A/N: I randomly had inspiration to write this after listening to Artemis (instrumental) by GIRL NEXT DOOR. It's really awesome and I almost cried a few times. I'm really sorry I couldn't update for so long because of y'know, school and stuff. I took your advice and didn't throw the sub plots all over the place though, so relax. Heh.

And once again, five thousand chocolate ice cream cones to the following embodiments of awesomeness: Kawaii-no-Kitsune, MaliBiser, XxDarkSarcasm1010xX, Sayuri Kurosaki Uchiha Hatake, Sarah, AmaranteX. Also for all those dudes who alerted, favourited, but didn't review, I hope you'll take some time to tell me what you think though! Thanks.

Chapter 6: Artemis Weeps


"Kinade-san, in there please," said Yamato politely, nodding towards a door. Kinade smiled at him, but there wasn't an ounce of sincerity in it. She was tired. Too tired for anything. She grasped the door knob, but she had no will to turn it.

"Is there something wrong, Kinade-san?" Yamato asked.

Kinade did not reply and pressed her forehead to the door and she slumped a little. What was going on? How come she was this fatigued? She should've expected Kakashi's denial. She'd altered his memory after all. She closed her eyes. She didn't want to think about it.

Yamato knocked once and then gently pried her hand away and opened the door for her. He took her arm gently and led her into the interrogation room. Ibiki Morino was inside, scribbling something furiously on his desk.

"Morino-san, sumi masen, but Tsunade-sama wants you to interrogate this woman."

Yamato bent down and whispered something into Ibiki Morino's ear. Kinade watched nonchalantly. She knew about Ibiki Morino. He was the head of ANBU's Torture and Interrogation Force and Kinade had heard his methods to get people to talk were at times…extreme. But she felt far from scared. In fact, all she wanted to do was lie down and close her eyes.

Ibiki nodded, his face carefully blank.

"I'll see you later Kinade-san," said Yamato. He bowed to Ibiki and left the room.

"Sit down, Uchiha-san," Ibiki said quietly. Kinade slumped into her chair. Her vision was blurring. She couldn't keep her eyes open. Ibiki said something, but she couldn't comprehend a thing.

Then, she felt a searing pain in her chest. She clutched her heart. It was the most horrible sensation. It was like a pair of iron tongs were clamping it tightly, with absolutely no intention of letting it go. Blood pounded in her ears and her head was throbbing once more. She couldn't hear; she was blinded by pain. Her eyes rolled up into their sockets and she fell, hard onto the ground.

She lay, convulsing and soon a wave of darkness crashed over her and all was still. And now, she would dream.


"Kakashi!"

She was bent over him, on her knees, looking into his face. His eye, the one without Obito's Sharingan was wide open. His face was deathly pale. Kinade looked down at the sword tip protruding from her chest. Blood trickled down the edge of the blade onto Kakashi's flak jacket, staining it.

For a moment, Kinade was numb and she could merely stare at her wound. But then fear took over her. She started trembling; each breath she took was like someone stabbing her in the lung repeatedly. With what little composure she had, she concluded that the sword had pierced her in the lung. It hurt, it really did. She was so scared.

She had a mortal fear of impalement. She had once seen a man impaled upon a pole before her when she was very young. The man was still alive and had stared right into her eyes, and in them she saw despair, agony and hopelessness. He knew he was going to die, but all he could do was wait. She was terrified, morbidly so of ending up like him.

"K-Kinade?"

"Ne, Hatake, I'm s-scared you know. It hurts…" and she grinned at him, blood trickling down the corner of her mouth.

Kakashi would only stare, "Why? Wh-Why did you save me?"

The sword was yanked out roughly. Kinade yelled and fell onto Kakashi. Her mouth filled up with blood from her lungs and she spat it out. It hurt even more. She felt like her lungs had been ripped out and knives had been shoved up her throat.

"It-It hurts," she gasped. Blood was ringing in her ears. She couldn't breathe. She was choking, drowning in her own blood. She was writhing in throes of agony.

She felt someone laying her gingerly onto the dusty ground. She whimpered.

There was the clash of metal against flesh and a human head rolled beside her, blood pouring from the severed neck. She was in too much pain to be scared. She was going to die herself. She was so frightened at the prospect of dying. She wouldn't be able to see her parents anymore…but Obito would be there. She could see him…maybe it wasn't so bad…

She felt strong arms hoist her up gently. Her flak jacket was already soaked in blood. She felt rather dizzy. She was still trembling as she thought of her wound. She imagined one of her lungs, laid open with a hole that would never heal, and she began whimper. Even if she lived, would she still be able to be a ninja?

She took a breath, for she'd been holding it for a while, and daggers were driven into her chest. She felt like her soul was being ripped out from very person.

She opened her eyes slowly and she found herself looking into Kakashi's face. He'd pulled up his headband so she could see that Sharingan. He was so pale, so scared, she reached out to stroke his cheek.

