Legacy - Whitespringswrites - Naruto (Anime & Manga) [Archive of Our Own] (2024)

Kakashi was breathless as another cold bucket of water splashed onto him. Water dripped from his body, which was covered in angry red wounds, both fresh and old. The cold water soaked into his nearly torn vest, making him stuffy and uncomfortable. Theblood ran down the gash on his forehead, cooling it a little, but the cave was so freezing that Kakashi was expecting a fever anytime soon. He was surprised he hadn’t gotten one yet.

Kisame threw away the bucket and grinned devilishly. “Still a persistent boy, neh, Kakashi?”

Itachi glowered beside him, arm inside his cloak resting on where the zipper rested in the middle of his stomach.

It took Kakashi all his strength to look up at Kisame and glare at him. “What do you expect from the copycat ninja?”

Kisame scoffed. “You’ll buckle soon enough. Every single ninja has a weakness.” He hauled Samehada over his shoulder and nodded to Itachi. “I’ll head out now before Pain rips me apart.”

Itachi nodded back. “Got it. Safe travels.”

Kisame gave a silent wave and walked out of the cave with one command:

“Break him down.”


Itachi sat in front of Kakashi, staring at him while he ate hislunch – a pouch of food pills. It was pathetic, but Kakashi still found the foul-tasting pills the tastiest thing in the world right now.

Itachi swallowed another pill. Kakashi couldn’t take the staring anymore.

“What makes you think I’m going to hand over information to you?”

Itachi blinked and set his lunch down. “Nothing.”

Well. The silver-haired ninja wasn’t expecting that answer.

“I’m not trying to get information out of you.”

Kakashi frowned. This must be a trick. Tread carefully.

“What the hell do you want from me then?”

Itachi stood up. There was a distant look in his eyes, as if he was remembering something. He looked reminiscent. Maybe even... sad?

“I need you to pass on information to somebody.”

Kakashi glared at the Uchiha. “It doesn’t matter how many seeds of fear you plant in us; we will not hand the Akatsuki over our land.”

Itachi opened his mouth to reply when suddenly a wet and violent cough overtook him. He placed his hand over his mouth to stop the scarlet drips from pooling over, but it was pointless as the blood kept oozing hastily.

Kakashi stared in shock. The infamous Itachi Uchiha of the Sharingan is...

The coughing fit went on for a minute until he finally stopped. Blood soaked his cloak and bathed his hand he covered his mouth with. When he looked up at Kakashi, his eyes were pleading and helpless.

“Please... I need you to pass on information to Sasuke.”


Kakashi tried to sit still as Itachi bandaged his wounds on his back. Both were silent. Until...

“We used to do this, huh?”

Kakashi turned around, confused. “Used to do what?”

“Bandage each other,” Itachi replied, not looking at Kakashi. “When we were in ANBU together.”

Kakashi hummed in agreement. "How long was that? I was...?”

“13. I was 11.” The Uchiha replied. “Quite young to be in ANBU frankly.”

“Everybody who’s a ninja is young. Too young.” Kakashi remarked. He paused, remembering what Itachi told him to relay to Sasuke. His past, his mistakes, his truth, everything. He was so young and had to shoulder all that....

“He’s supposed to know,” Itachi said, as if he read Kakashi’s mind. “He needs to know what I did, his heritage. He has a right to know how his family died.”

Kakashi winced, not because of the bandages, but because he knew how hard it would be to tell his student what really happened to his brother.

Itachi had nothing to gain from revealing the truth. He would be dying soon.

“I know he’ll hate me.” Itachi finished repairing the last wound.

Kakashi shook his head. “No.” he turned to the younger man and held his gaze. “He hates you now, but Sasuke will understand. He will.”

Itachi’s eyes glistened and another sudden cough wracked his body. Kakashi quickly handed him one of the extra rags Itachi was using to patch him up and handed it to the Uchiha, who took it and covered his mouth. Blood soaked the white cloth. Kakashi could do nothing but stare on in empathy and rub his back reassuringly.

A minute later Itachi stopped. He was panting, out of breath and tired.

“Take some rest,” Kakashi suggested. Itachi shook his head, staring at Kakashi firmly.

“No. You will escape today. You have to.”


“Thank you.” Kakashi nodded to Itachi. He had some new clothes with a cloak as disguise to leave discreetly.

Itachi smiled softly, lips dripping with red on the floor. Kakashi looked on in concern.

“Are you sure about this?”

Itachi nodded. “Yes. There's no point in saving me and revealing you to the enemy. I will be dying soon. Here.”

In a gruesome sight, Itachi carefully took his eyes out of his face, his sockets now closed and bleeding. He handed them to Kakashi, who took them with an unsure hand.

“Give them to Sasuke. Tell him he can see my memories with them. Make sure nobody else has a hold of them. My dead body will be useless this way.”

Kakashi nodded, his heart saddened at the thought of losing another friend close to him.

“I’ll tell Sasuke you love him very much. Don't worry.” He leaned down and stuck out his hand. Itachi took it and shook it firmly.

“Thank you, Kakashi-san.” Itachi croaked.

“That’s what comrades do.” Kakashi replied, grinning softly.

A rustle sounded in the bushes. The Uchiha beckonedto the older man with urgency.

“Go. They may come.”

Kakashi nodded and left the cave, with one last look at his dying old friend.


The way to Konoha seemed long and tiring. After fighting several bandits and rogue ninjas out to get him, Kakashi was starting to get fed up. His wounds were starting to ache, and exhaustion was seeping into him badly.

Kakashi stopped at a tree branch and sat down. It had been 2 days of travelling and he needed a break.

He looked up at the glowing moon. Strange lights started to creep in his vision. The sky looked blurry.

God damn it. Was that squirrel I cooked sickly?

Grogginess tugged at Kakashi. He tried to fight it, but it was getting more and more enticing to just sleep and never wake up.

No... have to tell... Sasuke...

There was a distant noise that he caught that was too muddled to hear clearly.

“...ensei! Kakashi-sensei!”

The last thing Kakashi saw before he slept were red eyes and a Konoha headband.


The hospital lights as the first thing to look at after a long nap wasn’t a good idea.

“Ah!” Kakashi instantly winced. He wanted to raise a hand to his eyes to cover them but the strength in his body was so little.


Sasuke’s familiar voice was heard. Kakashi turned his head to his right and saw his student clasping his right hand with a look of relief and fear on his face.

“Sasuke... are you all right?” the older man murmured.

“I should be the one asking you that.” the boy replied. Kakashi chuckled softly. “Aha. Well, apart from the grogginess I’m doing fine.”

Sasuke breathed a sigh of relief. Kakashi held Sasuke’s hand back with the strength he had. He thought about Itachi and all the things he had to tell his student. He worried, but he knew this was something he had to do.

That’s what friends do...

Kakashi smiled. “What did you do while I was away?”

“Worrying about you!”

“Ah of course. Well, after this is all over, I'll treat you to ramen to make it up to you.”

“I’m 15 sensei. I'm not a child you need to pay for anymore.” Sasuke scoffed. “Ramen is overrated anyway. We’ll get onigiri instead.”

“You are still in my care though.”


Kakashi grinned. Things will change from now on, but he hoped that whether or not Sasuke liked the news, he could still stay the same healing child he was now.

I will keep him safe, Itachi. Until the very end.

That's a promise.

Legacy - Whitespringswrites - Naruto (Anime & Manga) [Archive of Our Own] (2024)
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