A/n: I promised some people that I would have this chapter out by the end of April, but that clearly didn't happen. On the bright side, at least I was close? I mean it's only a week over, yeah?
Oh, and before I forget, to those who don't know yet, 'The Hidden Prodigy' (that other time-travel one I was going on about) is actually up! Gasp. And now the first three stories on my profile are all Kakashi-centric time-travels. I cannot fully express the giddiness I feel from this. XD
Kakashi found himself being led into a cell the moment he got his bearings. Naruto was nowhere to be seen, but Kakashi suspected the young blond was getting the same treatment. There was no doubt in Kakashi's mind that they placed in separate cells as far away as each other as possible; it was the logical thing to do. Kakashi understood why, but he hated the idea of leaving his student to fend for himself.
Treason, the Anbu had said.
Treason: the betrayal of ones own country (or village, in this case) by acting against it – attempting to overthrow the Leader, or aiding the enemy.
Kakashi hated that word. He knew the severity of the situation, especially considering they were in a ninja village where the safety of the village was everything to them. And he also knew how badly this looked for the two time-travelers.
He really should not have dragged Naruto into this. Being suspected of treason was a harsh enough, but it was especially worse with the way the Anbu had revealed their offence in front of the ones they cared most about, in that bland, uncaring tone, without a drop of remorse. Kakashi's stomach was already gnawing on itself, trying not to think about how his younger self must have been thinking about this whole thing, and the idea of how much that situation must have affected Naruto only doubled that frantic state of turmoil into something that was overfilling his mind.
Kakashi didn't have the chance to glance over at his precious student to see the boy's reaction when they were viciously yanked away from the group. But Kakashi could guess at it, and was heart breaking; bad timing or not, Naruto shouldn't have had to been incriminated of treason in front of his own father of all people.
Naruto was just an innocent child (well, maybe not completely innocent consider he was a shinobi. But to Kakashi, Naruto would always be that loud, obnoxious twelve-year-old who tried to prank him the first second they met). The boy wasn't fit to be place under the gruesome grilling of the Torture and Interrogation Squad – especially after that devastating accusation.
The silver-haired man shuffled impatiently along the dusty holding cell. He wanted nothing more than to just get the interrogation over with, but waiting was part of the game. Because with every passing new second, doubt and worry grew a little more – not that Kakashi didn't have mountain full of anxiety plaguing his every thought already.
It was much, much later when an Anbu finally appeared before Kakashi, with nothing more than a sharp nod to direct the silver-haired time-traveler to the bars of the cell. Kakashi kept silent and held out his hands, recalling procedure. He tried to keep his posture relaxed even as the Anbu slapped on chakra-repressing cuffs with a sharp, stinging flick of the wrists.
"This way," the Anbu said succinctly, walking in front of the restrained man while a second presence followed them in rear.
Kakashi trailed dutifully, hoping at the very least 'good behaviour' counted for something to whatever decision they decided for his and Naruto's fates.
To be absolutely honest, Kakashi wasn't too worried for his own interrogation; he had plenty of practice – almost thirty years' worth of experience in the shinobi arts drilled into his mind. What Kakashi feared most was how the situation would affect Naruto. The blond had suffered through scorning for majority of his life for something he was burdened with the moment he was born, and yet he still enthusiastically devoted his life to protecting his village. Naruto was a loyal ninja through and through – more faithful and dedicated to Konoha than most could even imagine. And now, for this, for some stupid mistake Kakashi made (and it was Kakashi's fault, no matter how hard the boy would try to argue against it), Naruto would have to suffer yet again, in the hands of shinobi he'd already won the love and loyalty of in the future. The Jounin only hoped it wouldn't hurt Naruto's cheerful, optimistic mentality as much as he was imagining it would.
Because if that was the case, Kakashi didn't know if he could ever forgive himself for it.
Lost in his own thoughts, it wasn't long before Kakashi was lead into his designated interrogation room. It was an empty room, devoid of any furniture except for a desk and two stiff wooden chairs. There were wide, daunting, reflective walls that covered all three sides of the wall Kakashi wasn't facing, reflecting back his slouched, lonesome figure in the room. Anyone with any sense could tell immediately those reflective walls were one-way mirrors, showing every twitch he made to the unnamed amount of ninjas watching from the outside. It was a room designed for intimidation, boldly stating to Kakashi that nothing he could do would be missed. But then again, it was also intimidation in a relatively non-threatening way, Kakashi had to admit, recalling all the other rooms in the building that housed the Intelligence Division that he could've been place in instead.
