Summary: How Hatake Kakashi awakened the Mangekyo Sharingan.
Be sure to read the author’s note.
A/N: Obviously, this is strictly non-canon. As of 2/20/2011 in the manga, Masashi Kishimoto has yet to reveal exactly how Kakashi awakened his Mangekyo Sharingan. This is just my theory on how it happened. The jutsus mentioned are ones I made up, as I couldn’t find any jutsus mentioned in the manga that would be appropriate. Takes place during the time skip. Kind of spoiler-ish, for those who haven’t read/seen up to Kakashi Gaiden.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” The voice was low, hesitant. “There must be some other way to-”
“Well, if you consider the obvious alternative…” Kakashi answered just as quietly. He didn’t look at the other man, didn’t look at the darkened room around him. Instead, he concentrated on his bare feet on white carpet. His sandals, vest, hitai-ate, and weapons were piled in a corner far out of reach. It would probably be safer that way. For both himself and Iruka.
The other man sighed. “Why me, though? Maybe you should get someone better at this, like Kurenai or maybe even Hokage-sama.” His voice was still low, but had a notable pleading tone to it.
“Anyone else would call me crazy and try to stop me.” Under the dark mask concealing his face, Kakashi bit his lip. It was difficult to hear the fear and hesitation in Iruka’s voice, but this was the only way. “Besides, I trust you.” Finally raising his head, he offered a small smirk. “Feel free to take advantage of me while I’m immobile.”
“That…that’s not funny.” Iruka could hear the flat, hollow tone in the other man’s voice. It was a sign that Kakashi was preparing himself for pain, shutting down his emotions and trying desperately to conceal his nervousness. Ever since they’d entered this room, he’d noticed the Jounin had started blinking slightly more, fingers curling every now and then. Each time this happened, he felt his resolve to help crumble slowly into a mass of doubt and sheer despair. “Please, won’t you reconsider-”
“We’ve been through this enough times, sensei,” the Jounin suddenly snapped. His voice was frosty now, words coming out clipped and sharp. They pierced the startled Chuunin visibly, causing him to jump and turn his entreating gaze away. He looked down again, not wanting to see the inevitable pain and torment that was surely evident now on Iruka’s features. “Do you remember the sequence I showed you?”
“Y-Yes.” Iruka considered just flat-out refusing to do this. But…Kakashi had assured him it was for the greater good. Their encounters with Akatsuki had only solidified the fact that their enemies possessed many awful, terrifying powers. It had made sense to Kakashi that he too needed to get stronger. So that Konoha could be stronger. “First a binding, then the memory layer…followed by the…pain layer.”
The younger man looked like he was going to add something else, so Kakashi cut him off. “I think an hour should be sufficient. If not, increase the duration in thirty minute increments.”
“An hour?” Iruka held up both hands, ignoring the Jounin’s cold gaze. “Kakashi, with all due respect, this could seriously harm you! You haven’t even tested the jutsu out before-”
“I understand your concern, sensei.” His voice was neutral, but Iruka could hear the tinge of impatience. “I’ve thought of all this…it is an acceptable risk.”
True to form, Kakashi had analyzed and planned this from every angle possible. Even Iruka had to grudgingly admit he was impressed by the man’s ingenuity. He’d even carefully invented the jutsus to be used today, to ensure maximum effect.
The Jounin waited a moment, and when the other man remained silent, he took a deep breath. “Okay…let’s start then.” His pale fingers clenched for a moment, but he forced them to relax. He heard Iruka inhale, pausing a long moment before hesitantly lifting his hands. Kakashi allowed his eyes to fall shut, relaxing his body and mind so as to be more receptive to the genjutsu.
He’d spent months theorizing, planning, thinking about this process. Ever since uncovering the secret to unlocking the Mangekyo, Kakashi had put every free moment into formulating how he could achieve his own. He did not believe that it was a situation that required a living sacrifice. Rather, he hypothesized that the Sharingan was a reactive trait. He’d been with Uchiha Obito when he’d awakened his eyes, and from Team Seven’s experience in the Wave Country, it was Kakashi’s conjecture that the Sharingan activated from extreme stress on the body. Clearly, simply activating the most basic form required a significant amount of panic, rage, or desperation of situation. Which is why it was mainly awakened during life-threatening battle. Similarly, the Mangekyo must require an enormous amount of unrestrained emotion in order to manifest. The Uchiha had bluntly stated the requirement: a person needed to kill their best friend.
