Title: Obito's Legacy, Chapter One: Kakashi
Warning: AU, Angst, language, PTSD, allusions to rape/abuse/child endangerment.
Disclaimer: We don't own Naruto or Harry Potter, JK Rowling and Masashi Kishimoto own them. We are not making any money from this fan fiction.
Notes: Co-written by the two authors who make up wife-chan. We found that we have almost exactly the same tastes in fic and had to see if we could collab something :) This is our first try, so please be kind and let us know how we're doing! Thanks!
Summary: Kakashi has already lost Obito. By accident, he finds Obito's legacy and he isn't about to lose him too. Time travel. De-aged Harry.
Inu, fourteen year old member of Konohagakure's ANBU, shushins to the area where a chakra flash has just been noticed. He's been sent to investigate by his Hokage. There had been something disturbingly familiar about the feel of the chakra and Namikaze Minato is wary, what with the war with Iwa looming so close in the future.
"Inu-san," Karasu, also of Konohagakure's ANBU, lands beside him, "I have found nothing."
"Dismissed." Inu says flatly. If a member of ANBU with the Byakugan can't find anything, it is easy to assume that there was in fact nothing to be found. That doesn't necessarily make it correct, however. Karasu bows his head and shushins away. Inu lifts his hand to his mask and nudges the white porcelain away from his jaw. He brings his thumb to his cloth covered mouth and bites down hard. He drops to the soft ground in a crouch, pressing his hand and bloody thumb into the moss, "Kuchiyose no Jutsu."
There is a soft popping sound and a surge of smoke. Inu waves the smoke away and is left looking into the dark eyes of a small pug dog.
"Inu," Pakkun cocks his head to the side, his tongue lolling out the side of his mouth, "Tracking?"
"Chakra flash. Looking for origin."
"Hai, Taichou," Pakkun stands and sniffs the air. Inu leaps back into the trees and watches his ninken check the area out. It not that he doesn't trust Karasu, but the familiarity of the chakra that he'd felt was strange and for some reason set him on edge.
He can't say why, exactly, other than the fact that the familiarity of the chakra should have been impossible. He knows the his squad's chakra intimately, and other than them there are very few people whose chakra he would recognize the way he recognized this flare.
When Pakkun starts moving forward with careful steps, Inu follows, still deep in thought. His eyes scan their surroundings constantly, a habit most shinobi pick up after a few years of service. It wouldn't do to let his guard down just because he is troubled. Being complacent is a sure-fire way to get yourself killed.
Maybe it's an enemy trap? Since the Byakugan hadn't been able to locate the source of the flare, it could be that it is some kind of genjutsu that confuses the senses. Masters of the illusionary art are known to be able to confuse one or more senses with minimal chakra output... and if that is the case, this could be a very dangerous endevour to go about alone.
Pakkun begins running ahead just when Inu decides to call Karasu back, and he hesitates briefly before forging on after his summon. Karasu would be long gone already, and if this was a trap, it would be better if there was someone in Konoha who would know his last location in case this goes badly.
The summoned mutt stops so abruptly that Inu almost overtakes him. He lands silently on a branch hidden in a particularly overgrown thatch of leaves and listens carefully for any sign of enemy footsteps or breathing.
It takes a few moments, but his ears adjust to the irrelevant sounds of the forest - birds singing, wind rustling the leaves overhead, his own breathing - and he picks up a discrepancy in the otherwise expected forest noise.
Weak breathing, with irregular exhales that ends in small gasps, coming from the area just before Pakkun. Inu readies a kunai in hand, eyes sharpening at the mass of thorny bushes growing in front of a particularly large oak.
Charging his ANBU arm bracers with chakra, Inu shoves his hands into the thorns and rips the branches away as quietly as he can.
What he finds shocks him.
A small child with pitch black hair, wearing nothing but rags for clothes is huddled next to the base of the oak trunk. It's hard to tell from the bunched and uneven clothing, but he thinks that the child may be trembling.
Inu frowns and crouches close to the ground. He gestures discretely for Pakkun to come forward. Children usually like small dogs, so Inu is sure that Pakkun won't be seen as a threat.
"Hello," His voice is low and even through his masks his concern can be heard. He is ANBU, true, but anyone would be concerned to find such a small child alone in a forest.
The child scrambles to its feet and Inu is shocked again. Large red and black eyes met his own, and his shock is such that he forgets to analyze the child's face for clues to his identity and physical state.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, please don't hurt me, I didn't mean to-" The child closes his mouth with a snap the moment he looks down to Inu's feet and sees the dog. Fear fills the air and the child backs up as far as far as possible, pressing himself into the tree.
"Shh," Inu murmurs to the child and Pakkun inches backwards, away from the two of them. Thankfully Pakkun is smart enough to act on his own and Inu doesn't have to command him to fall back. As a summoned dog, he is also very intuitive when it came to the emotional states of others, so Inu isn't surprised to feel Pakkun dismiss himself from the summons.
Animals, particularly summons, are known for being able to feel a larger range of the human emotional spectrum, whereas shinobi could only feel emotions pertaining to their job; namely killing intent.
"Please- please don't hurt me," The child stutters out and Inu kneels; his knees sink into the mossy earth and he hopes that at his slow movements, the child will calm.
