Fanfiction: Getting Lost on the Roads of Life - Chapter 10 (A KakaSaku Story)

Chapter 10 - A Mistake

by Kakashi

“Ouch, you’re hurting me!” Sakura complained. She was very fond of her fingers and did not want them broken, not even in an illusion. Besides, she was getting very annoyed with the situation. This was not at all what had been described in the book!

“You’re a medical-nin from Konoha?” Kakashi asked, letting his mismatched eyes glide over her headband, her forehead with the chakra seal and somewhat rudely down her body.

“Yes, obviously, Kakashi,” Sakura said, trying to wiggle free, but he did not remove the knife on her throat nor did he slacken his painful grip, quite the opposite.

“How do you know my name,” he rasped, pressing down on the blade. A sharp pain and faint trickle down her throat told her he had cut her skin.

“Ouch!” she cried. “Are you crazy? Because we know each other! I’m Sakura!”

“That’s a lie,” he said coldly, “I have never seen you before and I don’t like it one bit that you pretend otherwise.”

Oh great, Sakura thought, again feeling like laughing and crying at the same time, this Kakashi doesn’t know me. What have I gotten myself into… WHO is controlling this illusion?

She shifted her eyes to get a better look at him in the gloomy green darkness that surrounded them. A grey flak jacket with no collar, naked shoulders revealing a muscular biceps, arm guards that went up to his elbows. Spiky silver hair, as unruly as ever above the kitsune mask that hid his entire face. Clearly an Anbu uniform. There was a lot of blood all over him too and if she wasn’t mistaken…

“You’re hurt,” she said. Badly so, she realized with a sinking feeling. Wasn’t this shared illusion supposed to be pleasant?

Now that she was paying attention, she felt the faint trembling of his arms. He was weakened, probably from blood loss. Should she try to break his hold? She was sure that dying in the illusion would have no real effect on her since she was fully aware this was only an illusion. If he cut her throat, it might hurt and be unpleasant, but she assumed she would just wake up back in her office.

“I can still effortlessly kill you,” he informed her coldly, “don’t even think about it.”

“Let me help you,” she suggested instead, a doctor’s instinct and a good way to buy herself some time to find out what was going on.

“How did you find me?” Kakashi asked, still not letting go.

“I was sent to help you,” Sakura lied, immediately chastising herself for not thinking this through. He could so easily check whether she knew the necessary code words Shinobi exchanged as a safety measure for these kind of meetings.

“Oh really?” he snarked, not even bothering with that, “you are a bad liar. Nobody knows I’m here and nobody cares. I live in the darkness.”

The trembling in his arms got stronger. He seemed to be at his limit. Surely, having his Mangekyō Sharingan activated didn’t help. This Kakashi, what was he? A guardian of the seals? Would the illusion collapse when he ‘died’?

Before she could make up her mind what to do, there was a rustling sound near them and he went entirely rigid. The next moment, Sakura was catapulted upwards, then sideways, just in time to dodge a shower of shuriken. A dizzying series of jumps later, Kakashi stopped on the thick branch of a massive tree.

“Dammit,” he coughed, still holding on to her tightly. “I knew you were a trap.”

“That's bullshit!” she protested, “it’s your thick blood scent that is like a beacon. Just let me heal you.”

He just glared at her through the slits of his mask. Illusion or not, she knew how stubborn he was when it came to accepting help.

“Create shadow clones,” she told him with authority, “the enemy will be confused. I’m fast, I won’t need a lot of time.”

He had obviously realized that he should better do what the medical-nin was telling him. He let go of her and created about thirty shadow clones, having them disappear noisily in different directions.

“Lie down,” she ordered him sharply.

Controlling shadow clones like this when already running low on chakra was difficult and another glimpse at his masked face told her he was sweating profoundly. He did lie down next without any further resistance too - it seemed he had no energy left to fight her.

Quickly, she cut open his clothing with chakra. A ghastly wound on his abdomen was revealed, long and very deep. The edges were clean-cut, telling her it had been a really sharp sword. Again? Almost like the other week… she pushed the unpleasant memory aside.

“Shit,” Sakura said, “how are you still walking with such a wound?”

No answer. Had he passed out? Yes, his eyes were closed, his breathing was shallow.

Sakura gathered power into her hands, glad to find herself with all her skills in this illusionary world. She mended his organs - luckily, his heart was intact - restored his muscles, his chakra network, his nerves, his skin, careful not to leave a scar. There was a lot of damage and she had to go down to cell level to make sure he was fine. It took much longer than she had expected, making her nervous some enemy could find them while she was preoccupied, but there was no unusual sound nor movement near them.

