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Title: Silent as the Grave
Fandom: Naruto/Silent Hill Fusion
Threesome: Kakashi/Sakura/Yamato
Rating: FRAO
Summary: On the 18th of October, jonin Hatake Kakashi was sent to investigate the fog. On the 31st, he was declared missing.
Warnings: Violence, Horror, References to rape
Author's Note: Being written 500 words a day for the Last Fan Standing Contest on the [community profile] kakasaku community. Currently unbetaed.

Balloon Animals

Kakashi woke when his radio hissed in his ear, and found ashes falling like snow. They crumbled to powder between his fingers, streaking grey over his skin. The blanket he’d stolen from the hospital had become threadbare and pierced with holes as he slept.

None of this surprised him.

The bright flicker of pink in the corner of his eye did. He rose to his feet, the bite marks on his legs aching, and crossed the roof to investigate. The horizon was obscured by the fog, but glowed with a sickly orange that might be dawn. Might be fire.

The ear bud radio hissed, louder now, and Kakashi pulled a rusting kunai from his belt pouch. The patch of pink was hidden behind the metal pipes that used to vent the hospital’s furnace. Now they were as cold and dead as the rest of Konoha.

Between one step and the next, he heard a wet sobbing, and hoped it won’t be another child. The radio screamed and he dislodged it from his ear, letting it hang from the wire sewn into his headband.

Stupid Bastard.

The crying grew louder, and his red eye closed of its own accord.

His skin prickled with anxiety, but Kakashi pressed on, not daring to turn back. The chimney pipes loomed in his vision, bigger than he remembered them being before he went to sleep.

A rotting hand grabbed the bit of pink he could see, peeking out from behind the pipes, and Kakashi sighed with relief. The children didn’t rot. They were as fresh as the day they died. He could handle the rotting men.

It sensed him and started crawling, rotting limbs leaving smears of tainted brown fluid on the tar paper. Kakashi breathed though his mouth, and shifted his grip on the kunai.

The rotting man grinned at him, its smile wide and stupid, teeth stained with blood and rot. One eye was missing, without even a hole to show that it had existed.

Clutched in one hand, pressed against the ground every time it moved, was a pink dog, made of twisted lengths of balloon.

It only took a to sever the rotting man’s hand at its decaying wrist and throw the body over the edge of the roof. His hands were smeared with filth, and Kakashi grimaced before he jumped on the hand and pried the balloon out of its skeletal fingers.

The balloon squeaked, and he remembered:

“Kakashi! He made a pug! Like Pakkun!” Sakura grinned and shoved the pink balloon animal at him. It didn’t look much like Pakkun, in Kakashi’s opinion. He pushed it away, ignoring the disappointment on her face, and pulled out his book.

“Kakashi?” Tenzo asked, surprised.

“It’s nothing. Go...play the games or something,” he told them. They hesitated, so he waved Icha Icha Paradise at them. “Shoo. I have some reading to do.”


Kakashi gasped, and dropped the balloon dog. It disappeared before it hit the rooftop.

“It’s a dog, Kakashi. Like your summons.” The older shinobi pressed the red balloon into his hands until Kakashi had to take it or let it drop. “Come on, let’s check out those games. My girlfriend would love one of the stuffed animals.”

Kakashi didn’t understand why the memory made him gag. Maybe it was the lingering smell of rot.

The war sirens wailed, as though warning of an attack. Kakashi barely twitched, his instinctive response to it polished out by a month and a half of repeated exposure. The ash stopped falling, the fog died, and he could see the spindle-branches of the dead trees rising from along the empty streets.

He rolled up the stolen, now whole blanket and tucked it into his box. It was cardboard, but it hadn’t rained since the world had gone mad. The can opener rattled against the empty cans, and Kakashi jerked away.

He needed to get more food. Raid the grocery again, brave the rotting meat and produce for the rapidly dwindling canned food section.