It is simply amazing, the level and amount of chakra the child is throwing around. The air around the child is saturated with it, spiking and swirling chaotically. And the child doesn't even look tired.
"I am Inu." The child curls in on itself and Inu curses silently. He would really like to know, at the very least, the child's sex. "Do you have a name?" Inu asks gently. He is not a person that gets along well with children. He is a genius and emotions have always seemed so hard to understand.
"... Harry," The child is still curled up against the tree and Inu can barely hear his whisper.
"Hiri," Inu knows that he mangled the name, but the accent that the - boy, he thinks - says it with is strange. "Are you hurt?"
Hiri is dirty and dressed in rags, but Inu can't smell any blood except for the bit that he spilt to summon Pakkun. "I-I-," Hiri stutters to a stop and Inu silently encourages him, "N-no?" Hiri's voice rises at the end in question and Inu flinches. Thankfully his mask stops Hiri from seeing it.
"Are you sure?" Inu settles back when he sees Hiri try to move around the tree to get away from him. He isn't sure how observant the child is, but his sharingan was obviously working if he'd seen Inu try to inch forward slowly.
"I think so," Hiri licks lips and weakly spits dirt out of his mouth, "I-I'm just tired."
Inu is surprised. Most children Hiri's age, or at the age Inu places Hiri at, doesn't speak as clearly as Hiri did.
"No bleeding?" He tries to coax the boy into answering him, keeping his tone low and even. He isn't sure how well it's working, because Hiri still looks scared, but at least he doesn't look more frightened than he did before.
"N-no," Hiri's stuttering had turned into a speak impediment because of the cold. Inu imagines that the child has been alone for at least a week and he feels like frowning. How could such a young child survive in the wilderness alone? There were a few stray animals - bears and such - in the area. Perhaps Hiri has just managed to avoid them all. And he obviously hasn't eaten any of the wildly growing poisoned herbs. From the look of him, he hasn't eaten anything.
With that thought in mind, he asks, "Are you hungry?" He digs into his black cloak and pulls out a rations bar. It wouldn't taste very good, but it is nutritious and the boy looks like he needs it.
Hiri's left hand spasms and then the boy reaches out carefully with his right, "Please?" He pleads in a near-whisper.
"Here," Inu brings the bar up in his hand and rips it open. He takes a chunk out of the end and passes it into the boy's small hand. Hiri doesn't notice Inu's chakra grasping a strand of his own, nor does he notice Inu 'tasting' his scent.
Hiri does notice when Inu goes completely still. "S-sir?"
The chakra is familiar. The scent is familiar. Inu intimately knows the scent and chakra that Hiri's resembles. It would have been hard for him not to recognize it, when that chakra was once the chakra that ran his own red sharingan eye.
"Obito," Inu breathes out the name. He knows this chakra.
"H-Harry," Hiri insists around the mouthful of food.
Shaking his head slowly to clear it, Inu offers Hiri more of the rations bar. The child is cold and tired and it would be easy for Inu to grab him, but he can't bring himself to do something like that to his best friends child.
There is no way Hiri can be anyone but Obito's child. He does look a little small, but given the situation Inu found the boy in, it isn't be hard for him to assume that Hiri has been abused for most of his life. Inu can see glimpses of Hiri's torso through the holes in the rags and he can count the boy's ribs.
The mere thought of Obito's child being abused angers Inu beyond anything he has ever felt before and only the resemblance Hiri bears to Obito stays his killing intent. Hiri is not trained in chakra sensing and Inu doesn't want Hiri to think that he is mad at him.
He inhales quietly, using a few basic meditative exercises to get his emotions under control. These exercises are something he hasn't needed for years and he needs them more than once as he watches Obito's child devour the ration bar as though it is the most exquisite food the boy has ever had.
The thought that maybe that is the case makes his fists clench with tightly controlled anger. The worst part is that he doesn't know what to do; he doesn't know if he should just up and take Hiri with him to Konoha, if he should ask the boy more questions while they are still alone or if he should call someone - call Minato-sensei, since he wouldn't call anybody but him for this.
When the boy has licked the last crumbs off his small fingers, Inu slowly brings up a hand in the boy's line of sight. Hiri seems to curl in on himself at the motion, and the anger threatens to bubble up in Inu's throat and choke him, but he forges on ahead anyway.
It's not procedure, and it isn't to comfort the child when he slowly brings a gloved hand and places it on Obito's son's head. He hates how Hiri tenses like a bowstring under his touch, but he needs to confirm it before doing anything, before bringing Hiri anywhere.
He sends out a chakra probe into Hiri's chakra circulatory network. The boy won't be able to feel it since he hasn't been trained, so Inu isn't worried that the probe will disturb him. As it is, he seems distressed at Inu's touch by itself, though he isn't moving or trying to push his hand away.
That reaction angers Inu even more, since it shows that Hiri is so conditioned that he won't even attempt to defend himself anymore. He brings up his other hand, just as slowly, and forms a seal. Obito's child's sharingan eyes are spinning; it's the automatic reaction when the sharingan copies hand seals.
It's like coming home, the feeling the probe brings him. Inu can almost see his best friend's goofy grin when that familiar chakra resonates with his own. It's something he never thought he'd feel again and for a moment, the small malnourished face is replaced with an older one, wearing goggles.
