A Strong Resolve

Sasuke always thought he had a clear imagination about hate. He had hated the early bedtime on school days, or the that he wasn´t allowed to watch tv regulary, or when few female kins were urging him to eat cookies and choclate, despite his protests that he hated sweets. More than that he had hated the disappointed looks his father gave him whenever he failed to do something, his brother could complete without effort. He had hated it whenever his parents argued about him. His kind and beautiful mother always claiming that everyone was too hard on him. His father, proud and strict as he had been, was always convinced that his mother was pampering him too much.

More than anything in the world, he had hated broken promises. Especial the ones his important older brother used to give him, only to be broken later. At that time, he had been so devasted, everytime it happened and it had happened quite too often lately. But he always hoped someday his brother would be less busy and spend time with him.

Almost one year had passed since said brother had taken anything and anyone away he ever loved. Now he couldn´t fool himself with thinking about all the things he used to hate back then, when it were exactly those things he longed for.

Who cares if he had to go to bed early or he could never watch tv? He would stuff himself with all sorts of sweets, if it meant his clan members could be around. Who cared if his father would be displeased with him? Someday Sasuke would make him proud for sure. Who cared that his big brother never spent time with him, when said brother was the one who destroyed all of it.

And now, one year later, when the grief about this loss slowly turned into anger and the realization that the one responsible for it was still running around unpunished, let Sasuke begin to understand how real hate feels. He might only be eight years old, but this feeling slowly began to burn him from the inside.

Sitting now in the office, opposite from this tall blonde man let him feel hate and anger raise once again. This time his fury was directed at his guardian Kakashi ,who had brought him here in the first place but at the same time he hated this blonde guy who was tormenting him with all those questions. Everytime the man opened his mouth, it felt as if someone was pouring hot oil into an open wound.

"You know you´re here because you need someone to talk to and not because I want to trouble you." The man, whom introduced himself as Inoichi Yamanaka said calmy. "Talking is important for you. You need to speak, otherwise is will slowly destroy you."

Sasuke gave his best to glare at the man but his still childish features let him only look like he was sulking. Since he entered that room, he hadn´t said a single word and not answered a single question the man directed at him. He decided that silence was the best answer to let this guy understand he wasn´t willing to talk.

"Do you know that you´re here because some people are worried about you. People who care about you. No matter how hurt you still are, don´t forget that you aren´t alone and that you´re still loved."

The child could hardly bear to listen to him when the speech went in that direction. It was painful enough to deal with the knowledge that his clan was indeed gone but that someone was trying to push him to talk about it was just unbearable. The hours he spent into the presence of that man were a nightmare for him and he tried to block out his voice and words when the questions became even more personal.

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While Sasuke inside the office of Inoichi Yamanaka, Kakashi waited in the hallway and walked nervously up and down. He wasn´t allowed to accompany his ward and so he just thought constantly how the Uchiha was doing. He knew that it was a big step to push Sasuke to get mental treatment and he still wasn´t sure how well the boy would take it.

He managed to bring Sasuke here only with great effort and he hadn´t even told him honestly that Inoichi Yamanake should try to cure his mental wounds regarding the massacre. Instead he half lied to the boy and told him that he wanted him to speak with him about the incident with those Kumo shinobi. He knew it wasn´t a fine way but how was he supposed to tell him the truth?

The time passed too slow for his liking and the worry he felt wasn´t helping either. Kakashi could hardly remember a time where he was that nervous before but the latest setbacks regarding Sasuke made it difficult for him to keep his mind clear. He really thought the child was on a good way but after the latest incidents it felt as if every progress was nullified.

His head shot up when the door finally opened and Sasuke practically stormed out of the room. The boy was agitated, as much was obvious. The jonin hurried towards him and stopped his movements by grabbing his shoulders. He squatted down so that he could talk to him at eye level.

"I don´t want to come here ever again!" Sasuke cried even before he got a chance to say anything.

"What happened?" He asked and only now he noticed that Inoichi was standing behind them.

"I won´t come here ever again!" With that said, the boy freed himself from Kakashi´s grip and stormed off.

