned up.” Sandaime said quietly. Looking over Kakashi he noticed the boy had almost cried himself to sleep. Wrapping his hands under his arms, Sandaime pulled the boy away and picked him up. 

“No…have to show …dad...summoning...jutsu…” Kakashi mumbled. Sandaime stepped back and out into the hallway signaling for the medics to come into the room. As they passed by he quickly took Kakashi and brought him to the hospital notifying them of the events. A nurse quickly relieved Sandaime of Kakashi and took the boy away to clean the blood away. 

Sandaime sighed and took out his pipe. He had been concerned over Sakumo’s condition and his rapid decrease in missions and meetings. The village had suffered a loss with the death. Sandaime stared at the retreating figures. 

Hopefully with the return of the ‘Yellow Flash’ and Kakashi, the loss won’t be too hard towards the village, but Sandaime prayed that Kakashi wouldn’t break either.


A day passed and the ‘Yellow Flash’ had returned to Konoha. Upon direct orders to meet the Hokage immediately Kakashi’s sensei made his way to the Hokage Tower.
Upon entering the office he immediately felt the grim feeling and received the news. He immediately demanded to be taken to Kakashi. 

Sandaime nodded and stood up from his desk. Walking with the young man they made their way down the hallway. 

“Kakashi needs a home now. I won’t put the boy to torture by making him stay in that house.” Sandaime said looking up at the yellow-haired man who nodded. 

“There’s no argument Sandaime. Kakashi will stay with me. I won’t let him suffer through this, standing in the sidelines as a seven year old has to live with the pain of his father’s death.” 

Sandaime stared at him nodding. He was grateful to this man for being so compassionate and helpful in a lifestyle that required him to live side-by-side with death. 

Turning down another hallway Sandaime directed the younger man to room. Kakashi’s sensei looked through the window, immediately noticing the huddled form on the bench. Sighing he nodded to the Hokage before entering the room. He slowly made his way over to Kakashi, the boy not seeming to take notice. Standing in front of Kakashi, he crouched to be level with the boy, resting a large hand on the silver head. 

“Hey Kakashi.” Kakashi’s head moved slightly so that only his right eye was peeking out over his crossed arms on top of his knees. His sensei took in the red, blotchy look of his eye against the pale skin. He lowered his hand to lightly grasp the arm in support. Kakashi sniffed lowering his head again. His sensei sighed moving closer to Kakashi. 

“I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you; that you had to be alone last night.” Kakashi moved a bit. His sensei rested his hands on Kakashi’s shoulder feeling the shaking of Kakashi’s silent sobs. Kakashi leaned forward and his sensei took the boy in his arms hugging him. He rested his head on the silver hair, rubbing his hand soothingly on Kakashi’s back. He sighed as he felt the boys arms wrap around his neck, and felt the tears soaking his shoulder. 

The ‘Yellow Flash’ decided against telling Kakashi about what was going to happen now. He knew later would be better, before the funeral. He knew not many would show up to Sakumo’s funeral, but he doubted Kakashi would care. The boy would be at a loss now. 

Gathering Kakashi in his arms he stood up and switched places with Kakashi, so that now he was sitting on the bench with Kakashi sitting on his lap. Leaning back against the wall he stared at the wall on the other side of the room knowing his responsibility as a guardian just intensified.


The funeral was held two days after the incident. It was a cloudy day but no rain fell or any sound of thunder. A small group gathered around a grave. Kakashi hadn’t shed any more tears after his sensei came home. He stood quietly at his sensei’s side glancing around at the people. He knew most of the people there since there was only a total of six. 

Himself, Sensei, Sandaime, Jiraiya, and two others he didn’t know, but had a feeling they rather be doing something else. 

He turned his head away to stare at the grave. It was plain only signifying his father’s name on it. No family, no dates. Typical. Not even in death did anyone want to remember him. 

Kakashi clenched his fist. His father deliberately sent him outof the house while he killedhimself, and then telling Kakashi not to come back till he had a decent summon. He didn'twant his son tosee orevenget curious at what he might be doing, because of the village. 

He knew the village would need him, and he would show the village how dependent they would be on a Hatake. He looked up at his sensei, who smiled slightly back down at Kakashi. 

Kakashi looked back down and sighed looking back to the ceremony. 

-------

Okay, that took a while. I tried to be original in most aspects. Again I left Yondaime's title and name out of it, since he hasn't received his title yet and the manga keeps his name a mystery. I didn't want to be biased.
Hopefully you who read this will enjoy it, and hopefully will review. I might continue with a series of one-shots if people want me to continue. 

FYI: This fic goes in between “As Long As I Can” and “A Name Underneath”.
 
Please Review 

Devlinn Reiko

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