Once she was done, she had to rest a little, her hands on his stomach, her head bowed. She felt quite exhausted.

“It fucking hurts,” Kakashi moaned. “Do you even know what you’re doing?”

“Shut up!” she hissed. “I saved your life, you could at least say thank you.”

“Isn’t it your job to do this kind of thing?” He was looking at her with his normal eye only, keeping the Sharingan closed.

Sakura glared at illusionary Kakashi, considering reversing her healing jutsu just to let him experience dying. But now that the immediate crisis was averted, she should probably focus on finding out where she was and how she could find the seals if she didn’t want all her efforts go to waste. Why not straight-out ask him.

“Are there any seals around here?”

“Huh?” he asked, sounding hugely annoyed.

“Sealed-off areas or something,” she demanded to know, “huge doors with seals on them. Have you seen any?”

“What are you talking about, are you crazy?” he shot back.

So this Kakashi not only did not know her, he was also very unpleasant, she thought, staring at his mask.

“You can take your stupid mask off,” she said, “I know who you are, no need to hide your face like this.”

“I have no idea who you are, I will leave my mask on as long as it pleases me!” he barked back and tried to sit up.

“Don’t move, you idiot,” she yelled, “I should bring you to a hospital to heal properly, but at the very least, lie still for a while!”

“Can’t,” he groaned. “They’re coming.”

Of course, the movement opened up his wound again.

“I don’t believe this,” Sakura sighed. It would be best to just end the illusion and be done with this experiment.

She heard the enemies before she saw them, they were approaching as fast as the wind, leaving a ominous rustling in their wake - but when she set eyes on them, she froze in horror.


Kakashi threw himself forward and between herself and the attackers, hurling a barrage shuriken at them with such proficiency and speed, they died in almost complete silence.

Afterwards, he slowly toppled over.

Sakura caught his body in her arms before it could hit the ground, cradling him to her chest, thinking that maybe, she was the controller of this illusion after all... because saving him, getting to care for him, ensuring that he wouldn’t die… it made her feel very good.


When an exhausted and dripping wet Sakura got back to the well-hidden and carefully booby-trapped cave she had deposited Kakashi in, she threw herself down on the cold stone floor to catch her breath before doing anything else.

She had found extraordinary things.

“I think I’m beginning to understand,” she told his still form, too tired to do more than move her head to look at him from the side.

As soon as she had been certain no enemies had followed them to this place, Sakura decided to have a look around, knowing Kakashi was going to be unconscious for a while. The extended use of his Sharingan had always exhausted him so much, he had to sleep for days to replenish his chakra reserves.

Climbing a tall tree to the top had revealed a thick forest as far as the eye could see, with some haze in the distance. She had decided to go North a bit to see whether she would encounter anything interesting in that direction – hoping it wouldn’t be oni-mask wearing assassins.

Sakura had travelled through the forest as fast as caution allowed, but there was nothing extraordinary... just more forest and more forest in endless gloomy darkness. Soon, the rain had started. Afterwards, everything was gloomy, dark, wet, and very slippery.

After an hour or more she had turned back.

She had a good sense of direction, which was lucky, because getting lost in this thicket was a real threat. People who were good at directions naturally noticed and remembered landmarks so they could orient themselves. Because of it, she had spotted a tree that was split in the middle, with an empty bird’s nest inside the trunk. When Sakura encountered something that looked like that tree twice on her way back, she got suspicious. Luckily, she carried shuriken in her back pouch that she could hang from one of the branches just to make sure. And indeed … whichever direction she travelled, sooner rather than later, she was back at that tree.

There could be no doubt: there was another illusion at work in this illusion!

When she had trained for genjutsu release, she had learned that some of the illusions could only be exposed by cutting off visual input because most genjutsu worked through the eyes. Walking around a thick, scary forest with her eyes closed wasn’t what she would define as a favorite past-time, but she had little choice if she wanted to get to the bottom of this strange place. Establishing an invisible, stiff chakra thread to guide her, she closed her eyes and started walking with her arms outstretched, walking around trees when necessary but otherwise keeping a straight line from her point of departure.

And indeed. About half an hour in one direction and her fingers hit something that felt like a wall – opening her eyes only revealed more forest all around her, but her haptic senses could not be duped.

The same was true for all other directions. There were impenetrable, invisible barriers around them. She had her suspicions of what it could mean. All she had to do now was wait for the Kakashi simulacrum to wake up so she could confirm.

Sakura dozed off while waiting, little wonder after running around so much, having a weird dream in which she chased cats, dogs and frogs through the streets of Konoha, knowing she needed to catch them to avert a catastrophe. She woke again what seemed hours later with a stiff neck and shivering from the cold, noticing it had gotten much darker outside. Was it evening?