Of course, this was a scenario Kakashi would prefer to avoid. In any case, he believed it was the sheer anguish and mental torment from such an act that would awaken the Mangekyo. And while most other people might need to kill in order to achieve such a state, Hatake Kakashi had more than his fair share of anguish in his past. Iruka had been appalled by his plan: relive his most painful memories through genjutsu.
The cool feel of foreign chakra suddenly seeping in and melding with his own sent shivers up his pale skin. Normally, the transition from reality to illusion should be almost undetectable, but Iruka was evidently permitting the detection, probably waiting for him to reconsider. He didn’t.
The younger man waited a long moment, in the vain hope Kakashi would decide to stop and break out of the jutsu. The first part was a binding jutsu, preventing the victim from physically moving while trapped in the illusion. After that…the Jounin would be trapped until Iruka released the technique. He was appalled at how thoroughly ensnaring the genjutsu was; but then, Kakashi was a genius, and he’d invented them.
His fingers trembled visibly, but he did his best to ignore it. Kakashi was exhibiting great faith to trust Iruka with this. The Chuunin hoped he deserved it.
“*Ne,” he whispered the seals order to himself, so as not to mess up in his nervousness. “Ushi, tora, u, tatsu, mi.”He took a quick calming breath, allowing the chakra to release in a smooth, controlled flow. “Kanashii omoide no jutsu.”
Kakashi blinked, suddenly finding himself surrounded by complete darkness. He took a slow inhale of air, listening to the stillness. Any minute now it should-
A small noise behind him made him whirl around, hand reaching instinctively towards his kunai holster. Which wasn’t there. His eyes widened.
It was…him. The younger, less scarred newly made Jounin. The scar over his left eye was redder, fresher looking. And the Sharingan…it spun slowly in his younger self’s visibly reddened eye socket, the two black tomoe starkly clear amongst blood red. He flinched as the younger Kakashi lifted his left hand, pointing an accusing finger.
“What-” He blinked, and suddenly it was two Sharingan staring holes into him because it was Obito, too soon gone long dead Uchiha Obito. He too had a finger pointing like an arrow straight at Kakashi, his face dark and full of disappointment and grief.
“Why didn’t you just listen.”
“I…” But in the blink of an eye, Obito disappeared too. He turned quickly, looking around for any sign of anything.
Your fault blood on your hands they died and it’s your fault why didn’t you just listen you stupid boy you fucked up and now it’s all your fault.
He felt rather than heard the swirl of voices, quiet as a grave but roaring in his mind and making him nauseous. Voices he hadn’t heard in years, in real life anyways. Voices of the dead that had haunted his dreams and nightmares every time he closed his mismatched eyes to uneasy sleep and followed him into the waking dawn. Kakashi winced as his left eye throbbed abruptly, refusing to be closed. It did nothing to distract him as furious angry red eyes all over just staring staring-
And then nothing.
He was in a cave, dark and musty and damp. Mossy rocks rose shallowly to form a circular room, fairly large but still too small for anyone trapped underground. It was cold, bitterly so and contrasting sharply with his Sharingan that still hadn’t stopped hurting, pulsing hot and sickeningly in his head making him dizzy and this low cave didn’t help at all. He had to get out had to find help and-
Iruka bit his lip, nervously watching Kakashi’s face. It had been about five minutes, and Kakashi had told him to start the second genjutsu after that time. But sweat was dotting the Jounin’s forehead, and he could detect the erratic, panicked chakra leaking from him.
“U-Uma,” he forced himself to remain calm, focusing on just controlling his chakra and firmly shifting his fingers into the Horse seal. The jutsu was bad enough without him screwing it up; just five more seals. “Hitsuji, saru, tori, inu, i. Yurushi gatai tsumi no jutsu.” He could feel the energy flow and interface with the jutsu already implemented, locking smoothly into place. Despite the gravity of what was happening, Iruka couldn’t help but vaguely appreciate how well made the two techniques were. The first was a genjutsu to force the victim to recall their most painful and guilt-ridden memories. The second one, which he’d just cast, was to be used alongside the first. Kakashi had explained it would target the grief and pain induced by the first and amplify them…basically torturing him mentally.