The barricade in front of the stairs to the hospital was still firm, but Kakashi checked again, just to be sure.

”Oh!”

The sound ran through him like a shock, and Kakashi ran for the edge of the roof and looked down into streets. It had sounded like many voices, all shouting at once--

”La! Oh La! Oh La La!”

The mortar crumbled under his hand, and Kakashi was suddenly terrified. Nothing ever happened when the fog was gone. Why--

”Oh La! Oh La! Oh La La!” The pink-haired clones howled at him, their smiles painted on in thick red lipstick, eyes outlined in butterfly-blue eyeshadow. It was Sakura’s face, gaunt and repeated a thousand times over, staring at him with strange desperation.

“Sakura?” he called, but his voice was stolen by the air, and it sounded no louder than a whisper. Nevertheless, the army disappeared, shimmering into the air. Kakashi sagged, disappointed because he missed her, damnit.

“Sakura,” he said again, though his words disappeared before they became sound, sinking into silence like stones in a pond. It did no good. The streets were empty.

Kakashi sighed, and walked down the side of the hospital. The ash-world had its own rhythm, and he had a few hours of safety before it would return.

He ignored the fear that the monsters would walk in the normal world, that the clones had been warning him. Dangerous or not, he needed to eat, and check on Anko.

***

The sirens faded into the distance as the world around him decayed. Mold grew and paint peeled, and the air grew musty and humid. A repetitive thud-thud-thud drew him deeper underground, the bag of canned food rattling gently at his back.

In the furthest reaches of T&I, he found Anko, wielding a sledgehammer against the crumbling walls.

He set the cans down beside her, and moved away before he got hit by a wild swing.

“Kakashi,” Anko acknowledged him, then slammed her hammer through the cement wall, the faint clatter of shards hitting the floor of the other side. She wiped the sweat from her forehead and beamed.

“Ha! I knew that there used to be a room here!” she crowed, then ripped the sledge hammer back out, dropping a chunk of rust stained concrete at their feet.

He waved and wished for his voice. The radio hissed softly, still dangling from the wire.

“How are you today? Made any progress on the hospital?” Her manic grin matched the way she swung the hammer, again, crumbling the wall between her and the darkness with glee.

Anko loved the monsters. She threw herself into battle and came out cleaner on the other side. When they disappeared, she hunted them with single-minded fervor.

“Come out, you cuddly-faced fucker!” Anko howled through the hole, and danced back, laughing gleefully as something threw itself against the wall, sending a crack spiraling toward the floor.

Here, deep in the interrogation chambers, she’d found a mystery that she was certain would take her back. Other shinobi had disappeared after finding things--but no one knew what, or where they went. Anko swore that whatever her key was, the crux of it was locked deep under Konoha.

Anko thought the other shinobi had gone home.

Kakashi thought they had died.

He’d found a few signs. Things like the balloon dog, that called out memories that he hadn’t thought about in years. He took them, because turning back made things worse, but the way his body recoiled from the objects convinced him that there was something far more sinister behind them.

Anko seemed to get off on finding them.

“Gonna help me kill this fucker, Kakashi?” Anko asked, ripping a chunk of concrete out of the wall and throwing it down the corridor. She nearly hit the lantern. Her eyes gleamed, and she stared into the darkness eagerly. Something white and strange moved inside it, and the scent of rot grew stronger.

Kakashi rolled his shoulders, shrugging, and drew a kunai.

It surged out, flowing around the rust stained rebar, fluid then not, and took the shape of a naked, hairless beast with glowing yellow eyes.

Weird, Kakashi mouthed silently, though neither the monster nor Anko was looking at him. And even if they were, it was hard to read lips through a mask.

“Come and get me,” she hissed, spitting flames in long orange and red streams, laughter spilling out between burst of fire.

The monster spilled out of its skin and dodged, but it was as silent as the grave it crawled out of. Its tongue rolled out, long and slick and prehensile. It lashed out, wrapping around Anko’s arm three times before she ripped it from the monster’s jaws, grabbing the sledge hammer from the ground.