Inu's eyes burn when he finally withdraws the probe, and he can't help but stroke the boy's dirty hair before removing his hand, a highly uncharacteristic gesture for him. Hiri's large eyes and scared expression mutes the complicated flood of feelings and Inu is suddenly acutely reminded of their location and of the boy's state. A flash of shame overtakes him when he sees the slight trembling of that small body.
No matter how he was feeling, ignoring Obito's son's needs would be like a slap to the face of the best friend he's ever had. And he's still not sure what to do, which is rather unbecoming of an ANBU. He's never this indecisive, usually.
"Hiri," he begins quietly, trying to be soothing and fearing failure in a way he hasn't done for quite some time, "I need to take you to see the Hokage, the leader of my village."
Hiri looks frightened and a little confused and Inu doesn't know what to do, what to say, and feels so inadequate his chest hurts. He needs to take Hiri to his sensei, but he doesn't want to force him - he doesn't think he can force him.
"I-Inu-sama?" Hiri's teeth chatter and Inu is pleased that the child takes the initiative to speak without answering a question. He is not pleased about the title his name gets. No child of Obito's should be calling him 'sama'.
"Yes, Hiri-chan?" Hiri flinches badly and Inu snarls under his mask, silently. No one should flinch that badly, especially not a child.
"W-what's Hokage?" Hiri squeezes his eyes tightly closed and Inu resists the urge to pull him into his arms.
Inu expects that Hiri is anticipating being hit for either asking a question or needed to ask a question about who, or what, Hokage is.
"Hokage is the leader of Konohagakure," Inu answers as he traces a finger over Hiri's jaw, tiny chakra probes on his fingers telling him about all the wounds Hiri has received to the face and head in his short life.
Hiri only nods. His shaking is becoming worse and Inu almost pinches himself as he remembers the thick, black, woollen cloak that he is wearing. He strips it off slowly and sets it between himself and Hiri. Hiri just looks at it blankly.
"You can wear it, Hiri-kun," Inu tries a different honorific for Hiri's name and sighs in relief when Hiri doesn't flinch, "It will warm you."
"Warm?" Hiri blinks at him and then his hand snakes out, quicker than Inu was expecting, and pulls the cloak to himself. He hauls it around his shoulders and Inu sees some light come into his eyes.
"Are you ready to go?" Inu asks. Hiri's sharingan eyes narrow and Inu feels the beginning of worry start to eat at the edges of his mind. The boy has had his sharingan active for a very long time given the average chakra stores of a child. Hiri should be passing out with chakra exhaustion soon.
It's not the way that Inu wants to get the child to Minato-sensei, but if it's the only way to do that without breaking Hiri's tiny, very new, and fragile trust in him, he will wait until the boy collapses.
He waits and Hiri just stares at him. It's beginning to become a little ridiculous, the amount of chakra that Hiri is showing just by keeping his sharingan active for so long. Inu wonders if he should ask the child more questions, but really wants Minato-sensei to be there when Hiri answers. Inu wants to know how Obito could have had a child when he died at the age of fifteen last year.
Though, as Inu takes a longer moment to study Hiri, he can't place an age on the boy. Hiri seems to be very small and Inu isn't sure that he is as young as he looks because of his malnutrition and comprehension level. The boy is startlingly well spoken.
"What are you?" Hiri's voice is stronger when he speaks this time and Inu is glad that he thought to give the cloak to the boy.
"I am ANBU." It's not unusual that children don't know what ANBU is, so it's a surprise when Hiri rears back, horror on his face.
"Don't hurt me! Please, I'll be good!" Hiri falls to the ground and curls up in a protective ball, his eyes tightly closed. Inu blinks and wonders what happened. "I promise, I promise, I'll be good." Hiri is repeating under his breath.
"I'm not going to hurt you, Hiri-kun," Inu wants to reach out and comfort Hiri, but knows that if he touches Hiri the boy will freak out even more than he already is. "Hiri-kun, please, look at me, okay?" It's probably the first time in his life that Inu has begged anyone for anything, other that begging Obito to not die. He thinks that maybe it's because this is Obito's son.
He repeats the sentence over and over while Hiri continues to mutter pleading platitudes under his breath. It feels like an eternity until he quiets and Inu isn't sure that the boy's silence is even a good thing, since the boy's eyes are as frightened as ever.
He wonders what meaning 'ANBU' holds to Hiri, knowing that it can't be a good one, but not knowing how to reassure him either. He can't say that ANBU are nice because they're assassins, the dirtiest shinobi, with hands so bloodied it's amazing that water and soap can still clean them. And he doesn't want to ask what's wrong just yet; he needs to get to Minato-sensei first. He doesn't want to ask the wrong thing and accidentally hurt Obito's son.
Hiri is breathing harshly around a tiny fist, but he is calming down. The sheer terror that was emanating from him a few moments ago is fading to his previous level of fear. When Inu considers that the fear the boy is showing is normal for him, he can feel his lips pull back into a snarl behind his mask.
Inu is ANBU. He's seen terrible things; he's done terrible things, and with his - with Obito's - sharingan, he can remember a lot of those things with perfect clarity. And so, he can conjure up a lot of different scenarios about how Hiri could have acquired this fear. He tries to push back the invasive images, but doesn't quite succeed. He's way too experienced not to examine the possibilities, even against his will.
