Days had passed and as far as Naruto was concerned, he had seen and spent enough time in the hospital to last him a life time.
'And thanks to my escape attempt, I've ruined any chance of getting away in the future.'
He sighed dejectedly and glanced out the window from his bed. The sun decent behind the tree tops was marked spectacularly by rays of gold, violet lighting the bases of the clouds. The view was, however, slightly marred by the presence of the two ANBU.
The heat of the day was still in the air, the humidity stifling. He'd opened the window early in the morning as the temperature rose well above the comfortable level. The reactions of the two ninja perched on his window sill had been almost comical as they'd tensed, expecting him (almost daring him, in his opinion) to jump out the window and make another escape attempt.
At the time, he'd smirked winningly at them, earning himself an obvious scowl from the smaller of the two, and the complete dismissal of the other.
As the day had worn on, the nurse had come in regularly, escorted of course by an ANBU, bringing him plenty of chilled water. He'd been thankful for this as the heat became almost unbearable as the sun reached its peak.
Now he reached for the glass on his bedside counter, downing the contents in a single mouthful, contemplating his situation. It was his sixth day in this place. Almost an entire week. And yet he was no further in discovering how he'd managed to land himself in this situation. And any of those that may have had answers were either in his original time, not in the village at the moment, or not trustworthy enough to even bother tracking them down for answers.
Landing him right back where he started.
He growled frustratedly, running a hand roughly through his hair, earning himself another invisible glare from the ANBU outside.
He glanced up as there was a knock at the door, watching as the young medical kunoichi wandered in, closely followed by his white-haired teenage sensei.
"Good evening Naruto," she said brightly.
He grinned at her easily, glad for some human interaction that didn't involve unseen glares.
Kakashi glanced at him disinterestedly before wordlessly easing himself into his corner casually.
"So, I'm here let you know that I've come up with an antidote for that wound of yours," she said proudly.
"Wow, already?" Naruto asked, astounded.
She nodded enthusiastically, before sobering up, her expression becoming quite serious.
"It wasn't easy, far from it. Truth be told, it's the most difficult toxin I've had to counteract."
He nodded seriously, deeply impressed. Not many people measured up to Sakura's or Tsunade's abilities, but he'd definitely found a serious contender.
She put down her bag, pulling out a small, sealed bottle, and a syringe.
"It needs to be administered intravenously, as the toxin is in your bloodstream," she said, approaching the sink and washing her hands before pulling on some latex gloves. "What's more is, I don't know if there'll be any side effects."
"Side affects?" Naruto asked nervously.
"There's always the risk that there will be a reaction," she said calmly, approaching him.
Naruto shifted uncomfortably as she prepared the solution.
"Now I'm going to put you on an IV drip and have the antidote administered that way," she said calmly.
"Huh? Why not just inject it directly?" Naruto asked, confused.
"The antidote has to be administered slowly, so this is the only way to do it."
Naruto grumbled incoherently under his breath.
"Here, hold out you arm, palm down," Rin said calmly. Naruto did so, doing his best to ignore her as she went about inserting the catheter into his hand.
Silence filled the room, the orange fire of the late afternoon sun setting the area aglow with its light, the only sounds the slight rustling on Rin's clothes as she went about her work.
Naruto's gaze snapped up to meet Kakashi's demanding one.
"Why what?" he asked cautiously.
"Why are you here?"
"I'm not sure."
The grey haired youth stared at him suspiciously. Naruto looked back at him sadly. What he wouldn't give to have the answer to that question himself.
"There we go," Rin said cheerily, interrupting the awkward moment. "This should stop the bleeding and counteract the toxin. We should start seeing some results in the next fifteen minutes."
"Thanks," he said quietly.
Minato sighed in relief. He'd finally managed to complete the stack of paperwork that was on his desk.
'Although, I'd bet something comes in within the next half hour to ruin that,' he thought wryly.
He swung around on his chair, glancing out the window at the darkening sky lazily. It always gave him a sort of inner peace to gaze at the sunset, watching it fade into twilight, the sky gradually darkening from orange to indigo, and stars blinking into existence as night set in. He breathed in contently and closed his eyes, forgetting his troubles as he settled more comfortably in his chair.
Just as he began to doze, a knock on the door drew him back to the present. He opened his eyes and sighed dejected.
"Murphy's Law… Enter."
The door opened to reveal both Kakashi and Rin.
"Murphy's Law?" Rin asked as the door was closed with a snap.
"Yup," he replied amiably. "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong."
"Rather pessimistic view, wouldn't you say, sensei?"
"Best to be prepared for anything."
"You'll probably end up eating those words once we show you our report," Kakashi said darkly.
He looked sharply at the grey haired boy before looking expectantly at Rin.
"I take it that you've gotten the boy's test results back," he said seriously.
She nodded, biting her lip hesitantly, before handing over a sealed scroll.
Minato muttered the release command under his breath, opening the scroll smoothly, and scanned the contents. His expression went quickly from one of consternation, to utter disbelief.
"You're sure this is accurate?" he whispered, looking up at the two ninja before him searchingly.
"Yes," Rin said firmly. "I even did the test twice, to make sure."
'So she didn't believe it either,' he thought grimly to himself.
"We'd have to run a test with Kushina to be one hundred percent sure, but I really don't think there's any doubt, seeing as you're too young for it to be true otherwise," Rin added. "Still, it seems impossible… I have no way to explain this at all."
Minato seemed to cave in slightly on himself as he sank further into his chair.
"He doesn't know why he's here," Kakashi said quietly. "But I think that we may be able to find an answer if we review the events that led up to his arrival."