He wanted to look away, but he couldn’t; Kakashi trusted him to be calm throughout this. The best he could hope for was for the Jounin to dispel it himself. He’d purposely crafted each jutsu with six seals apiece for twelve in all; one for each of the basic Zodiac hand seals. When combined, the chakra flowed together in a circular manner, creating an illusion that was locked firmly together and extremely difficult to throw off.
Trapping him in his own agony.
He’d turned wildly, looking for an exit, but all he found was her behind him, tied with frayed filthy ropes and kneeling on scraped knees.
She didn’t move, but he did. He knew this was an illusion but suddenly it was like he was thirteen again, too young and too stupid and his eye just had to hurt and he could’ve sworn that was blood leaking down his cheek-
He reached out a hand to untie the ropes binding her, but abruptly, she raised her head. Blank brown eyes stared straight through him, knocking loose sharp remorse in his heart and the Sharingan flared with searing pain in response. He heard a loud gasp, and wondered if it was hers. But it was just himself.
“Rin, don’t worry I’ll-” His fingers scrabbled desperately along the tight knots, urgency turning into frustration when they refused to be untied. “If I could just…”
“You were going to just leave me behind, Kakashi.”
He’d never heard Rin sound like that, her voice laden with anger and disappointment. It wrenched him inside with shame, guilt rising like an unstoppable tide. “I’m sorry, I wasn’t-”
“Don’t lie to us.”
He fumbled with the ropes but couldn’t because they were no longer ropes, it was no longer Rin because suddenly it was a boulder, dark and heavy as his conscience, crushing Obito. Obito, who’d saved him twice, who with a single push had let Kakashi live and whose blood was everywhere now, red and bright and just dribbling everywhere, everywhere-
Blood on your hands because it’s your fault you fucked up everything and everyone’s dead and their blood is YOUR FAULT.
The voices surged like a raw maelstrom of noise, piercing and tearing at his very being. He heard Rin’s voice, Obito’s, his father’s, Minato-sensei’s…all angry and taunting and attacking him like he’d never imagined. “No…no. I didn’t mean to…” He felt himself whimper, trying to shut his eyes from what he was seeing, from what he’d seen year after year, nightmare after nightmare. But his Sharingan only throbbed harder, dripping blood, Obito’s blood, down onto his face, his chest, his hands…It was just him and bleeding, dying Obito in that collapsed cave with blood dripping so loudly off spattered rocks. Obito, who should’ve lived, who didn’t deserve to rot away far from home in a hole in the earth. Obito, who should’ve seen the future through his own eyes, instead of through Kakashi.
“I’m sorry…I’m so sorry.” The Sharingan kept burning hotter and hotter; Kakashi thought it would burn through him entirely. It wouldn’t stop bleeding and spinning dizzily, making him fall to the ground. On the bloody ground, next to his dying teammate. He tried to push himself up, fingers scrabbling blindly on slippery rocks splashed with Obito’s blood. But just as he’d managed to sit up, a booted foot suddenly thrust roughly against his chest, pinning him back down and forcing the air from his lungs and his eyes to fly open wide.
She stared down at him, brown eyes brimming with tears that dribbled down, wetting her cheeks and clothes. “He asked you to take care of me, Kakashi! You promised him!”
“I tried, I’m so sorry, Rin. I just-”
But she’s dead anyways and her blood and my blood is on your hands for didn’t you swear to guard her with your life too late now all your fault
Kakashi felt something wetly run down his face, tasting the salt of his own tears on his lips as he lay there next to the friend who’d died to save him and below the friend he’d failed to keep safe. The Sharingan no longer felt like an eye, it felt more like a knife driving deeper and deeper into his skull, cutting loose the awful memories and thoughts he’d suppressed and buried for so long. And horribly, it was a knife now, with a unflinching hand gripping the handle, slowly pushing it further into his head and engulfing his senses in burning, excruciating agony that couldn’t stop and couldn’t be pushed past.
You disappoint me, Kakashi.
His heart skipped a beat, the breath freezing in his lungs. Once again, Rin was gone and in her place was a man holding the knife steadily piercing into his eye, into his very soul. Sapphire-blue eyes glared coldly at him, burning with unconcealed dissatisfaction and fury. More than anything else, such a look tore at Kakashi’s conscience mercilessly, for in life, those eyes had always been compassionate, understanding, forgiving…traces of which were nowhere to be found now. The smile was long gone from that bright face, replaced by a scowl that seemed almost out of place on a man who in life had been a bright inspiration for the village…and for a young Kakashi.