The silver-haired man tried to limit his worry, pushing a relaxed slouch into his posture, pretending like he didn't have the blaringly significant secret of 'time-traveling' to hide. He did well for the first twenty minutes, before his toes twitched nervously as his ever-running mind worried excessively about what was happening to Naruto while he was stuck in this cold, solitary room.
The Torture and Interrogation Team really knew how to do their job efficiently.
It was after those thoughts that the door to the room slide open. For a second Kakashi had expected the sight of a scarred face cover in a black bandanna, as was so characteristic of Ibiki Morino, the Head of the T and I unit that Kakashi had been familiar with. Who walked in, however, was not. Kakashi supposed it was to be expected, after quickly speeding through quick mental math to note that Ibiki would've been merely fifteen at this time - not too much older than his younger self.
Yamanaka Inoichi on the other hand, was twenty-six at the current time, at the prime of his life.
The familiar shinobi strolled in, each step carefully timed and each gesture carefully calculated. It was almost amusing how movements intended for intimidation merely gave Kakashi comfort as he recognised it being so inherently Konoha- esque. It was something even Kakashi had been taught briefly during his Anbu years.
Kakashi sat up straighter, flashing a friendly grin from under his mask. "You must be my interrogator," Kakashi commented. If Kakashi were alone, the silver-haired man would've bravely pushed the limit of his interrogator and use all he'd learned from his whole shinobi life to twist the outcome to his liking (or at least as much as he could). But he wasn't alone; Naruto was with him, and Kakashi knew he had to tread with caution.
"Hatake Kabushi," the blond greeted.
Silver haired flopped to the side as the man tilted his head, letting his voice stretch with his usual drawl, "How unusual. We have the same name." Kakashi was testing the waters.
"Amusing," Inoichi deadpanned. Green eyes stared blandly back at the silver-haired shinobi sitting before him. "Let's get straight to the point, why don't we?" Inoichi asked rhetorically, his gaze sharp as ever as they observed every gesture made in response. Kakashi held still, waiting for the man to continue, and Inoichi leaped straight into it. "What is your purpose in Konoha?"
Kakashi wasn't too certain about Inoichi's interrogation methods. By the time Kakashi had gotten to know the Intelligence Department, Ibiki had been in charge of the T and I unit. But if Inoichi had been the head before Ibiki, the younger man must have had been apprenticed under the blond for a while, so their methods couldn't've been too different. Kakashi considered the Yamanaka's attitude towards his cheeky words. If the silver-haired man was reading this right, Kakashi understood he and Naruto weren't under too much suspicion at the moment, considering the relative lack of hostility the blond was treating him with.
That, however, would likely change if Kakashi didn't cooperate with the man, or the man found something glaringly suspicious with Kakashi answers.
On a positive note, Kakashi and Naruto already had a reasonably worked out backstory ready. Their story wasn't as smooth and consistent as Kakashi had hoped for it to be, but under every-day conversation, it held relatively well. Under the pressured questions of interrogators, on the other hand, Kakashi could only hope they didn't delve too deep into it.
On the other hand, Kakashi supposed, he could always tell the truth and say that Naruto and himself were from the future. But Naruto would never admit it if Kakashi couldn't get in touch with the boy during the interrogation. The boy was a loudmouth, that was a fact, but under all that, Kakashi knew the blond would try his hardest for his sensei – and as per the latest order Kakashi had given, that was to hide the fact that they were from the future.
Besides that, Kakashi was no idiot. Between having inconsistent information or saying they were from the future, Kakashi knew which one sound more realistic, and frankly more sane. So honestly, blurting out the truth was no option. Not under these conditions where the more the Interrogation Squad thought they were lying, the greater the 'Torture' part of their name came into play. Kakashi would be damned if he let another one of his mistakes harm his precious student any more.
The silver-haired man considered his words carefully before speaking. "My purpose? As I've mentioned to the Hokage before, I came here to find my brother. I hadn't known he was … gone already." Kakashi tilted his head to the side, letting his gaze stare on. He held silent for a moment before murmuring a soft, truthful, "I wish I came earlier," even though he knew he didn't have control over his travel here to this Konoha to begin with.
Inoichi seemed to accept that answer as he quickly fired another. "What are your intentions here?"
"Kakashi," the time-traveler answered unhesitantly. It was more than that, but the sake of young Kakashi was high on that list.