His body stills completely as his mind speeds through image after image, and the only reason he's not leaking killing intent is because he's not as angry as he is scared. It's a novel feeling and one he wishes wouldn't creep up on him so suddenly.
He's scared of what may have happened to Hiri during his short life. He's afraid that Hiri will never smile like Obito did, laugh like Obito used to; enjoy life the way Obito had. The feeling isn't crippling - he is ANBU, and knows better than to be taken over completely by any emotion, ever - but it's there, in the back of his mind, even as he takes a deep breath and turns his full attention to Hiri once more.
"Hiri-kun, if I promise not to hurt you, would you come with me to see the Hokage?" he asks, with only the tiniest of quivers in his voice as he asks. He shouldn't have to ask. He shouldn't have to see Obito's son look at him as though he is expecting the worst of his nightmares to come to pass.
"I promise to be good. I'll be good. If I'm bad, you can punish me. I'll be good, so you won't have to." Hiri mumbles into his fist, onerously pushing himself into a seated position and bowing his head. He still looks terrified and Inu feels like tearing something apart at the boy's words. He doesn't know how to answer, because the tight feeling in his chest is almost suffocating him.
He nods finally, and then almost growls at Hiri's relieved look. He doesn't though. Instead he swallows the burn in his chest and tells Hiri that he'll need to carry him, so that they'll be able to get to the Hokage as soon as possible.
He picks the boy up, more carefully than he's picked up anything in his entire life, and feels Obito's eye spin in its socket when he realizes that he can feel the ridges of the boy's ribs with his fingers even through the rags. He manoeuvres the cloak to cover Hiri fully and starts to run, before he really does lose control.
All he can think of as he runs past the trees, sticking to the ground so he won't scare the shivering boy further, is that he's carried backpacks heavier than this.
The Hokage's office is empty but for Minato when Inu finally climbs up the side of the Tower with his most precious burden. Hiri has been completely silent for the entire trip and if it weren't for the fear that Inu can still feel, he would have thought Hiri had passed out.
"Inu," Minato stands when he comes in the window and does a double take at the boy in his arms. "What's this?"
"Hokage-sama," Inu doesn't let Hiri go because he isn't sure how Hiri will react to a full grown man instead of a teenager, "This is Uchiha Hiri." Hiri shifts in his arms and Inu rubs his back gently, "I found Hiri-kun near where the chakra flare appeared."
"Uchiha," Minato mutters to himself and Inu finds himself stepping out of reach when the blond man reaches out to touch Hiri.
Both men stop at that. An ANBU stepping away from the Hokage is unprecedented. The act is even more stranger because Inu has known Minato Namikaze as his teacher and father figure for almost ten years.
"Sir," Inu wants to explain but knows that anything he says will sound unbelievable, "Please check Hiri-kun's chakra matrix. I... It's important." Minato knows Obito's chakra matrix almost as well as Inu does.
Minato gathers chakra into his hand and slowly reaches for Hiri again. Even after only being in Hiri's presence for a minute he knows that the child has been abused.
Inu feels the probe through the child's body and Minato gasps.
"Harry," Hiri whispers. Inu is just glad that the boy has the courage to speak, and correct, his name.
"Remove your mask," Minato commands Inu and Hatake Kakashi is there, clipping the porcelain mask to his belt. "You... We cannot assume that Hiri-kun is Obito's son," He tells Kakashi.
Kakashi nods, "I know, Minato-sensei," He feels Hiri squirm in his arms and he kneels to the floor. Hiri waits until Kakashi has let him go before inching around behind him. Kakashi is a little surprised when Hiri grabs his knees tightly and stares at Minato from behind him.
He's not sure if it's a sign of whatever little trust Hiri does have for him, or if he's simply seen as the lesser of two evils.
Hiri and Minato stare at each other for several seconds, before Minato slowly crouches down to Hiri's eye level. Kakashi can feel the boy's fist tighten in the clothing, more fear leaking out into the air. Minato, of course, feels it as well and Kakashi can imagine his teacher's expression even if he can't see it.
"Hiri-kun, my name is Namikaze Minato. It's very nice to meet you." the Hokage's voice is soft and soothing in the manner Kakashi has wanted to achieve since meeting Hiri. Hiri doesn't seem to calm down, though. He's pushing himself further behind Kakashi, bowing his head and looking out through his fringe.
A few moments pass before Hiri's tiny voice asks, "Are you H-Hokage?" his teeth aren't clattering as much, so the stutter is probably more because of anxiety than cold like before. Minato nods, his eyes flickering up to Kakashi's own for a moment, and Hiri tenses.
Minato continues, "I see you've met Kakashi. He used to be my student." Kakashi knows that the Hokage is trying to calm Hiri down by pointing out the connection between the two of them, but the boy looks confused. It takes Kakashi a few seconds to figure out why and then he looks downwards to explain.
"Inu is not my real name. My real name is Hatake Kakashi." He doesn't know how to speak to children, but he figures that there is no point explaining what a codename is to such a young child. He wouldn't understand the meaning of it anyway.
Hiri nods unsurely and pulls his hands from Kakashi's knees. He's pulling at the woollen cloak and looks miserable. It's painful to see for both teacher and student, but neither knows what to say to him.