“…Sensei, I’m so sorr-”
You were their leader it was your job to protect them their deaths are all your fault, Kakashi
God, let it stop, let it just end. He didn’t think it would be this bad this painful, without a sound the knife was gone but his eye burned even more harshly, pouring thick, viscous crimson blood down. It pooled and in a blink it was an awful sea of red guilt, sucking and pulling at him, at his being. And still, the voices roared and echoed as he drowned in a tide of past crimes and utter despair.
Your fault your fault you’re all alone now because YOU FAILED THEM
He couldn’t breath, couldn’t see couldn’t move as dark waves of gore swept over him, pulling him down further and further into the seething landscape of his own guilt. “I-I’m sorry god I’m-” But bitter liquid filled his mouth and seeped into his every pore, surging alongside the rise of sharp screams-
YOU KILLED THEM.
The words knocked loose the last bit of reserve in Kakashi, and he felt as though he’d rather drown now than continue feeling the sudden hot pain in his heart. They were right and it tore his soul apart to know it. He’d been too stupid, too arrogant to look past himself. Too young, too sure to see past his own genius and be the leader Obito and Rin had needed. Too inadequate to be the teammate Minato had tried to teach him to be.
I killed them. I didn’t wield the weapons that did it but I might as well have.
He couldn’t take this anymore, the guilt and remorse flooding his senses and blinding him with dark ugly red. I’m sorry please forgive me god just kill me I deserved to die instead of them because it’s all my fault and I killed them-
“Kakashi!” Faintly, the barest hint of sound filtering in through the swirl of raw emotion and pain.
Blood all over his hands and on his soul because he’d killed them…
“Kakashi!” The worried voice pierced the darkness enveloping him like sunlight cutting through storm clouds, and a hand suddenly was gripping his shoulder, steadying his frantic movements. He blinked, eyes aching from the abrupt transition from total darkness to light now flooding the room.
“I-” He felt his breaths come laboriously, filling his burning lungs with sweet oxygen. They were gone. Rin Obito Minato…they were just gone. He felt tendrils of chakra flowing away from him and dispersing, and he assumed Iruka had dispelled the jutsu. He looked up now at the younger man’s face, creased with worry and pale with fright.
“Did it…” Forcing words out of his mouth felt like grating metal on his raw throat, bringing a coughing fit up.
Hurriedly, Iruka held forth a glass of water, pushing it tentatively to the Jounin’s cracked lips. “Don’t talk, you started screaming and I couldn’t-”
He took a sip, but started to reach his hand up towards his left eye.
“Don’t.” Iruka bit his lip, his hand gripping the other man’s firmly. “You’re bleeding a fair amount. You were…tearing at your own face before I could stop the genjutsu.” He jumped to his feet, wrapping a steadying arm around the older man. “Let’s get those cuts cleaned up and I think you should stay the night in the hospital or at the very least with me-”
As Iruka eased him up off the ground and towards the door, Kakashi’s eyes fell on the long mirror hanging on the wall. Iruka was right, long angry scratches and cuts seemed scrawled jaggedly across most of his face. But his Sharingan…
His feet stopped as he stared at the slowly spinning pattern. It looked like a pinwheel or a shuriken, round with points tapering around in perfect circle…Mangekyo. Red as blood and black as his conscience. Because I killed them…
He barely felt Iruka take his hand and tightly squeeze it, murmuring words Kakashi didn’t hear as he gently steered him out of the room. “It’s okay, it’s over.”
But I killed them.
End note: Wow this was a real challenge to write. O_O Thank you for reading, and please review! I always seek to improve my writing. Any inaccuracies are an error of research of my own fault. This is way different from what I usually write, so I think it was a good exercise. Time to stop slacking and finish the next chapter on my main fic now ^_^;
*Hand seals: Ne = rat, ushi = ox, tora = tiger, u = hare, tatsu = dragon, mi = serpent.
Uma = horse, Hitsuji = ram, saru = monkey, tori = bird, inu = dog, i = pig.
“Yurushi gatai tsumi” – unforgivable sin
“Kanashii omoide” – sorrowful memories