Kakashi let his mind wander, remembering how utterly long it had taken him to get where his younger self was now. He had changed after Obito's death – for the better, some had said – but it truly wasn't; outwardly maybe, but inside Kakashi had been a mess of tangled emotions that had him wanting to cut and discard the unyielding knots instead of unweaving them back into its proper place. "Sakumo's death affected my nephew more you can imagine. I suppose it's a Hatake thing to keep our emotions to ourselves, but I can't let Kakashi alone like that," Kakashi declared, conviction in his tone as he stared unflinchingly at the Yamanaka, "Narui always preached the importance of family, and it seems like he's absolutely right. Kakashi is getting better nowadays."
A blond eyebrow arched into a suspicious expression. "For Kakashi's sake, hm? You don't think we didn't know by now you've realised what happened to Sakumo?" Inoichi asked in a low voice, leaning forwards into Kakashi's space, "I suppose I wouldn't blame you too much for despising the village that vilified your brother, Kakashi's father, into suicide."
The words stung personally at the time-traveler's heart, because Kakashi knew all too well how horribly the villagers had treated Sakumo. But Kakashi also knew he couldn't show Inoichi that. He treaded carefully, "I admit what had happened to my brother infuriates me, but it's not something I can argue against. According to shinobi rules, Sakumo had done something unforgivable …" The silver-haired man pursed his lips under his navy blue mask as haunting ghosts of voices he'd overheard twenty-so years ago echoed through the back of his mind, "so I can't blame them too harshly. Even so, I agree completely with Sakumo's decision for saving his comrades. There is more to devotion to Konoha – or any village - than blindly following set rules. Especially with the lives of important friends on the line."
"'Any village'?" Inoichi pulled out from Kakashi's speech, twisting words to his liking, "And just how many villages have you been to as a traveler, Kabushi? You're twenty-five? Thirty? You must have spent a majority of your time in various countries – perhaps a lover or two who you've devoted yourself to. Who you're willing to lie for? Willing to trick a nephew you've never seen until now for, for their sake? Important people - important friends - like them?"
Grey-blue eyes narrowed slightly. "I will not use Kakashi like that. I am loyal to Konoha,"Kakashi said simply, letting a bit of metallic hardness slip into his tone.
The blond crossed his arms, a smirk on his face, smug like he'd caught the Hatake. "But rules and orders are different things, and you deliberately disobeyed direct orders from the one you claim to plead absolute loyalty to. Tell me, what did you hope to gain by leaving your post?"
Kakashi paused and let himself ponder the question. This one wasn't hard to answer. "Assuagement," the man finally said.
For a second, Inoichi looked thoughtful before the expression morphed into contemplation. "Oh, you weren't leaving to leak information on our defensive strategy to the enemy?"
"I was told nothing but my own mission, and what little that the Hokage told Minato-san while I was there. If I really was planning to leak information, all I would have been able to give anyone is incomplete and incompetent data." Kakashi's tone told clearly how useless he thought such a leak would be.
"Not a leak, huh?" the man repeated in disbelief, "So you say. But then what exactly? Can you account for your suspicious behaviour?"
"I panicked," Kakashi murmured, giving his interrogator a half-smile, stretching falsely across his face in a way that looked like he was pained by the confession. "I knew Kakashi was just promoted, and I started worrying. I'm sure Kakashi is more than capable, but after being too late for my brother, I felt paranoid – I couldn't let that happen again; I don't want to ever be too late to help my last living relative ever again."
"And why was Narui with you as well?" The blond continued stoically, baring no concern to the Hatake's open discomfort.
"Because he knew how much Kakashi and Team Minato meant to me."
The man gave a calculative hum before tipping his head in a sharp nod. At once the door behind him open and two Anbus filed in silently, ending the interrogation so abruptly that it was most likely planned; it was a good way to throw the captive off balance before they got too comfortable. The two pulled Kakashi upwards by his cuffs, dragging him away as Inoichi sat unconcernedly, relaxed in his chair. Kakashi was halfway out the door when Inoichi's soft voice carried out from his spot. "I wonder if you're curious whether your student's responses mirror your own?" the blond said in a foreboding tone. Kakashi didn't know how much truth there was in that tone, or if it was mere psychological intimidation. But either way, he knew it was only a matter of time before they tried their intense methods on Naruto as well, if they hadn't already.
Kakashi hoped everything would go well.
