“Shouldn’t you be at the graveyard and not at the memorial stone?” an uncharacteristically quiet voice asked the silver haired figure.
His mismatched eyes never left the surface of the jet black tablet. Even in the afternoon rain, the memorial stone was still shiny and onyx - onyx like his eyes - and he kept on staring at a name that should have been there. Even though his silver hair was plastered to his pale face and he could feel the cold seep into his bones, he couldn’t bring himself to move away.
“No,” Kakashi’s voice sounded hollow to even his own ears but he couldn’t care anymore.
Scuffed black shoes squelched in the rainwater as they made their painfully slow progress towards the copy-nin. Sai came to a halt beside him and he too began to stare at the heroes’ legacy. Kakashi had half a mind to tell him to go away but he only had half a mind and let it go.
“Sasuke-san’s name isn’t on here though. Shouldn’t you be mourning at his grave instead? That’s what people do when their friends die, isn’t it?” Sai inquired curiously.
Kakashi shrugged. His work worn hands were tucked deep inside his smoky grey pants that had been stained black in the afternoon rain - black like his hair - and let the shattering rain drops fill his tired ears with the sound of temporary innocence.
Temporary innocence, he mused. Could innocence purify a tainted heart before corruption won out in the end and stained it black with dishonour? Or was innocence really only temporary and fleeting, like a glimpse of hope or despair?
“There’s no need to go to his grave,” Kakashi answered with the fatigue of a world weary man.
“His body isn’t here though, and neither is his name,” the artist interrupted his train of thought, confusion laced skilfully into the lulling tones of his beautiful voice.
The head of silver hair lowered ever so slightly as a humourless smile formed and his navy blue - navy clothes, navy like a shirt emblazoned with a once proud emblem - mask pulled taut. Sai’s eyes flicked to the subtle movement underneath the mask, underneath the man.
“Sai, do you honestly believe those things really matter?” his words lingered on the silver streaked air but his enigmatic eyes never changed.
Sai’s dark eyebrows knitted together as his puzzled brown eyes tried to make sense of things. He confessed uncertainly, “I don’t understand.”
“I don’t understand,” a boy who always will be just a boy confesses, his Sharingan eyes furrowing in confusion-
“A name or a body doesn’t make a person. It’s the impression they’ve left on the rest of the world and how they’re remembered that does,” the tired jounin explained with the wisdom of a sage.
Something in the copy-nin’s voice alerted Sai that he had no intention of furthering the conversation, as confusing as it may have been. However, Sai was content to stand in silence beside his team leader and Kakashi let him stay because this time he didn’t want to suffer alone.