"We need to take him to the hospital for a check-up," Minato murmurs quietly to Kakashi. He pitches his voice so it doesn't carry, and Kakashi doubts that Hiri can hear more than a slight mumbling. He doesn't react either way, instead staring out into the air with unfocused eyes.
Tiredness must be hitting him hard, Kakashi thinks. After having lived in the forest for however many days he's been there, with tension running high and hunger wracking his body, coming into the warmth like this must feel like a very abrupt change.
As fast as Kakashi is, Minato has him beat in the speed department, so when Hiri collapses suddenly, Minato is the one who catches him. The blond Hokage stands upright, cradling Hiri in his arms and he still has look of shock on his face.
"Call Rin," Minato tells him, unconsciously rocking the boy back and forth like Kakashi has seen mothers do for their babies. "And Kakashi," Minato's eyes harden and he scowls, "Call for Karasu as well."
"Sir?" Kakashi isn't sure why Minato wants to talk to Karasu.
"He left you out there alone."
"I had Pakkun," Kakashi refutes, "I wasn't alone." He wants to remind Minato that Karasu wouldn't have left in the first place unless he'd been dismissed, but Minato is far too upset and angry at the moment to listen to him.
"I don't care." Minato snarls quietly, "He left you alone. Call him."
"Yes, Sir," Kakashi bows his head and even though he finds it hard to leave Obito's son, he knows that there is no one better in the village to be protecting the boy than the man who is holding him right now.
Kakashi jumps over the rooftops towards the ANBU HQ, not sure what he'll tell Karasu when he does find him. He's only collecting his subordinate so that their Hokage can yell at him, after all. It's unlike Minato-sensei to overreact like this, which tells Kakashi quite a lot about the blonde Hokage's current state of mind.
Not that he can blame him for that, seeing as he's still in shock himself. His mind feels drawn in several different directions at once and at the same time he also feels numb and kind of cold. He doesn't know what to think about this; how could Obito have a child? It doesn't make any sense, so he can only hope that Minato might know more about it.
He lands in front of the hospital briefly, grabbing a passing nurse. She jumps in fright and he knows that he's probably grabbed her too harshly in his hurry, but can't bring himself to care.
"Tell Shiranui Rin that she has a patient to attend to in the Hokage Tower," he barks out and the nurse nods quickly, looking like she'd be willing to do anything as long as he lets her go. He feels a brief flash of guilt and nods to her before jumping up to the next house's roof.
Within a minute he's at the entrance to ANBU Head Quarters, hidden under a tea house in one of the civilian sectors, ironically enough, knocking the entry code onto a seemingly bare wall. The door reveals itself and Kakashi nearly forgets to don his mask again before entering.
Not many people linger in the corridors of ANBU's first level, thankfully. The corridors are a maze designed to confuse outsiders, but Inu knows the exact path he needs to take to get to the mission room, which is where Karasu should have gone back to after having been dismissed.
Inu walks briskly into the room, noting Karasu's chakra matrix just before the mission desk and steps in to intercept him before the ninja who hands out missions can give him a scroll. They both look at him, but Karasu doesn't protest, instead stepping out of line gracefully.
Inu knows they're being observed even though there are no breaks in the room's routine. ANBU never stop observing things, especially not when the youngest ANBU in Konoha's history comes stalking into the mission room with urgency. They won't speak up, though. If their presence is required, they know they'll be summoned by the Hokage.
Inu explains shortly to Karasu that he's expected in the Hokage's office, but signals that the situation is not life-threatening and that it's not about a mission. He should explain more, but at the moment he is too anxious to get back himself to do so.
He hopes that Rin will have gotten to Minato-sensei by now, but doubts it, since it's only been a little less than five minutes since he left the office, and medics are almost always busy. She'd need to get a replacement for whatever patient she is working with before she could leave the hospital.
The trek back to the Tower is one of the longest minutes Kakashi has ever experienced. Even with Karasu following close behind him, Kakashi's mind is far too over worked at this point for him to be reassuring Karasu when his peer is silently asking questions.
Minato is sitting in his chair behind the desk when Kakashi comes back inside via the window, Karasu following closely. The Hokage has Hiri in his arms and Kakashi wants so badly to go to Hiri and hug him, draw him close breathe his unique, if familiar, smell in.
"Karasu." Minato growls softly so as not to disturb Hiri, "You left Inu in the forest alone."
Karasu doesn't move, "Yes, Sir." He makes no move to explain or shift blame, and he makes no apologies. ANBU do not do make apologies for their actions. If they have done something wrong, they will admit it and take the punishment due to them.
"I found nothing in my search. I reported such to Inu-san. I was dismissed." Kakashi finds it strange that Karasu hasn't reacted to Hiri, or that Minato is holding him. Hyuga don't generally like children, as a rule. Children are far too touchy and uncouth for the stuck up bastards.
"Did you use your Byakugan?" Minato frowns and Kakashi thinks that he's noticed the same thing the teenager has.
Minato just stares at him. Then he stands, comes around his desk and hands Kakashi the child. Karasu doesn't react.
"What did I just do?" Minato asks the crow ANBU. Karasu cocks his head to the side curiously and Kakashi can imagine that he is frowning under his mask.
"You stood up and came to stand in front of me."
"You can't see the child then." Minato says. It's not a question.
Karasu looks between Minato and Kakashi, "There is no child." His voice is flat, but Kakashi knows that he is worried that two of the most powerful shinobi in Konoha have finally cracked.