Sitting in the cell was dreadfully dull. There was only so long Kakashi could drown himself in apprehension before the feeling eventually numbed into a throbbing pain that he could finally manageably ignore. It was a few days since his interrogation with the Yanamaka, and Inoichi clearly had no thoughts of letting Kakashi nor Naruto out anytime soon. The Hatake's days were spent in silence with no company other than the clank of metal bowels as they were deposited in front of him on occasional intervals.
So, Kakashi was left with nothing to do but sit and think, and reconsider the idea of actually being in his past like he had originally assumed – or at the very least reconsidered the idea of a linear timeline.
Days ago, back in front of the Konoha gates, Kakashi had been too happy seeing Obito walking home on his own two feet to think about anything other than the exuberant rush of happiness that was warming his whole body. Now, Kakashi had the time to run a hand under his headband feeling the long jagged scar running down his left eye. It was still there. But that didn't make sense because this time around, Obito was still alive, and young Kakashi shouldn't have this damned scar.
How did this time-traveling business work?
Kakashi still had his Sharingan, and so did Obito. There shouldn't be three copies of the same eye. As much as Kakashi was hating the conclusion that was slowing inching its way into his mind, the facts couldn't deny it.
This wasn't his past any longer.
Kakashi was interfering with – was bettering - the future of a different Kakashi, a different Obito, a different Minato and Rin, and a different Konoha. …or perhaps they hadn't been different until the point where Kabushi and Nauri appeared into their lives and split the time line into two diverging futures? Kakashi didn't know.
In any case, perhaps it was a good thing they weren't actually in their past. Kakashi didn't know if he could wrap his brain around the inconceivably confusing idea of time-travel paradoxes, but if this had been their past, then logically with it changed, there was the case that young Kakashi wouldn't have done the same things he'd done in the future, and thus not taken Naruto to the rock, and therefore wouldn't have time-traveled in the first place. Whatever that meant to his time-traveled self, Kakashi wasn't too certain, but he had an inkling that he and Naruto would've disappeared from this "past" already if a linear time line had been the case – and that would've been a distressing turn of events since they hadn't even gotten around to helping with the other major crises that were expected to occur.
But, even knowing all this, there was still a small creeping of jealousy that was clutching around Kakashi's heart at the unfairness of the whole thing – loathing the idea that whatever he or Naruto changed in this "past" would not affect their future at all. But Kakashi knew to suppress it, no matter how much it ached. It was woefully unfair, but a different Kakashi was still a Kakashi, a different Obito was still an Obito, and a different Konoha was still Konoha – at least that was what the time-traveler insistently reminded himself.
At the very least when Naruto and him returned back home – if they could … or even would (because who would willingly leave someplace where their precious people were still alive and happy?) – they would have an abundance of memories to last them; which was much, much more than what they had before this whole business began.
… and, well, it was better than nothing.
"He's good," was the first thing that came out of the Yamanaka's mouth when secretary ushered the man into the Hokage's office.
"I beg your pardon?"
Inoichi paused abruptly before dropping his head. "Apologies, Hokage-sama," the man corrected, realising in his haste he had not greeted his Village Leader.
The old man, however, merely shook his head. "No, proceed with your report."
With a low bow, Inoichi continued as requested. "Kabushi, I mean," the blond specified. "He's a cunning and experienced shinobi."
"Is that so?" Sarutobi steepled his fingers in front of his contemplating face, elbows resting on his wooden desk. His mind wandered over the events that had led to their two travelers' imprisonment.
When the mission had first started, Sarutobi has suspected something would happen. How could he not when the day before Kabushi stormed into his office with a face full of crazed desperation? That something came in the form of Kabushi and Narui abandoning their posts and fleeing towards the direction of Grass Village – where an important mission had been taking place.
And yet, after reported of this, Sarutobi still had no idea what the Hatake and his student's intentions were. The Hokage knew the two were no fools; they had to have known they were still being watched by Anbu - and especially so after that unusual pleading request Kabushi had shown (and been denied of) earlier. But despite that, they gave in to whatever urges that had inspired them, and hastily rushed off without a second thought.
So, when Kabushi was caught, the Hokage gave orders to lead them to a new post - one so daring close to where Kabushi needed to go, Sarutobi was certain the man would be crazy enough to take the chance, given his previous attitude towards the fact.