Kakashi looked baffled and was ready to hurry after him but then the Yamanake began to speak and let him stop in his tracks.

"It´s a natural reaction. Don´t worry about it:"

He rose into a stand again and faced the blonde man. "What happened? Why is he so upset?"

"Because I´m trying to talk to him about things he wants to forget."

"I thought bringing him here would mean you would take a look into his memories so that we know what he really saw that night. Not that you would press things he don´t want to talk about."

"Would you come to my office so that we can discuss these matters calmy." Inoichi suggested politely.

"I´ve no time for this. I´ve to look for Sasuke." Kakashi said and couldn´t hide the accusation in his voice.

"Sasuke will be fine. I think you should let him some time for himself."

"How do you know, when you´re the one who is responsible for his state."

Inoichi sighed. "You know very well that the massacre is responsible for his state."

Those words letting the masked Jonin shiver inside. It was the truth he tried to deny to himself but fact was that the little Uchiha was still terrible traumatized. And he felt more and more helpless about it.

"Would you just come with me so that I can explain few things to you now?"

This time he nodded and followed the blonde inside his office. He took a seat opposite from him and waited for the other male to begin to speak. Inoichi came to the point directly.

"You asked me why I haven´t examined his mind directly and the answer is simple, forcing my way into the memories he is closing off to himself could cause more damage than use. I would rather try to talk to Sasuke so that he´s forced to deal with the loss of his clan directly and only than he can find a way to overcome the trauma."

Kakashi wrinkled his forehead not understanding what Inoichi is trying to achieve with this method. "So you want to fore him in every session to think about the massacre? How is that supposed to help him? He´s already suffering enough, this will just make things worse. I don´t know if I can agree to that."

"He needs to overcome this trauma and that will only happen when he learns to deal with the pain directly. Otherwise he´ll never become better."

"He was better!" He argued firmly. "He was on a good way already."

"He was repressing the grief and memories but this isn´t the solution." The Yamanaka said. "It´s just phases where you got the impression that he´s better because he is repressing the pain but the trauma is still there and so all the grief can break out any time, like it happened recently."

He said nothing, inwardly knowing that the other male was right.

"If he´ll not reappraise this trauma, we don´t know which harm it will do to such a young child. You have seen it too, right? After the last war, the children who witnessed all the atrocities and the dying?"

The jonin didn´t need to answer. He had been almost a child himself when he fought in the last war and he still knew how all the killing and dying had made him insensitive. He had worked like a machine but not like a human. But he had been already a jonin at that time. But there were countless children, so young and innocent, who witnessed the worst scenarios. He knew that many of them comitted suicide later or became emotional insensitive killing machines in the shinobi ranks, some of them even ended in prison.

"You know, Itachi Uchiha was one of those children." Inoichi suddenly said and Kakashi´s eyes widened in shock.

"You want to say that because he witnessed the war as a child is the reason why he snapped?!"

The blonde man shrugged his shoulders. "Maybe it´s not the reason alone but I´m sure it´s causes."

For the first time he saw a reason behind the Uchiha massacre. Itachi Uchiha had been four years old when he witnessed the third shinobi war and he had been eleven when he was forced to enter Anbu. Death and killing were familiar to him since his earliest childhood. Kakashi had known the boy as a gentle and smart kid and he never imagined that he could be capable to massacre his own clan but maybe, just maybe, all the things he witnessed as a child let him really become crazy... That would be at least an explanation.

"Sasuke experienced the massacre on his family and he has to deal with being the last one of his clan. No one can predict how this will affect him when he becomes older. He needs help now."

Of course Inoichi Yamanaka was right. Kakashi wasn´t stupid, everthing the man said made sense. But he remembered how upset Sasuke had been earlier and it made him feel terrible for forcing him to come here. He explained his concerns to Inoichi and he nodded understandingly.

"The beginning is difficult and he´ll resist to come here but it´ll become easier with time. Trust me, I´ve cared for a lot of children with all sorts of mental traumas and every child heals on it´s own tempo. The most important is, that you stand firm to the decision to bring him here, because you don´t do it to trouble him but to help him."

"I know..."