Minato looks between Karasu and Hiri several times and Kakashi is thinking the same thing. How is it possible that Hiri is hiding himself? One, the boy is unconscious and two, why is it that Kakashi and Minato are not affected by the ability?
"Kai," Minato lets out a burst of dispelling chakra and looks at Karasu. The ANBU shakes his head to indicate that nothing has changed. "How interesting..." The Hokage trails off.
"Minato-sensei!" Rin barrels into the Hokage's office, the doors slamming into the walls with force. Her arms are overflowing with medical supplies, "Who's hurt? Kakashi-kun?"
Kakashi tightens his hold on Hiri protectively and growls, "Shush! Hiri is asleep."
Rin blinks at him, "Hiri? Who's Hiri?"
"Karasu, you are dismissed," Minato waves the Hyuga away and the ANBU vanishes out the window. Minato goes to the doors and closes them softly. He turns to Rin and licks his lips. "Rin, how many people are in my office?" He asks her.
She shakes her head and raises and eyebrow, "Kakashi-kun and you, Minato-sensei." She huffs, "And neither of you are bleeding so why did one of the nurses say that I was needed here for a medical emergency?"
Kakashi is suddenly hit with an idea and he looks at Rin, "Close your eyes and sense. Who is here?"
Rolling her eyes before closing them, Rin sighs. "I can feel myself, obviously, Minato-sensei, yourself and..." She trails off and her face blanches, "Obito-kun?"
Kakashi and Minato share a brief glance. So it's not a genjutsu, then, if Hiri can still be sensed. But the fact that all three of them recognize Hiri's chakra almost cements the relationship between the boy and Obito. There is no way Hiri is not Obito's son.
Rin sees their mutual look and she blinks rapidly. Her face is still pale with shock and she can't seem to find the words to speak. Kakashi sees her throat work above the medic uniform's collar, probably trying to swallow the same kind of lump as he had when he realized the enormity of the situation in the forest.
"What is this, sensei?" Rin's voice is rough but steady when she finally composes herself. She's looking in Kakashi's direction, though, likely trying to pinpoint the third chakra presence.
Kakashi looks down at Hiri's unconscious mien and props the boy's head up to lie in the crook of his arm. It's awkward, because he's not sure how to hold such a young child properly, but he tries to copy the way Minato-sensei had held Hiri earlier.
He sees Rin follow the movement of his arms and asks, "What do you see, Rin?" He keeps his voice quiet, not wanting to disturb the boy in his arms. Rin looks confused and she grimaces, setting down her medical equipment on their sensei's desk.
"Nothing. You just moved your arms a little. It looks as though you're cupping something," she answers, staring intently at Hiri, but obviously sees nothing. She smiles a little, the tiniest quirk of her lips and adds, "But I can feel him; whoever it is." She looks up at Minato-sensei, pinching the bridge of her nose in a very familiar gesture. "What is this? He feels just like... But that's impossible-" Her voice rises a little at the end, tight with emotion and Hiri flinches in Kakashi's arms. His nose scrunches up as he squirms, and Kakashi strokes his shoulder carefully. Hiri flinches again, badly, and Kakashi growls inwardly.
Obito's son shouldn't be this scared. Not of them. It's... all wrong.
From the corner of his eye, Kakashi can see Minato's eyes narrow. They need to have Rin do the medical check-up, but how can she, if she can't see him?
Kakashi thinks the problem through and wonders how to work it. Minato was able to see Hiri when Kakashi had first brought him into the office but Karasu wasn't able to. Maybe Hiri needed to be awake as well as have a connection to the person for them to be able to see him.
With no other options leaping out at him, Kakashi gently strokes Hiri's cheek, "Hiri-kun?" He hates to wake the exhausted boy, but they really did need Rin to check him out.
Hiri mumbles into his shoulder and clutches at his chest plate but doesn't wake.
"Kakashi?" Rin asks, watching him.
Kakashi holds out a hand to her, "Gather enough chakra for a probe." She does so and he grasps her hand and directs it to the top of Hiri's head. Rin's face twists in disgust when she feels the greasy hair under her palm, but she releases the probe.
There isn't even a hitch in Hiri's breathing.
When Rin gasps, Kakashi let her hand go.
"Dear Gods," Her eyes fills with tears, "He looks just like Obito-kun."
"I don't know how long he's been alone, but I fed him a rations bar in the woods," Kakashi reports to her as Rin starts going through the medical supplies that were strewn over Minato's desk. "He can't weigh much more than eighteen pounds. He desperately needs more food because the skin over his ribs is tight enough to bruise. I originally thought he was around eighteen months, maybe two years, but given comprehension and speech ability, Hiri could be as old as five. I haven't checked, but I couldn't smell any blood from him."
Rin is practically bubbling with furious anger by the end of Kakashi's report. She is so angry that her hair is actually frizzing and there are uncontrolled bursts of sparks when her fingers flick at something a little too hard. Thankfully the anger isn't infused in her chakra signature, only her physical appearance, so Kakashi doesn't have to worry about Hiri waking up filled fearing for his life.
"Rin," Minato lays a hand on her shoulder and boosts her chakra with his own, calming her enough to stop the sparks, "We need to be very careful around Hiri; he has been badly abused."