And yet, the man did nothing. This time, Kabushi and Narui had focused their whole energy into his orders instead, desperately working themselves to the bones, the Anbu in charge of watching them had recounted. For two days, the two travelers diligently completed their assigned tasks, ignoring and resisting the temptation the Hokage tried baiting them with.
As for the mission in Grass, both Minato and young Kakashi had completed their respective missions successfully. There were minor problems, but they accomplished them all the same.
This fact didn't help Kabushi's case, because the Hokage couldn't stop the idea that perhaps if Kabushi had made his way to Kusa like he had wanted to, the outcome of the mission would've been different (or at least that was the impression the Hokage had) – and what other sort of different was there other than the mission being marked as a failure instead?
How much did Konoha really know about Kabushi or Narui?
As the Hokage was pondering this to himself, Inoichi was continuing his report without fail, recounting the separate interview he had with both captives. "Narui was straight forward," the man started immediately, "And stubborn. He said what he knew, and refused to touch on the topics he didn't want to speak about, no matter what we threatened him with." The blond gave a short pause as he switched to the other man, "Kabushi on the other hand… On the surface, we obtain no additional information of interest from Kabushi, but I could tell he was calculating the smoothness and speed he was answering my questions with. Quite professionally too."
The Hokage gave an acknowledging hum, a finger tapping on his lit pipe as he considered this. But Inoichi wasn't finished yet. "But it wasn't until I dismissed him that I realised."
The words caught the Hokage's attention. The old man leaned forwards, eyes fixed on his shinobi. "Recognised what, exactly?" he asked carefully, mind already running, ready to merge the new findings to come up with new explanations to explain the mysteries that were his new guests.
"Narui didn't quite have it yet," Inoichi said, "but Kabushi … there was a distinctive pattern in his pauses and the way he squirmed around my questions. I almost didn't notice because of how familiar it was; his technique – not completely, because I'm sure some of it was his own style developed over the years – but the base structure of it was exactly the same as those taught to our shinobi in Konoha." The blond paused for a second, before finishing confidently, even over the confusion in his voice, "and if I'm certain about anything, the man was instinctively using them."
The blond's declaration drew more unanswered questions, and added what seemed like even more unnecessary confusion the unfinished riddle that shrouded over the two travelers. Yet there was a slight niggling sensation, ever-fleeting whenever he tried to grasp at it, at the back of the Hokage's mind that was desperately trying to get his attention.
Inoichi continued on, "If you wish for me to continue interrogation them, I'm afraid working at Kabushi might be harder than we expected. It would be a lot easier to try to crack the boy first." Even as stoically as the blond said those words, there was an apologetic undertone to them that the Hokage could definitely pick out. If Konoha was known for anything, it was the kindness they looked after and brought up their children, and Narui, while under suspicion, had still been accepted as a member- as child - of Konoha.
Sarutobi shook his head. "Narui is a shinobi," the man said clearly, "The moment he accepted his headband, he accepted all of the dangers that the path entitled." Not that the idea pleased the Hokage any more than it did for the blond. The old man pondered his choices on how to proceed. A little while later, Sarutobi took a slow puff of his pipe in a way that almost seemed like he was stalling for time as the old man stared to the side at the large pane windows in the Hokage office. Sarutobi sighed softly to himself before turning determinately towards his shinobi. "Inoichi, I give you permission to use your mind jutsu," he said.
The Head Interrogator in front of the old man paused for a mere second. "If that is your command."
"It is," Sarutobi nodded in finality. "These two clearly are not willing to divulge any more information willingly. Narui may crack eventually if given more time to work on him, but…" But Sarutobi didn't want to break the cheerful blond into a mess of shattered shards. The boy would heal in due time, but Sarutobi would never forgive himself if whatever information they had learned in the meantime lead nowhere but towards their innocence. Forcing their way into Narui and Kabushi's minds were a violation of privacy, that was for certain, but it was better than letting them suffer in the capable hands of the Torture and Interrogation Squad for months more (and Sarutobi was certain it would take that long, taking into account how tight-lipped the two were).
"I understand," Inoichi bowed, "When shall I perform my jutsu?"
Kakashi didn't know how many days had passed since he'd been forced to sit in the ever-dimly lit cell he was held in. His mental clock told him it was likely starting on the fourth day, but without a window or natural sunlight, it was merely a guess on his part.
