When I was in the 7th grade, I became convinced that the mother of one of my classmates had died in a horrible car accident. I told a friend that I’d found a picture of a woman in my mother’s high school yearbook who’d looked like the boy in question and that they had the same last name. My mother told me she’d died in a car crash a few years after they’d graduated. That was all my friend and I had to go on—all we’d needed, apparently—and we began trying to research the mystery woman’s past and attempting to get close enough to our classmate in hopes of hearing him talk about his family life growing up.
After a few weeks, my friend got bored, but me? Every little scrap of new information, no matter how small, made me feel giddy. I was Nancy Drew, putting together this puzzle no one had solved yet. A month in, when I was at a total impasse, I realized this wasn’t a puzzle. It was someone’s life and I was prying, making myself privy to way more information than I’d ever had the right to. I felt ashamed, the cool, almost scientific detachment melted away, and stopped my “investigation” immediately. I was reminded of my complete lapse in judgment when I came across Eldr-Fire’s “Static.”
Sakura’s fascination with Kakashi’s life before Team 7 goes into full-on voyeur mode when she finds video tapes with his name on them at Kurenai’s apartment. (It’s not what you’re thinking…keep reading.) She steals one and is treated to a few glimpses of his teenage years, with Asuma acting as the narrator/interviewer. Making out with Rin, hanging out with Genma, Gai, and Asuma…these encounters are day-in-the-life-of scenarios of a teen who just happens to be a trained killer. No harm, no foul, right? But the tape doesn’t curb Sakura’s thirst for knowledge; it drives her to find out more about him. So she steals another tape and another and another until she has a picture of Kakashi in her head that is irreconcilable with the person she knows in real life.
The weight of what Sakura discovers drags down their relationship and her actions become so pushy, so invasive, that it’s clear that she’s more than willing to sacrifice their present in order to find out about his past. It’s one of the few well-written KakaSaku fics I’ve read that doesn’t end well for the couple…and rightfully so. It’s natural to want to know intimate things about the person you’re dating, but do you really want to know everything? And how does that affect your interactions with your significant other? Does knowing everything create emotional intimacy or simply allow you to indulge your nosiness? If it’s emotional intimacy you want, doesn’t it mean more when you don’t have to force it?
Eldr-Fire does a great job of using audible references to static in different ways throughout the story (the static at the end of each scene on the tapes, the static that crackles on the phone line when Kakashi sighs, etc.), but this isn’t why “Static” is a great title for the piece. The author seems to be using the word’s definition (“pertaining to or characterized by a fixed or stationary position”) to allude to the overall inability to let go. Asuma promised Kakashi that he’d burned the tapes and he never did. Even though she knew of Asuma’s promise, Kurenai is still holding onto them because they’re a part of what made Asuma Asuma. Kakashi can’t let go of his past and neither can Sakura. Being unable to let go ensures that the past will continue to haunt them all.
Rated M. Grade: A.
(FYI Eldr-Fire gets an extra glomp for depicting Kurenai and Asuma’s kid as a pint-sized version of Shikamaru. He’s so calculating, such a little strategist, and you just know that he’d be that way from hanging out with Shika all of the time. Love.)