"How... someone... can't think... Obito's!" Rin is spitting the words out incomprehensively but both men understand. They feel the same way, after all.
It takes several minutes for Rin to calm herself down, since she keeps looking back at Hiri whenever she has tempered her reaction, and becomes angry all over again. Kakashi is pleased that she reacts the way she does; it's very Rin-like, and since both he and Minato-sensei are keeping their calm, it's satisfying to see Rin's outward anger reflect their own.
"I need to set up a temporary examination table," she says tightly, glaring at the wall in front of her with narrowed eyes. She picks up a folded white piece of fabric from the desk, pinches the ends, and snaps it unfolded with an expert flick of her wrists.
Minato nods and promptly shoves down the neatly piled paperwork into one of the drawers attached to the desk. It's an uncharacteristic enough gesture from their sensei to make both Rin and Kakashi stop and stare.
Minato is one of the most perfectionist people Kakashi had ever met. He hadn't stopped glaring at Obito for several days straight when the Uchiha tripped over the reports their team was to turn in after an extended mission. There had hardly been any stains on the papers, but Minato had still made the chuunin rewrite them from scratch.
Kakashi looks at the blonde Hokage as Rin bustles about setting up her temporary work-station, for the first time noticing the tiny crease between the older man's eyebrows that belies his otherwise calm features. Kakashi feels a little bad that he hadn't noticed how upset his sensei truly was until now.
He doesn't think on it for long though, since his attention is drawn to the bundle in his arms. Hiri is squirming against his chest-plate, lips pulling downwards in a grimace of discomfort in his sleep. Kakashi wonders what Hiri sees in his dreams and has a feeling that whatever it is, it'll make him want to break things or people, possibly by using his chidori.
Rin lines up her medical supplies on the cloth-covered desk and indicates that he should place Hiri on the surface. Hiri is holding onto his sleeve with a tiny fist and Kakashi almost doesn't want to let go, but his rational side knows that Hiri needs to be examined as soon as possible.
He places the boy on his back, carefully putting his head down. He knows that Hiri's head has been hurt in the past, though he can't tell exactly how much, since he's not a medic. He wants to make sure he doesn't do anything to aggravate any possible head injuries he might have at the moment.
He lets Hiri's head go with a lingering touch to his hair, but only has the time to take one step back before Hiri's sharingan eyes snaps open.
"No!" Hiri lunges for Kakashi and Kakashi has to catch him before he falls to the ground, "No," Hiri repeats, grasping tight to Kakashi's armour. Kakashi is afraid to pry his fingers from the armour; he doesn't want to hurt Hiri. "No doctors, please, Inu-sama, please," Hiri begs, burying his face in Kakashi's neck.
Kakashi can feel the tiny breaths against his neck and he curls his arms around Hiri, "Shh, it's okay, Hiri. This is Rin-chan. She isn't a doctor, she's Iryou-nin." Hiri refuses to lift his head to look and Rin and Kakashi looks up to Minato with a helpless expression. He doesn't know why Hiri is trusting him to protect him when just earlier he was scared that Kakashi would hurt him.
Minato has a small smile on his face, but it looks pained. "Hiri-ch-" He stops at Kakashi's panicked look and corrects himself, "Hiri-kun; no one here will hurt you. I swear."
Hiri mumbles into Kakashi's neck and Kakashi strokes his back gently, his fingers rippling over Hiri's ribs. "Hiri-kun," Kakashi murmurs into his ear, "I swear, as ANBU; on my life, that Rin will not hurt you. She will not cause you any pain. If she needs to heal something and it will hurt, she will stop and tell you and me and you may tell me if you want her to continue." Kakashi rests his cheek on the top of Hiri's head and feels Hiri nuzzling his neck.
"Swear? As ANBU?" Hiri whispers shakily and Kakashi nods. Hiri finally lets go of his armour and Kakashi sets him back on the desk. Rin is standing to the side and she isn't showing an ounce of the hate and anger she has boiling under her skin. Kakashi knows the hate she feels because he also harbours the same hate for whoever did this to Obito's son.
"Hiri-kun?" Rin doesn't step forward, "I am Shiranui Rin. I am Kakashi-kun's team mate." Hiri glances to her then looks back to Kakashi steadfastly.
"Hiri-kun?" Kakashi asks him, "Can she come closer?" Hiri blanches and Kakashi rubs his arms gently, "She won't touch you, she just wants to scan you, okay? Can she do that?"
"Okay," Kakashi can barely hear Hiri even with his exceptional hearing and he nods for Rin to come closer.
"Just a chakra scan, okay, Hiri?"
"Yeah. Okay." Hiri grabs one of his hands when he draws away and Kakashi bites his lip, but lets the boy hold his hand. Kakashi has never had someone hold his hand for comfort. He's also never held anyone's hand for his own comfort. He glances at Minato out of the corner of his eye. Minato is fingering his kunai holster with intent and Kakashi can't find it in himself to find that amusing, given the circumstances.
Hiri's hand spasms around his own when Rin approaches, and the boy starts leaning as far away from her as he can without bowling over. Rin's eyes darts towards Minato, who is still fingering his holster, and after a brief glance at the terrified boy, the Hokage's jaw clenches and he nods.