Kakashi threw his kunai and charged, crackling lightning covering his hand. The monster skin sparked, ripping like paper around his hand, and it howled in rage, turning its attention to Kakashi.

Chidori did far less damage than Kakashi had expected--the monster was dry inside, despite its earlier fluidity. He whispered a silent curse as he failed to dodge its claws. The scythe-like bones ripped through his shirt and the skin underneath, tearing four ragged lines across this stomach from his lowest rib to his hip.

Anko took advantage of the creature’s distraction, swinging the hammer through the back of it’s head, cracking it open. Dry, yellow flesh and bone sprayed onto Kakashi, bright against his navy mask and shirt.

The monster wheezed once, like paper fluttering in a breeze, and crumbled into dust and ashes. The pieces of it on Kakashi’s shirt turned white, then faded away.

Anko twirled the hammer in the air, and swung it over her shoulder. “Another Cataglottist becomes the dust,” she said, and laughed, her eyes bright in the dim light.

Kakashi raised his eyebrow, and tugged a roll of bandages from the pouch strapped to his thigh. The cuts across his stomach were dripping hot blood, soaking the waistband of his pants. He wasn’t sure he wanted to know how deep they were.

“Need help?” Anko asked, eyeing his stomach.

She was a shit nurse, but Kakashi nodded and handed her the roll of bandages. Getting the bandages tight enough on his own was a bitch and a half. He peeled his shirt off, wincing as he stretched the cuts, a fresh welling of blood spilling.

“Okay...just stand, I guess,” Anko said, unwinding a loop of white bandages. She frowned at the cuts, then glanced at him. “Do you think you need stitches? They look pretty deep.”

Kakashi shook his head. He’d seen her attempt to fix a rip in her coat, and he had no desire to let her use a needle on him.

Anko shrugged, and started wrapping. Kakashi stared over her shoulder, into the dark room that the monster--Cataglottist--had come from. There was something else inside, a shape he couldn’t decipher.

“I think I’m getting close, Kakashi. I remembered where Orochimaru did his experiments yesterday. Where he held me.” Her eyes were very dark when she looked up, and the seal on her neck seemed to suck in the light. “I remember what he did.”

It’ll kill you, Kakashi said voicelessly. The memories were lies, luring shinobi to their deaths.

Anko tilted her head, her brow furrowed. “I’m going to assume that was encouragement.”

Kakashi shook his head, and flinched when she pulled too hard.

“You don’t think the real world is out there, do you?”

He shook his head again. It was gone. This was real now.

“Pessimist.” Anko sighed and tucked the trailing end of the bandage under. Blood was already spotting the surface, spreading tread by thread. “Let me explore this room and I’ll walk you back to the hospital.”

She rose without looking at him, and grabbed the sledge hammer again. Three well placed blows opened a gap large enough to fit through, and Anko grabbed the lantern from the floor and squeezed herself through the jagged hole.

The light revealed more than Kakashi wanted to see. He looked away when Anko split the ribcage of a corpse and tore a gleaming silver key out of its heart. The lantern flickered, and the child-sized corpses rustled, dry and long dead.

He slipped his radio into his ear. It didn’t warn for all of the monsters that walked in the ash-world, but it warned for most.

“I think that’s everything,” Anko said. Her voice was hushed. “You ready?”

Kakashi nodded, and tugged his shirt back over his head. Moving made blood spill behind the bandages, hot then cold once it reached the air. The claw marks really should have been stitched up. He’d need to scavenge more clothes soon. This shirt was ruined.

“Come on,” she said, and she placed her hand on the small of his back.

Kakashi let her guide him out into the streets. He wasn’t quite sure how he’d become so pitiful that Mitarashi Anko felt bad for him, but he didn’t like it.

