Zetetic: His secrets are his reasons.

Note: Unofficial 'next part' or what could be the 'next part' to Zetetic (I say unofficial because I've always imagined Zetetic to be a one shot).

Warning: MUST READ ZETETIC FIRST. Or else you're just gonna be lost, readers.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

(Blood eased through. But. Ground gave way. He felt it.)

The kunai was warm in his hand. Still, it took several moments – long, drawn out moments.

(He hears…Leaves pattering away. Koi fish splashing the surface of the pond. The creeping of death-shadows, an awning over his body. But no, no death because there was breath.)

A harsh intake of life stirred the inner doubts and darkness of his heart.


Chakra seeped outwards. The wind element, frigid and minty, shifted through the locks of his hair, gentle, before gusting and leaving a chaotic mess behind. It was a harsh slap to the face.

(Wake up!)

Violent white lightning danced beneath the skin pressed against his fingertips. Through it all, Minato's expression was indecipherable, face thrown in sharp contrast by the warring chakra.

In his hand, the kunai burnt red-hot under the intensity of the confrontation.

They took shelter in the incense-perfumed house and for a long while, he merely sat in front of his – captive, spy, unknown – student with quiet thoughts. He didn't mind the several nerves in his arm jumping sporadically or the fact that he had to clench his hands tightly so that the tremors were barely noticeable.

Lightning damage. He will need to go to the hospital later for full damage analysis.

Gazing at the boy tied in the chair, he appeared so helpless and small. There were bandages wrapped around his neck, a gesture done with care and perhaps with an inkling of guilt. The skin around that area was ruby red, raw from the unnatural wound.

Lightning damage…Almost suicidal lightning damage.

(When the kunai broke skin, Minato flinched as angry lightning lanced against his wind chakra, burning his kunai coal-red. The energy snaked a course up his arm, bright plasma blue, and when the lightning shifted closer and closer to his vagal nerve, Minato clenched his free hand tightly. He knocked his - enemy, opponent - student out cold.)

There. The boy's fingers…

Minato focused his attention once more, in interest.

There was minute shifting of muscles here and there, a painfully slow awakening, but Minato continued to sit and stare, albeit more intently. Heartbeats later, his captive stirred, rousing from the blunt trauma to the head.

Stilted grey eyes blinked hazily.

A long drawn out pause ate at the tension before it was shattered. He posed the first question, the calmness belying his internal conflict. "Are you hungry?"

He breathed slowly, eyelids fluttering. "…No."

The blond paused and leaned further into the couch. "Are you thirsty?"

"No." This was said more sharply, as the current situation must be sinking in.

"Then are you…?"

The boy sat stiffly, bound to his seat with a mid-level seal to ensure that he didn't escape. The tone was now indifferent when he interrupted him. "...You don't have to pussyfoot around this."

Minato chose his next question with care. "What do you expect me to do then?"

"Better." The Kakashi who did not belong to his team, not anymore, commented, "I expect you to do better by asking better questions. 'How many bottles of sake did the Godaime indulge in on a daily basis?'. Or, 'what games did the jounin play at the local hangout?'. Maybe even, 'did Jiraiya-sama have a successful career as a novelist?'."

Breathing deeply, Minato listened, stonily silent as the boy rambled on almost pointlessly.

Kakashi licked his dry lips, tilting his head to stare out the window and at the dark starless sky. "Hm…At this point, 'how about submitting to my interrogation?' would be good too."

Minato could feel the wetness of blood pressed against his thigh where he had restored the dirtied kunai in its holster. Severely white bandages around a child's neck met his gaze and he stifled the words. I'm not interrogating you.

Hands clenched tightly again. Minato felt like he had just aged twenty years in his seat from just staring at the paradox sitting in front of him. Through chapping lips, he drew in paper-thin breaths, remembering the air-sucking lightning chakra coursing through his skin and against his wind element. Too advanced…too different…

The boy's left eye shimmered a brief eerie red.

For the blond, there was no malice or anger or accusation in his voice – only an uncertain certainty. He had to make things right. "I'm Minato Namikaze…What's your name?"

"…Kakashi Hatake, Namikaze-sensei. It's nice to meet you." Again was left unsaid. Prepared and unprepared was what Minato could discern from the other's unguarded expression. Kakashi swallowed thickly – a sign of relief. "Thank you for asking."

(Thank you for trusting me.)

"You're welcome." Minato leaned against his chair wearily. "So how many bottles of sake does the Godaime drink?"

Kakashi glanced out the window again and answered offhandedly, "Enough to fill the bathhouses on a daily basis."

Minato couldn't tell whether it was an exaggeration or not. He levelled him a strained, curious stare. "You aren't going to tell me anything?" Anything important?

"No…Not yet." The boy quirked his lips sardonically. (Because there's not enough time, sensei.)

In a fit of weakness, Minato rubbed his face, tired. A gentle grip on his arm stopped him. He looked up and saw Kakashi's concerned frown. He was free from the chair. Of course he could get out of that intermediate binding. He's supposed to be Rokudaime.

"I'm sorry, sensei, for causing confusion, but I'm not sorry if this works out for the better." Kakashi released his grip and took steps backwards. "There isn't anything I can tell you right now, but when I figure out how this jutsu works…and when you understand the situation better because time is constantly moving and I might not Wake in time..."

Time was up.

The midnight moon painted the sparse furniture silver. Minato watched his eyelids flutter close – watched as Rokudaime Kakashi was caged in his student's (own) mind once more. He (they) collapsed unconscious into the chair behind him, the last said words ominous...

"Take care and watch for the signs...It will be soon."

A/N: I honestly did not want to upload this as I felt this was subpar to the original one-shot but I also felt it was unfair to not give some closure to this story - even though 'no closure' was the original intent. (lol, the reviews left for Zetetic certainly expressed that sentiment of wanting to know what happens next...). This was written at the time Zetetic was finished and will hopefully provide some answers.

There may be other back stories uploaded for this universe in the future (If there are, it will be under this since I prefer Zetetic as a standalone). What can I say, I'm a sucker for time travels!