Word Count: 500.

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.

A/N: Go on Narutopedia, look at Kushina and Karin's profiles, specifically at the pictures used to identify them, and tell me they don't look alike. I dare you. I'm just waiting for someone in-story to point that out.


Kakashi has never been much of a believer in coincidences. If something happens, than it's happening for a reason, even if that reason doesn't become clear or doesn't take effect until years, even decades later.

Kakashi doesn't have to watch her; there are ANBU sitting on a rooftop across from her window doing just that. But he feels like he has to, for her own sake.

The girl is sitting in her darkened hospital room, not asleep; being handcuffed to the bed isn't exactly conducive to finding a comfortable sleeping position. Her crimson eyes are drooping, her face becoming slack and unguarded, and it makes Kakashi's heart twinge strangely.

On the way back to Konoha, it took nearly half an hour of gentle prying to get the girl to elicit even her name, and even after that, the girl named Karin had been cagey and quiet, speaking only to—and Kakashi is a little surprised at her choice of people to warm up to—Naruto.

It's eerie, Kakashi thinks, how much the girl looks like Kushina.

He can't be sure if he's grateful or not that no one else who knew Uzumaki Kushina has yet seen Karin to notice the resemblance and ask if there's a connection. If the girl combed down the right side of her hair and put in purple eye contacts, she'd be a dead ringer for Kushina at sixteen, and it bothers him.

The girl's hair is just as crimson red, her skin just as translucent and her eyes are of an almost identical shape.

And her personality is disturbingly similar, even if Kushina was never even half as crazy as Karin. They share the same lively disposition and tendency towards pushing the envelope. If Karin's temper is a bit shorter than Kushina's was, well, Kushina definitely had her days.

The worst comes when Naruto and Karin are together—because Naruto seems to have taken a shine to her and comes to visit her in the hospital occasionally—because then they look so much like Minato and Kushina back from the grave that Kakashi can feel the beginnings of salt water gathering at Obito's eye.

Kakashi is used to the feeling that ghosts are rising all around him, but this… This is too much.

Kakashi isn't sure how many people survived the destruction of Uzu no Kuni. The destruction tore families apart, beyond reckoning.

There is a possibility, Kakashi supposes, however slim, that there is a connection. Not a direct one, as Uzu no Kuni was destroyed long before the girl would have been born, but the chance is there.

Karin and Uzumaki Kushina are very much alike, and it hurts Kakashi to know this.

There may or may not be a connection, reinforced by their similar looks, but Kakashi dearly hopes that there is not. Naruto doesn't need any more of the…revelations he's been receiving lately, and Kakashi could live without another himself.

Kakashi doesn't really believe in coincidences. But now, he's praying for one.