Kakashi stirred too.

She sat up and he turned his head in alarm… and then looked away.

“Hello to you too,” Sakura said.

“Why are you still here,” he said. “And… where have you brought me?

He shot up, looking down at his cut open clothes and the flawless skin of his torso.

“Yeah,” Sakura said, “thank you great Doctor Sakura from Konoha for saving me.”

“I didn’t ask for it,” he murmured, looking around the small cave.

“Next time, I’ll let you die,” she snapped.

“Fine,” he snapped back.

“We need a fire,” Sakura said, swallowing down her anger. “I brought wood, luckily before the rain started.”

He just stared at the wall.

“How old are you?” she asked him bluntly. It was hard to know because of the kitsune mask, but his stature was the same as always, so she was assuming illusionary Kakashi was his current age and not the age he had been when he had worn this uniform in the past.

“Old enough to know you have no business here,” he answered gruffly. “Go away.”

“How long have you been out here?”

“Not long enough,” he answered.

“What if Konoha forgave you, would you come back?” she asked, fishing for the information she was hoping to get out of him, trying to confirm her hunch.

No answer. But his one open eye turned in her direction and wouldn’t leave for a while. Her shivers were getting more violent, as much as she tried to hide them. It was damn cold here and she was still drenched through and through. To her surprise, he suddenly moved - but not to harm her as she briefly feared, but to build and light the fire. Swiftly done with it, he indicated to her with his chin to move closer. She did, grateful for some warmth, smiling and about to thank him, but Kakashi rudely turned his back on her and stared outside into the gathering darkness, clearly wanting nothing to do with her.

Extending her hands towards the flames, Sakura waited for her body to get warm and thought about what to do next. She had ample experience with men who didn’t want to pay her any attention. With Sasuke, she had just tenaciously come back, every single time he had rejected her. With this one, she didn’t have as much time. So, she would charge ahead and attempt to break that shell of his without mercy.

She could be sorry later.

It helped that Sakura suspected she knew why he was so gloomy and ‘living in darkness’. She had encountered something else in what seemed to be the middle of this walled-in space: Two makeshift graves. There were two headbands lying on top of two mounds of stone, with limp flowers and leaves woven into bouquets next to them.

“Whose graves are they?” she asked him.

“My two only friends,” Kakashi said emotionless, knowing straight away what she was referring to. “I killed them.”


“Sometimes, we have no choice but to do horrible things,” she said softly.

“We always have a choice,” his answer came harshly. “Don’t even try.”

Oh Kakashi, Sakura thought, her heart reaching out to him. What guilt are you carrying around with you? Obito has gone to a better place, have you forgotten?

Yes, that had to be it. Kakashi had no recollection of losing his Sharingan so he had no recollection of what had happened afterwards either. A part of her understood this all too well: The most horrible nightmares were nothing compared to fighting the likes of Madara Uchiha in several dimensions, forgetting was a blessing.

“I see,” she said instead, making her voice sound cold. “You are here to wallow in self-pity. Fine.”

His surging anger was like a slap to the face and for a short moment, it looked like he would indeed hit her. But she held her ground unflinching, glaring back into his one eye with all the defiance she could muster.

“I happen to know that your friends died not because you wanted to kill them but because they chose to die. So yes, we always have a choice. But sometimes, people make choices for themselves that impact ours. Blaming yourself for the choices of your friends serves no purpose. Get over it. Move on.”

Briefly, she saw herself talking like this to a patient and cringed in mortification. But this was no patient. It was a simulacra inside somebody’s mind - somebody she considered a friend. And everybody needed honest friends.

“Who are you?” he asked again, seemingly unfazed by her harshness. “One of those pursuing me, thinking they can weasel themselves into my life now that Rin is gone?”


He had called her that in his half-delirious state. She must be one of the friends he claimed to have killed. Had he loved her?

“What if I am?” she asked back. “What if I saw you in Konoha and developed a crush on you? What if I have come, knowing you would never return my feelings, but am just content to be able to help you like this?”

“If you are, get lost. You are not my type at all,” he said but there was the slightest pause before his words, as if her confession surprised him. He had said she was ‘so much like her’, had he not?

“Do I remind you of her?” she asked to confirm.

She saw from his minuscule reaction that indeed, she did remind him of that woman. Being this swift in creating a crack in his shell, she should have felt satisfaction and pressed on forcefully. Instead, she hesitated. Illusion or not, she had no desire to hurt him and he was becoming much too vulnerable too quickly.