"Kinade…" his voice was shaking. She saw tears at the corner of his eyes. Still a boy…not yet a man.

"Baka ga," he said.

She smiled.

"Why'd you have to save me?"

"I…I couldn't just stand there," she whispered.

She held her and pulled her close. She saw blood stains on his face. Were they hers, his, or that unfortunate swordsman?

"And besides…I…" Kinade began. She wondered, she wondered if she should tell him. All that time after Obito had died, she had never felt so alone in her life. Obito was her only friend. She could never manage to make friends, or be nice to anyone. But Obito was always there.

But he'd died. And she was alone again. She had her parents of course, but they never seemed to be supportive of anything she did. They never wanted her to be a ninja, and she would never forgive them for not supporting her. The only person who would support her no matter what she did was gone and she would never find him again.

But there was someone else…Kakashi. He'd saved her from her own misery. He'd scolded her; he'd rebuked her, and finally knocked some sense into her. Kinade never dared to think it might be because he cared for her as a person. She always assumed he was going it for Obito, because she was his cousin and one of his closest friends.

But she couldn't help herself. She grew to admire Kakashi. In some way or another, she was attracted to him. He was so strong, in mind and body. She'd never seen him swayed. He was kind and loyal and he loved Konoha more than anything else. Kakashi was all alone, even more alone than she was, but he still could be all those things.

But she knew, she would never be like him. She would remain a pathetic brat, pining for Obito for the rest of her life. She hated herself for being so weak, so dependent, so fragile. Obito had always been her pillar of strength and the moment he died, her life had come crashing down around her. And yet she refused to pick up the pieces.

But Kakashi had been there to help her. And one day…today, she finally realised it.

"Nani, Kinade?" Kakashi asked frantically, gripping her shoulder so hard his knuckles had turned white.

"Ai-aishiteru."

Kinade broke into a fit of gasping. Her lungs were screaming for oxygen, and she kept bleeding, she was coughing for air, the pain was too great, she was crying, her face was wet…

But she saw, she saw him, Kakashi's face was wet with tears and wild with fear. She'd never seen him likfe this before. He lifted her into his arms and he ran towards the base camp.

She heard him murmur something, as her vision blurred, "…I can't let another comrade die…not again." Her heart sank. Was that all he thought of her? And tears began to fall. This pain…it was far worse than any flesh wound.

It really was how she felt…how could Kakashi be so heartless towards her? Even now? Perhaps he just hadn't heard her.

Resignedly, she wept quietly in his arms, pressing her face into his warm, hard chest.

Then she felt someone nuzzling her head and whispering something rapidly, almost incoherently.

She couldn't make out what it was.

She closed her eyes. She was…tired.

"Kinade!" Kakashi wailed her name. She wanted to ask him what he wanted but she couldn't. Her eyes were shut tight and her throat was closed. Her wound stung terribly as Kakashi ran, jerking her uncontrollably. But she lay still.

"Kinade, you said…you said you loved me. Why would you love someone like me?"

Because you're such a wonderful person Kakashi…I couldn't help myself…

"I didn't think anyone would fall for me…I closed my heart to the world."

No…no…no. That's not true…not true at all.

"But today…I think I finally understand. I finally understand my feelings. I think, I love you too."

Kakashi…you…I'm so happy…you can't imagine how I feel now.

Kinade felt very light. She was smiling. Every inch of her was.

"All that time I spent comforting you, scolding you, I always thought I was doing it for Obito. He loved you like a sister you see. I never thought, I was doing it…doing it because I cared for you. I never saw you as anything but Obito's cousin. But today…I finally know how I feel. All that obligation was because I…I cared about you. Kinade…when that man stabbed you and you kept saying it hurt, I felt like I was going to die. I was so angry and scared."

oh Kakashi…

"I never thought it was because I loved you. But when you said it, you said it with your own mouth, I guess, I stopped denying my feelings. It's difficult for me to get close to people…I'm just like you. And I felt a bond I'd never felt before with you."

Kakashi…poor Kakashi…so lonely.

Kinade willed with all her might for her hand to move and touch his arm, just to comfort him, even a little.

"I swear, I will protect you Kinade Uchiha. You are my most precious person and all I have left."

"Kinade. Aishiteru."


whisperedthreats Jap dictionary:

sumi masen—I'm sorry

baka ga—you idiot!

nani—what is it?

aishiteru—I love you


LOL. Hope it didn't come off too cheesy or anything. But I'm a sucker for cheesy. Really. I'm that pathetic. But I think Kinade's desperation is too cute for words. As for Kinade's fainting, it's not a convenient excuse for me to make her flashback. There's really more to it. Hopefully I'll find the time to update soon. Haha. As usual, reviews rock my life. I need these seriously. I mean my school life is friggin' hectic and reviews are like beams of sunshine or something to me. My email inbox has been frightfully empty these days…