"I´m here on monday and thursday. I would like you to bring him here twice per week for the next time, so that he can get used to me. If he really resists to come, I´ll try to find the time to visit you at home."

He knew that Inoichi Yamanaka was a busy man. Beside his post at the interrogation unit, he worked voluntary as a mental therapist in order to help shinobi through traumatic events after missions or the grief of losing an beloved one. After the third shinobi war it had been his main concern to care for the children. He helped many of them to overcome their trauma. Now it were mostly high rank shinobi who used his mental treatment, because few missions could destroy even the most blunt shinobi. In times of peace children weren´t forced to watch death. They could enjoy their childhood at least until they would graduate from the academy. Sasuke was probably the only child in Konoha who went through something that horrible. Kakashi made up his mind.

"Thank you Yamanaka-san. I´ll make sure that Sasuke will come to the sessions."

"That´s the right decision."

"If you don´t mind, I would like to look now for Sasuke." He said and stood up.

The Yamanaka nodded and after Kakashi bid his goodbye, he left the room and some minutes later the building.

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He found Sasuke on one of the free trainingsgrounds. He had exhausted himself so much that he didn´t made any protest when Kakashi carried him home piggyback. But as soon as they arrived at their apartment, the little boy retreated to his room, avoiding his guardian´s near completely.

"Dinner is ready." Kakashi said and knocked at the door of Sasuke´s room. He let him have his space for the whole evening but now it was time for dinner and Sasuke had to get ready for bed soon.

"I´m not hungry!" Came the reply from inside.

The jonin entered the room after that uninvited. He knew that Sasuke was still depressed about the session with Inoichi earlier but after the talk with him, Kakashi was convinced doing the right thing by letting him see a psychiatrist.

Sasuke sat on the top of his bed, a textbook opened in front of him. Obviously he was doing some homework for the academy. He approached him slowly and sat down on the bed as well.

"What´s wrong? Do you need some help with your work?"

The Uchiha kept his eyes focused on the book, not wanting to look at the silver haired. He just shook his head, not bothering to reply.

"You can continue later, let´s have dinner first."

Sasuke´s head shot up and he glared at him. "I already told you I´m not hungry and I don´t want to talk to you either!"

It was a complete new side from the boy and Kakashi was taken aback for the first moment. He hadn´t expected getting rejected that openely. Sure, it was clear that Sasuke had difficulties with his decision to make a therapy, but the obvious resentment let him feel insecure how to deal with the kid.

"Are you angry at me about earlier?" He asked softly, hoping he get through the boy.

"I´m not going there again!"

"I know it´s hard for you but the more you´ll talk to Yamanaka san, the easier it will get. Trust me I..."

"I said I´m not going there again!" Sasuke replied hotly.

There he was again, unsure how to deal with the child like so often in the past weeks. Kakashi hadn´t expected it to be easy to care for such an young child and especial after what Sasuke went through, he knew it wouldn´t be easy. But sometimes he wondered if he hadn´t imagined things a bit too easy. After Sasuke was so much better, he really thought he had overcome his trauma and the worst laid behind them. Only after the latest incident, he understood that Inoichi was right when he told him that the boy was still deeply affected by the massacre.

The silver haired wondered if his own childhood could´ve gone into a different direction if someone would´ve bothered to help him with his mental wounds. He was still convinced that the suicide of his father was the main reason why his development as a teenager was so messed up.

And looking now at Sasuke, the boy he had swore to guide and protect, Kakashi knew he couldn´t back out. He needed to help him and if he wasn´t enough than a professional like Inoichi needed to do it.

"Sasuke look..." The adult said and took the book out of Sasuke´s hands so that he would´ve his full attention. "I´m not sending you to the sessions to hurt you but for your health. The more you repress your pain, the worse it´ll become. This isn´t something to be ashamed of but something what needs to be done. Just try it out for a couple of months and if you still insist on stop the sessions, we can talk about it again."

"So you just force me to go there! Against my will!"

That the Uchiha was reacting so intensely was enough proof how emotional overwhelmed he really was. Kakashi felt guilty for not noticing sooner. He was responsible for the child and he was supposed to know beforehand when something is wrong with him. Instead Sasuke needed to become sick and have another emotional breakdown for him to realize how bad his mental state still was.