The Hokage nodded absently, his eyes narrowing slightly as he thought.
'There's something I'm missing here… something important.'
"Are you alright sensei?" Rin asked concernedly.
"Fine," he said vaguely. 'If only I could-'
Rin jumped and Kakashi tensed as the blonde man almost leapt from his seat.
"What?!" they both asked simultaneously, alarmed.
"How the hell am I supposed to tell this to Kushina?!" he asked, horrified.
Kakashi relaxed slightly, while Rin let out an exasperated sigh and shook her head.
"Well, opening one's mouth and talking is usually the way people go about it," Kakashi said dryly. Minato stared at him, his eyes narrowing slightly as he noticed the subtle twitching behind the boy's mask.
'Damn kid thinks this is funny,' he thought wryly to himself as he sank back into his chair.
"Maybe we should call you 'Captain Obvious' instead of 'The Copy Ninja'," Minato replied sarcastically. "Far more befitting I'd say."
Kakashi rolled his eyes.
"Well sensei," Rin interrupted, throwing her teammate a warning look. "I don't think you should beat around the bush with this. You need to tell her straight, and as soon as possible."
Minato nodded his assent to that, all the while feeling slightly queasy.
"What's the boy's current status?" he asked calmly.
"He took well to the antidote," Rin replied. "That abnormal healing of his seems to have kicked in, although going by previous reports; it's not nearly as fast as when it first happened. Regardless, it looks like he'll be fit to leave the hospital in a couple of days and have the stitches removed by the end of the week. A full assessment of his health is located in the report."
"Well then, mission complete. Thanks for all your hard work you two," he said sincerely. "You are both dismissed."
As both turned to leave he looked down at the report, knowing full well that he ought to review and process it now, but also knowing that Kushina would murder him for withholding this sort of information from her any longer than necessary. With a sigh, he re-sealed the scroll, tucking it away in his back pouch, before grabbing his cloak and following his ex-students out the door, shutting it with a firm snap.
She stared, the intensity of her gaze practically burning holes through the scroll, table and the floor.
Minato swallowed nervously. He had foregone the 'telling', instead handing his wife the scroll and demanding she read it.
"So, there's really no doubt?" she asked, her sight still set firmly on the report before her.
"No, there isn't," he said, stiffening slightly as she raised her eyes to meet his. They were a mass of emotions. Confusion mainly, with a bit of her usual defiance, and… was that regret?
She stood abruptly, making him jump slightly.
"I'm going to see him!"
She brushed past him quickly, making for the front door.
"No- KUSHINA WAIT!"
Minato hurried forwards, grasping her arm firmly.
"Minato, you'll let me go if you know what's good for you!" she said warningly, trying to shrug him off.
"You can't just barge in there," he said sharply.
"I don't see why not," she said harshly.
"Well, it's getting late for starters-"
"The sun's barely set!"
"And visiting hours are sure to be-"
"I don't give a damn about visiting ho-"
"Kushina, he doesn't know we're his parents!"
She turned to face him, her determination wavering as her confusion became evident.
"What do you mean he doesn't know?" she asked accusingly.
"Exactly that. He doesn't know," he said seriously, taking the opportunity to steer the red head back into the kitchen.
"But how can that be?" she asked, sitting down heavily at the table, the fight gone from her. She dropped her head into her hands tiredly, smoothing her hair out of her face. "How can he not know his own parents?"
"I'm not sure," he responded quietly, also taking a seat at the table. "There's so many unknown factors in this. How'd he get here? When did he come from? Why is he here?"
The blonde took a deep breath, before continuing.
"When he arrived in that field, I saw recognition in those eyes, but not the recognition of a son seeing his father. It was the recognition of seeing the Hokage. He addressed me as 'Yondaime', not 'Dad'. What's more, when he woke up, he thought that he was under a genjutsu, and the reasoning behind that was because I was 'dead'. And he when you talked to him, he was surprised that there was another with the name 'Uzumaki'."
"So, we're dead in his time then?" Kushina asked sharply.
"I see no other explanation for it," Minato replied sadly. "But that doesn't explain why he doesn't know that we're his parents. We must have died when he was very young for him to not remember us."
"But why wouldn't he know of us? What purpose would there be in withholding that information from him?" Kushina asked, perplexed.
They both sat there awkwardly, the silence thick with tension as they pondered.
"See why we can't go talk to him just yet?" Minato asked wryly.
Kushina glared at him sharply before turning away. She nodded mutely.
"I've already got him set up for interrogation at ANBU headquarters when he's discharged from hospital. Sensei's also supposed to be helping out with it too."
"Jiraiya's in town?" Kushina asked, surprised.
"Yeah, had a chat to him the other day about it all."
"But should we be interrogating him?" she asked quietly.
"He'll get suspicious if we don't do it properly," he said resignedly. "Besides, we need answers, regardless of whether he's our son or not, this is the best way to go about it."
"Alright then," she said with a sigh. "But I'm witnessing it, no 'if's' and 'but's' about it."
Minato nodded in acknowledgment, rising from the table.
"I guess we'll have a better idea of what going on in a couple days then," he said quietly, sweeping out of the room and leaving his wife alone at the table to ponder in solitude.
Author Notes: Shorter than usual and extremely late. Life got decidedly busier, and writer's block ain't no picnic either. As life isn't going to get any quieter for me anytime soon (yay for uni exams! OTL'''), I can't say when the next chapter will be out. Please check my profile if the wait gets excessively long (more than a couple of months) as I will have an indication on the progress there. Once again, thanks so much for all your support in this.