“I know how to get to the graves from here,” she said, “I can show you tomorrow.”

“They know too,” he replied, “I don’t want you to go there, it’s too dangerous.”

Of course, only somebody as stubborn as him would continue to pay his respects, potentially daily, even if an enemy force was basically waiting for him to show up there.

“Who are these people?” she asked him.

“Hannya Black‎‎ Ops,” he replied.

“Whom do they serve?”

“The Land of Woods, of course,” he said, looking at her suspiciously.

“Is this… are we in the Land of Woods?” she asked.

“I was just considering believing you,” Kakashi said dangerously, “but now I am back to thinking you’re a very clumsy spy.”

“I’m just a bit scatterbrained,” she quickly lied, fluttering her eyelids at him. Where the heck was the Land of Woods? Far from the Land of Fire? Must be a tiny country not normally showing on the maps.

“I knew no woman would be stupid enough to follow me here just because she has a crush,” he scoffed, but it sounded like he was actually quite glad she wasn’t one of those women after all.

“You can go to sleep,” he told her shortly after, “I will take watch.”

How gallant. Now that he had assured himself she was no deranged fangirl, he became more courteous. Or…

“If you mean to leave in secret,” she remarked lightly, “you might want to consider that I have set a lot of booby traps against your enemies. I’m guessing you’re a very proficient shinobi, but still, finding and defusing all of them at night… it’ll take you a lot of time. It’d be much smarter to set out together tomorrow.”

“Now I see it,” he said, with an snort.

“See what?”

“The similarity,” he said, lying down next to the fire without any further ado. Soon, his regular breathing told Sakura that he was asleep. Fine, she thought with a small smile. She did not mind keeping watch at all.


Sakura didn’t forget that this was an illusion she had voluntarily stepped into even for a second. Yet, it was quite strange how accustomed she got to it over the following days, almost as if she didn’t want to realize she would not stay here for much longer. Humans had this remarkable gift to adapt, she had seen it at work many times before, and even without putting in an effort, it was what happened. It was a bit like a strange holiday. Very conveniently, she never got hungry in this world. She didn’t have to go to the toilet either and could be sure not to suddenly get her period or experience any other inconveniences. Besides, this forest wasn’t the worst of places.

Especially after it stopped raining. The sunlight that managed to get past the majestic crowns of the trees was golden all throughout the day and in its gentle warmth, the forest exploded in a cloud of the most fragrant wood-pine scent.

The changes in his behavior were far more subtle than the changes in the weather, but it almost seemed like they were connected. She could have sworn that the rain stopped instantly the first time she saw his eye crinkle.

She accompanied him to the graves every day. It was where he took off his Anbu mask and stood for hours with his head bowed and his hands folded. She accepted his need to grieve and pray, keeping an eye out for enemies, ready to defend his back.

But they seemed to have vanished completely.

They talked.

He seemed stuck in the time after the Fourth Hokage’s death, thinking the Third had just taken over again. She talked about the war with him - the Third Shinobi World War she only knew from the history books but he had lived through. They talked about losing comrades. About feeling powerless in the face of danger, about fighting until all powers were depleted, knowing it wasn’t enough, couldn’t be enough, but somehow hoping it would be alright. They talked about killing, about feeling guilty. About how grief would swallow up the world and bury hope completely. But she also talked to him about finding new connections. About those who pulled your from the darkness. About those who believed, unwavering, that there was salvation.

“You are not alone,” she told him again and again, until he nodded in acceptance, even if ever so slightly.

Some of the things he told her were surprising. Sakura had not realized how well Kakashi had known Itachi before the great Uchiha tragedy and neither had she realized how much he had cared for him. But she knew from experience how hard it was not to admire or even love the Uchihas for their fierce righteousness - and fear for them because of their extreme emotions that could so easily turn utterly dark.

It was during Kakashi’s sad utterance that “sometimes those who want nothing but peace have to become the most proficient killers” that she took his hand to press it - and he did not pull it anyway. They sat in silence for quite a long time afterwards holding hands.

It was sometime later that she tripped over a root when they walked in the forest together and he caught her in his arms to prevent a nasty fall. The closeness made her heart race and for the first time since getting here she thought that maybe, she wasn’t as much in control as she thought. She didn’t really want him to let go, but he did, gently putting her on her feet and patting her head. It seemed it didn’t matter what version of Kakashi she encountered, he liked doing that to reestablish lines.

But Sakura caught him looking at her in the days that followed. She liked it.

He didn’t put his kitsune mask on any longer and even though his face mask hid more than it revealed, she saw that the darkness in him was beginning to give way to the light. And even though she knew this man wasn’t the real Kakashi, it made her happy.