***

The radio hissed, and every muscle in Kakashi’s body tensed. He scanned the street, peering into the fog-hidden corners, listening for the sound of movement.

Anko paused beside him, her hand still placed firmly on his lower back. “Kakashi?” she murmured, a blade appearing in her hand. “Is everything alright?”

He tapped the ear piece of the radio, and the hissing grew louder.

She moved away, and checked the street behind them.

The fog parted around a shambling shape, and Kakashi took a step back, trying to remember if there were side streets they could take to get around it. His head spun, and his vision blurred and darkened.

“Shit,” Anko said, returning to his side. “Is that--?”

Kakashi stared over the monster’s shoulder, his stomach churning. Anko’s eyes were focused lower.

“He’s one of yours, isn’t he?”

It, he corrected her, voice gone before it reached the world. He hated the pity in her voice. He was not so badly off as deserve or warrant Anko’s pity.

“Fuck man, are you--?” Anko gestured at her crotch, her eyes never leaving the gaping ruin of the monster’s groin.

Kakashi shook his head vehemently and grabbed her wrist, dragging her toward a side street.

The monster’s mismatched eyes followed them, predatory above the barb-wire mask covering its face. Something large and dark filled its mouth. Kakashi had never looked close enough to figure out what. Manacles bound its wrists and ankles, rusted chains trailing off of them and disappearing into the fog.

Its white hair was stained with blood.

“It looks like you,” Anko said. She was watching him, more interested than appalled, and Kakashi was grateful for that small mercy. “This is made of our worst nightmares. What’s inside you that makes that walk the streets?” Interrogator instinct flared in her eyes, curiosity and cruelty bred true.

Kakashi snapped his hand into a sharp refute. It wasn’t true. This was external, created by something or someone else. He wasn``t responsible for that thing.

“This--” she waved at the fog blanketed streets and the ash falling like snow, “--is made of our worst dreams. And you may be a former teammate, Kakashi, but I don’t think about you enough to fear your castration. You know, specifically. I think it would be a bad thing, but I’m not real attached to your junk on a personal level.”

Kakashi shuddered, his balls trying to crawl inside his body at the very word.

“Fuck. If you don’t think about this shit, you’ll never get out,” Anko snapped, her trench coat snapping around her legs as she darted in front of him, walking backwards as she tried to catch his eyes. “Orochimaru experimented on me. He cut me open, and licked up my blood. He raped me. And when I was so fucked in the head that I thought up was down, I helped him do the same to Konohan citizens. I liked it, Kakashi.” Her eyes were bright and Kakashi had to look away.

Anko hissed in frustration, and jerked down his mask before he could react. “Talk to me, damnit!”

Kakashi’s face felt hot, and he scrambled to pull his mask back up. Anko pushed his hands away, gripping the fabric in her fist and holding it around his neck.

“Talk Kakashi. I can read lips.”

His tongue felt foreign, like it didn’t belong in his mouth, as he tried to form words that he couldn’t quite remember how say. She was watching, which made it a thousand times worse.

Orochimaru took advantage of your natural talent for interrogation and torture. It wasn’t your fault. Kakashi said silently.

She huffed, and rolled her eyes. “Not why I pulled down your mask, you moron. I’m almost okay with that shit. I’m gonna spend the rest of my life repaying Konoha for my sins, but I can almost forgive myself. I think I have to, before I can leave.”

Then what? Kakashi asked, tilting his head.

“Why aren’t you trying? Before this, I would have said that you’re one of the bravest men I’ve ever known, but now you’re backing down from your own fears?”

It struck home, deep in Kakashi's heart. He wasn't a coward.

This is real now! he shouted, a breath of sound leaving his mouth. Kakashi forced her thumb back, breaking her hold on his mask, and yanked it up to cover his face.

“Touchy touchy,” Anko chided him, rocking back on her heels. She smirked and eyed his mask. “That Haruno is a lucky girl.”

Kakashi flinched like she’d struck him.

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