The third Hokage once told him that caring for a child meant more than just providing for food and clothes. That it meant more as to play and act like a friend or a big brother figure. Sasuke lost his whole family in a single night and the gap which that event left was enorm. The child needed someone who would try to fill the gap and this was what Kakashi swore to do. He realized now what the Hokage really meant. That he needed to make decisons for Sasuke, even if the boy wouldn´t always agree to them. But it was his job to guide him now and the kid was far too young to understand what was good for him now. And he had made his decision.

"Yes I do." The Hatake replied calmy. "Because I´m your guardian and if I think it´s in your best interest I´ll make the necessary decisions. Even if you don´t like it."

It was more than obvious how the boy fought to keep his composure. But Sasuke knew very well that if Kakashi really wanted him to go to the therapy sessions, he could force him to go. It was within his rights as his guardian. It was just that until now, Sasuke had really thought the man would never do anything against his will. That he would never force him to to something he doesn´t like. It let him feel betrayed, frustrated, scared and angry at the same time. He didn´t want to talk to anyone about what happened the night his whole clan was taken away from him. He just wanted to forget everything and punish that damned traitor who was responsible for all his suffering.

"I hate you!" Sasuke cried more desperate than angry. "If you ever send me there again, I´ll never forgive you!"

These words hurt Kakashi more than he would admit. He couldn´t even tell if Sasuke meant what he just said or if it was just an attempt to punish him for making this decision without his consent. But regarding the boy´s current emotional state, wasn´t it a wonder that he reacted this way? Shouldn´t he have expected this? Nevertheless, he couldn´t deny that he suddenly doubted his resolve.

"It´s already decided." He said, not convinced by his own words anymore.

"Go away! I hate you!" The boy yelled at him.

"Sasuke..."

"I don´t want to see you again!"

Ever since the anniversary of the Uchiha massacre, Sasuke was beside himself. It was like one year ago, where he took the several traumatized child into his care. Now Sasuke began to react to anything with anger and this was just a shield for how broken the boy still was. Kakashi wasn´t so sure if forcing him to talk would help him in the long run but if he wouldn´t force him, Sasuke would never talk and maybe this would do more harm in the end. Honestly he didn´t knew what was the right decision anymore.

Resigned, Kakashi stood up and left the room, knowing that staying wouldn´t change anything. Sasuke´s reaction was understandable. After everything he went through, it was no wonder he reacted this way. Maybe he shouldn´t let the kid´s words bother him too much but it did hurt more than he was ready to admit to himself. He truly cared for the little Uchiha, more than he ever thought he would. But he loved the boy with all his heart now. It was impossible for him to imagine his life without the little one anymore. But how was Sasuke feeling about him?

For the first time, he wondered if the boy cared for him at all. If Sasuke felt a connection to him too, or if he was still the stranger who was now responsible for him. After things went so well, he thought they formed a strong bond with eachother but obviously he was wrong.

That night Kakashi couldn´t find any sleep. He just sat in the living- room and thinking about everything and nothing. He felt afraid that Sasuke could leave the apartment and would run back to the deserted Uchiha district and he fixed his whole attention on Sasuke´s chakra, which he felt still into his room.

It was during the night, when he dared to approach the child´s room again. He just wanted to make sure that he was asleep. Tomorrow was a school day after all.

The jonin felt several relief when he found him curled up into a ball, deep asleep. He sighed when he stepped near and observed Sasuke´s face. He looked so peaceful when asleep and Kakashi wished nothing more as that the boy could find peace in his life too. Sighing again he covered the tiny body with the blanket, before leaving the room once again.

He went into his own bedroom, trying to found some sleep. But he couldn´t stop thinking. He didn´t knew what was right or wrong anymore.

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Sorry for not updating sooner. I´m still continuing this story even if I don´t find the time to update often.

Big thanks towards fanofthisfiction, Pixie07, Uchiha Akame, dreamsandfaith and Utopia Empire for all your great and nice reviews. It´s always a huge support :)

Please let me know what you think and review!