No alarms went off in her head, not even when he said “I lied. You are very much my type” nor when her legs turned to jelly and she had trouble breathing.

“Is there someone…,” he asked cautiously, looking at her face with a quiet longing that made her heart contract.

“There… is…,” she managed to say, but it made her feel awful afterwards even though she knew she would never be able to forgive herself had she lied.

“Then I’m sorry,” he said and managed a rueful smile that almost brought tears to her eyes.

Goddammit, Sakura, she scolded herself, what are you doing?

He kept his distance as much as keeping your distance was possible when you lived together in a small cave, but at that point, resisting the strong physical pull they must both feel was becoming a huge effort. Their lives had become intricately intertwined. Sakura could not get enough of him needing her, needing her to talk about the horrors of his past, needing her to tell him that things would be alright, that he had friends, that a lot of people cared for him.

That he also wanted her… that his eyes could not help but follow her when she walked around, that he did every little thing to make her days pleasant, that he looked shy sometimes when she returned his attention… she could not get enough of it either.

Had she accomplished what she had come here to do? Should she have broken the illusion a while ago, fully knowing that what she was doing was… not okay?


She had come to study locks, but she had found a Kakashi who needed her to pull him out of the darkness. Could she be blamed for doing the pulling, and then sticking around to ensure he would not slip back? She thought not.

Who was controlling this illusion? She had no clue. Maybe, just maybe, it was both of them. And it seemed they both wanted the same thing.

It was inevitable.

It was a balmy night, one of those summer nights full of insect sounds, when falling asleep seemed a waste of opportunity and not smiling was impossible. Was it her that moved close to him or was it both of them moving at the same time? Was it her that turned her head to look at him or was it both of them at the same time? Was it her that leaned in? Was it her that grabbed his mask and pulled it down?

Did it matter?

When her lips met his, something like an electric current went through her, jolting all her nerves awake almost painfully. Blood began pounding in her ears like the beating of an ancient battle drum. His lips were soft and gentle, but his kiss was hesitant - of course, he had was probably confused. It wasn’t really like her, but she was very impatient, eager to taste more, maybe because she knew, deep down, that this had to end and would end… soon. Her lips opened up, inviting in his tongue, and because the invitation was not immediately followed, she began nibbling on his lower lip, grazing the skin with her teeth, teasing it with her tongue. When he drew in a sharp breath and opened up his mouth in reaction, she pressed forward, darting her tongue into his mouth to explore. She found his tongue waiting but ready to respond to hers, soon leading to a teasing dance, back and forth.

A moan escaped her throat, long and guttural. Why did it seem to her that she had waited for this kiss for an eternity?

I want to sleep with him, she realized, I need to stop. This cannot happen.

But she couldn’t stop. Kakashi had never mended his shirt after she had cut it open. Her hands did not even have to expend any effort to find his skin, feeling his muscular strength, his sculpted perfection. Sakura wanted him naked underneath her, inside of her, all of him at her service and she wanted it so much, she could not help but growl like a wildcat.

Ah, but too much was too much. The illusion around her began to waver, then crumbled. The first thing to disappear was him, leaving her with a hollow feeling of regret. Then, she stood in that place with the many doors and the discomforting sounds. She wanted to cry. Instead, she formed the necessary hand signs to get her out of there.

It worked instantly. Sakura opened her eyes with a shuddering breath.

It was 6.25 pm.

“What happened?” a dazed Kakashi in front her asked. “Did it work?”

Sometimes, making mistakes was a good thing. Sometimes, admitting mistakes was bad. Sometimes, good and bad was mixed up so much, those categories ceased to exist.

“Well,” Sakura said, trying to sound in control, “I think I made progress. There’s many things I do not understand yet, but I think…”

What the fuck am I doing?

“Do you want me to come back tomorrow?”

Kakashi remembered nothing. It was like the book had described it: it was her who had been in control, her who had guided him. Of course she had to say no. She was in over her head so deep she did not know which way the surface was.

“Yes,” she said, “if you can. 6pm.”

It looked like he wanted to say something more. Did she look as shaken as she felt? They were sitting so very close.

Just go, go! she wished because she wanted him to stay so very badly.

He did leave, properly through the door, looking a bit at a loss. She just kept sitting there, trying to wrap her head around things.

Locks and seals?

There had been no lock, she had walked right in. And in the end, looking behind her in that room with the many doors, she had found one gate wide open. It led into a thick forest full of sunshine.

One thing seemed clear to her. The one who had put up the seals in the first place? It had to have been Kakashi himself. Who else but him could invite her right into those sealed off portions of his mind?

Chapter 11