Kakashi knows that his sensei would like nothing more than for Hiri not to have to go through this just yet, but they need to do the scan immediately. Hiri might have injuries that need emergency treatment, and even if it would be a momentary mercy for the boy not to have to go through this right now, it's possible that that mercy will hurt him later.
Rin puts a hand out and rests it an inch above Hiri's shoulder and the boy all but throws himself forward. Kakashi's body is in the way, though, so he only manages to thump his head into the chest-plate. It could have been a comical moment if not for the absolute terror rising from the small body.
Rin looks devastated, and Kakashi understands why. Having Obito's son throw himself away from her like that must be unbearably painful to the usually warm girl. Kakashi places his hands on Hiri's shoulders, again reassuring him that he won't be hurt and that he can tell Rin to stop whenever he wants.
The second time Rin reaches out she lays only the tips of her fingers against Hiri's shoulder blade. The boy tenses and burrows his head into Kakashi's stomach, breathing heavily without tears, and Kakashi doesn't know if that's a good or bad thing. He thinks that children were supposed to cry when they're afraid, but maybe Hiri never learnt how to.
He feels Rin begin the scan, and watches with climbing anger as her eyes turn darker and darker the longer the scan progresses. He sees Minato shift in the corner of his eye and notes distractedly that the crease between his brows has become deeper as he reads the list the scanning jutsu is creating.
Rin's lips are pursed and her free hand is clenching around the corner of the desk, causing cracks to spread like a spider web from the soon-to-be-crushed wood.
The noise of the crunching wood startles Hiri into looking and the two tomoe of his sharingan are swirling around his pupils again. Rin controls herself and smiles apologetically at Hiri. Hiri flinches from her smile but there is something that he seems to see in her that calms him slightly.
Hiri leans away from Kakashi and reaches a hand out towards Rin cautiously. She doesn't move and Hiri is suddenly petting her frizzy brown hair that is coming out of her pony tail softly. "Pretty..." Hiri murmurs. His eyes are glued to Rin's hair and Kakashi takes a step back. Hiri doesn't react.
Kakashi keeps an eye on Hiri and Rin as he inches his way towards his sensei. "Minato-sensei," He asks in a low pitched voice, "What's on the list?"
Minato hands the list to Kakashi and he rolls the scroll open. Kakashi is shocked. He's never seen a list this long before unless it was for a senior shinobi. Even his father's list hadn't been this long.
"Minato-sensei," Rin gets their attention and both men look up to see that Hiri has finally deactivated his sharingan.
His eyes are a startlingly brilliant emerald green. It's a colour that none have them have ever seen before on a person.
"I'm tired," Hiri's murmur breaks the silence as his body abruptly starts to waver. Rin catches him as he falls sideways and lays him gently on the desk. Hiri curls up around her hands and Kakashi is startled at how quickly they boy has come to trust her. Hiri's eyes flutter and within seconds he is deeply asleep.
Rin settles his head gently on a folded bundle of clean bandages and pets his shoulder before coming over to review the list with them.
There is everything on the list from cracked and broken bones to deep tissue bruising. There is blunt force trauma, sharp force trauma and a scar that looks like a lightning bolt, purposely cut into his forehead. Hiri has over one hundred scars. There is malnutrition. One of the worst things on the list are the scars that indicate rape.
Rin curses under her breath and points out his statistics at the top of the page.
Hiri is three years, two months old. He weighs seventeen and a half pounds. He has a mild fever of thirty-seven point five degrees Celsius and the only thing in his stomach is the rations bar that Kakashi had given him.
"I will kill them all." Kakashi's words are said in complete monotone. He has no emotions left but anger and hate and rage.
Minato doesn't speak against the declaration, which is unusual for him. Usually he would have scolded Kakashi with lines about how 'shinobi don't pursue personal vendettas', but this time, he says nothing.
Rin is keeping her silence as well, but her silence is one of absolute mind-numbing anger. She's clenching and unclenching her hands and sparks are starting to fly from her fists again. Her eyes are locked onto the damning list, cursing every deity she knows as she tries to control herself.
None of the three say anything for several very long minutes. The pressing silence is only broken by their breaths and the occasional noisy spark. Kakashi looks at Hiri, sleeping in a tight ball on the desk. Even in his sleep, the boy looks afraid. His eyes are squeezed shut and his body is coiled as if preparing for flight at a moment's notice.
With perfectly measured steps which his fury lends grace to, Kakashi walks around the desk and stands in front of the sleeping form. He reaches out a gloved hand and pushes the dark bangs away from the boy's forehead.
The scar really does look like a lightning bolt and Kakashi starts to tremble with repressed killing intent. It hurts to keep it inside, but he does it anyway, because he will not do anything that could break Hiri's trust in him. He will not do anything to make Obito's son fear him.
"I swear to you, I will not let them hurt you again. Ever." Kakashi leans forward to whisper in Hiri's ear and the words echo in his mind like a promise. It's more than a promise, Kakashi thinks. It's a vow to Obito's legacy. A binding vow to chain him to Hiri, and to one day possibly absolve him from some of his guilt.
Those who don't take care of their own are worse trash, and Kakashi won't make that mistake again. He won't allow Hiri to disappear from his life like Obito did. He will not fail again.
The solemnity of the moment fades, though the anger remains. Minato and Rin are watching him, and when they notice his shift in attention, they nod. He isn't the only one making promises today.