Kakashi didn't even knew if he could speculate how much longer they would keep him and Naruto in these cells. It was clearly not over yet. Kakashi was starting to wonder if perhaps telling them the truth, no matter how much more illogical it sounded than the lies he had planned, was the only way the T and I unit would let them go. Kakashi didn't want to spend any more time imprisoned in the dark, without a clue as to how Naruto was doing. And not to mention, they, with all their knowledge of the future (or should Kakashi be calling it a "likely" future now since things weren't completely the same anymore?), could get nothing done locked up, after all.
Kakashi eyes suddenly darted towards the entrance of the holding cell, hearing vibrating echoes of footsteps shuffling towards him. The man steeled himself, realising he was going to be lead to yet another interrogation. The time-traveler raised his head to look up from the sitting position he was in to meet the eyes of the new arrival, only to freeze momentarily when his grey-blue eyes were greeted with bright sunshine blond hair instead of the expected cold ceramic mask.
Instinctively, from his ingrained habits, Kakashi leaped up from his seat to military attention.
Cerulean eyes bore steadily on him. "Kabushi," Minato greeted softly, a tired drag in his tone.
"Minato-san," Kakashi said. The time-traveler discreetly shifted his weight, moving to stand into a less strict posture, trying to ignore the sense of unease building inside as his former sensei kept quiet. "Why are you here?" Kakashi finally asked.
The blond never let go of his gaze on the Hatake, his eyes silently begging the Hatake to obey. "Kabushi," the man began, "I don't know why you're doing this, but please work with Inoichi," he said without any preamble.
Kakashi blinked. "I am."
Blond eyebrows deepened into an almost irritated frown. "No you're not. Why else do you think they're still insisting to keep you locked up? Do not underestimate our interrogation squad. I know you two would never do anything against this village, I know it. But you and Narui are hiding something and surely if it isn't anything harmful to Konoha, can't you tell us?"
"I would never harm the village."
"I know. I don't want to see you like this." Minato stared expectingly at the other man, but Kabushi continued refusing to speak of it.
The blond sigh, resisting to urge to run a hand anxiously through his hair in exasperation. Instead, the man switched tracks, "Do you know how much this whole thing has been affecting Kakashi? He's shutting himself off from everything. It's starting to get worse than it was the first time around. Kakashi had finally decided to try trusting another person after the whole affair with his father, and once more he feels like he's been betrayed again."
Kakashi clenched his fists by his sides, feeling guilt crawl up his stomach. Minato would never know how much his words actually weighed down on Kabushi, never realising that Kabushi knew exactly how little Kakashi must have been feeling.
"And they're not just interrogating you. Narui's in this too, trying to keeping back whatever it is you're trying to keep a secret. The poor boy will be scarred if you abandon him to our head interrogator so long. Don't do this to Narui!"
Kakashi knew that. Kakashi had already been dreading leaving Naruto all alone for so long, and Minato pointing out the obvious didn't make it any better. "Don't you dare threaten about my student to get to me," Kakashi hiss, stress making him leak more anger into the statement than he intended to. Something about having his father figure looking down on him with such disappointment pained Kakashi a hundred burning needles worse than anything Inoichi could ever possibly do.
Minato's spine stood stiff before the man softened his posture into something placating. "I'm not," Minato murmured out gently. Lines creased the man's face as the blond leaned forwards, almost looming over Kakashi despite being separated by the iron bars of the cell. It was a gesture that one would think was supposed to be frightening, but with the two, Minato's stance eclipsing over Kakashi was more one of comfort, like standing protectively over an agitated child. "Please, Kabushi. I'm worried for him. I'm worried for Kakashi. I'm worried for you. Just tell them everything, please." Hands tightened by Minato's sides as if unsure of what to do, as the man stared pleadingly into the cell. "What is there to lose?" the blond as rhetorically, watching the Hatake stare past him in a distanced gaze, "It's not like things can get any worse."
And those were probably not the best words to choose, for at that exact moment, a scream echoed through the air. Angry red chakra curled, lashing into the corridors, the cell, and everything around, like a toxic flood. The chakra howled out, bursting with violent anger, whipping through the building like nine tails of the Kyuubi himself.
It was thick and ominous, strangling and chocking the breaths out of the two of them like a thick air of mustard gas. It was evil, and oh-so familiar, Kakashi couldn't hold back his shudder. And Kakashi wasn't the only one; both men recognised it immediately.
"Kushina?" Minato whispered out loud, more to himself than anything thing else, fear leaking into his tone.
No, Kakashi thought to himself. It wasn't, but Minato was close. And honestly, "I think things just got worse," he muttered. Much, much worse.