Kakashi was abruptly jarred from his sleep by a knock on his door.
Kakashi's nindogs raised their heads, growls rising in their throats. "Come," Kakashi croaked, voice hoarse with the early hour. A small brown pug named Pakkun jumped off Kakashi's feet and waited for his master at the foot of the bed. Kakashi swung his legs over the side of the bed and just sat for a moment, pulling himself into focus. Once he had fully registered what was happening, he shook his hair out of his face and stood. Kakashi walked to the door, shivering with the cool air of his apartment. He checked his mask just before he turned the lock in the door. Behind him, and enormous bulldog climbed to its feet, using its stubby legs to heave its massive body up. A deep, booming bark resounded from its fanged mouth as it slowly waddled to the door. Several smaller dogs, a German Shepherd, a Collie, and a Golden Retriever, all stood and fell into step around their master.
"Be ready," Kakashi murmured as he slid the bolt back. The dogs' hackles came up, the hair along their spines bristling. The Shepherd, a female named Kitsune, darted protectively in front of Kakashi as the door swung open.
A dozen ANBU stood in the doorway.
"Sit, girl," Kakashi commanded, pressing on the dog's rump. But Kitsune refused to sit, instead sliding out from under Kakashi's hand and growling.
"What is it, girl?" Kakashi asked, slightly confused. Kitsune was his most loyal dog; whenever she disobeyed him, it was for a really good reason.
They want to hurt you.
Kakashi heard the dog in his mind and was now on his own guard more than ever. His hand strayed to his knee, where he had strapped a kunai underneath his pants. It wasn't much, but it was enough to defend himself if need be. "What's this all about?"
"Hatake Kakashi," the ANBU captain started. Kakashi's hand traveled even lower, pulling up the edge of his pants. He slowly slid the kunai out, holding it before him defensively.
"I'm warning you know, I don't want to, but if you make a move I will have to harm someone, be it you or not. So explain-and do it quickly; before I make my move."
The captain stepped back a bit, holding up his hands. "Calm down, Kakashi; no one wants to hurt you-"
"I'm inclined to trust the hound more than you," Kakashi spat, "but keep going."
"W have orders from the Daimyo to arrest you for your attempted assassination on him."
"What attempted assassination? I haven't even heard of an attempt on anyone, let alone the Daimyo-"
"Well, now you have," the captain said shortly. He snapped his fingers, and the ANBU fanned out, forming a double-circle around Kakashi.
Kakashi froze. "What the hell, here?! I haven't even seen the Daimyo since...hell, I don't think I've seen the Daimyo since I was in the ANBU, a decade or so. And I thought you answered to the Hokage only," Kakashi said, trying to work this out.
"In order, apparently, someone in your ANBU uniform did, and technically we answer to both Hokage and Daimyo," the captain snapped.
"But that's impossible!" Kakashi gasped, silently beckoning his dogs. They crawled forward, tails bristling like static dusters and hackles up. Their fur bristled furiously, and they slunk low to the ground with rage. Kakashi felt them brush against him, marking him with their scent. "I turned in my ANBU uniform years ago, when I was fifteen!"
Kakashi noticed the ANBU slowly backing away. "Call off the dogs."
"No," Kakashi said firmly. "Not until I know what's going on and have reassurance that I will not be challenged or approached."
"Well, then we'll be fighting dogs for a while," the ANBU Hawk muttered.
"Shut it," the Deer whispered sharply. "This is the Copy Ninja, and even without his dogs he's deadly. Don't underestimate him or you're dead."
"You're dead even if you overestimate me," Kakashi growled. He sent a signal to the dogs, and they began to bark and snap at the heels of the frightened ANBU. They lunged forward and back, teasing the ANBU silly.
"Knock it off!" the Bear cried. "None of us did anything!"
Kakashi sighed. "Oh, fine. You're no fun. Kitsune! Fall back!"
The female Shepherd was apparently the leader of the pack, and she stepped back. The other dogs retreated a bit as well, following their alpha's command.
"Well, thanks!" the ANBU captain shouted. It looked like he had sustained a minor bite from the bulldog, a male named Shukaku for his demonic nature. The bulldog was very aggressive and had a nasty bite to match; that was why Kakashi had picked him as one of his main guard dogs.
"And quit whining," he snapped. "The dogs won't strike to kill unless I give the command."
"Son of a cowardly whore!"
Kitsune whipped around so fast she managed to tangle herself in Kakashi's legs before freeing herself to look the ANBU in the eye. "Who said that."
No one dared to move around the angry hound.
"Say it again, say it to my face, you limp noodle!"
Pakkun had joined the fight, but apparently he was doing the verbal assaulting and leaving the rest to his alpha.
"Say that again, you son of a bitch! Dishonor! Dishonor on your whole family! Dishonor to you, dishonor to your cow of a mother-"
"Pakkun!" Kakashi scolded. "Not ever again."
"Aw, you suck, Boss," Pakkun muttered, then jumped next to Kitsune and howled. The ANBU shivered; the dog's call to arms was chilling to hear, as if it was being felt and not heard. Felt like a cool finger being trailed down a frightened spine and finally brushing against the one spot, in the small of the back, that hates to be touched most-
All of a sudden, Kitsune howled a cry of rage, answered by the other dogs' deafening roars, and leaped forward, snapping and snarling. "SIT!" Kakashi roared, grabbing the dog closest to him and forcing him to sit down. All of the dogs reluctantly settled most of the way onto their rumps, although still angry and frustrated.
All except one.
The alpha female, Kitsune was charging the nearest ANBU, pace increasing with every step. Her body lengthened and stretched out across the hallway floor as she galloped up and jumped, a flash of red-brown and white-
"Kitsune, no!" Kakashi yelled. The dog ignored him mid-jump, and followed through with the maneuver. She landed squarely on top of an ANBU, sinking her blinding white fangs into his arm, shaking her head and growling. "Kitsune!" Kakashi repeated, darted forward. He grabbed the dog's collar and hauled on her, forcing her to let go of the ANBU. He pulled her back into the apartment and slapped her on the side of the mouth.
"Bad girl!" he scolded, forcing her to sit again as she tried to get back to the ANBU. "What is wrong with you?! You don't charge and bite an ANBU, you just don't! I don't ever-"
"Sniveling, lying, grub-greedy scum!"
Kakashi sighed. Pakkun was getting into stride, and he didn't want to be around for the finale. Pakkun was already hysterical.
"Filth! Pigs! Cowards! You dishonor your clans! Stains of dishonor, filthy half-breeds-!"
Kakashi sighed and clamped his hand over the dog's snout. "You shut up, I'm in enough trouble already."
"Yeah-umph-for somethin' ya didn't do!" Pakkun wormed his way out of Kakashi's grip and continued to berate the ANBU. "You don't deserve to wear those masks! You disgrace the entire village! If your mothers could see you now-"
"Pakkun, that's enough!"
Pakkun fell silent at his master's unusually sharp voice. "Huh?"
"If they want me so badly as to stick around through everything they got and were threatened with, then something must be terribly wrong. I have to go with them otherwise we'll never resolve this. I have to go." He looked up at the ANBU. "Just let me get dressed."
The ANBU nodded. "Just make it quick. Tsunade-sama isn't happy with you. And no crap, Hatake. We have permission to do just about anything to you."
Kakashi snorted. "Yeah right."
He withdrew into his apartment, slamming the door behind him.
A/N: Aaaawww, poor Kakashi!!!!!! But you'll never see what happens unless you review!!! So review!!! Same policy as all other fics: one review, next chater. Anonymous reviews are enabled, so you have no excuse. And no, the button does NOT click itself!