Short update. Hopefully a longer one is one its way soon.


Gaol


Hiruzen Sarutobi leant heavily against the wall of the room, his brow furrowed in thought and his eyes closed. The room was located deep below the ANBU headquarters of Konoha and served as the conference room on the floor that was the ANBU's high security prison. This was where the village imprisoned those whose imprisonment could not be made public. Over the years, hundreds of prisoners has entered and very few had managed to leave. Those who left were accountable to successful negotiations between the rival villages involved. No one had ever escaped.

"It would have been much simpler if you had just killed him," he finally said with a sigh.

Jiraiya looked up from the table from the report he was reading and raised an eyebrow. "Really, sensei? I wouldn't have expected you of all people to say that."

"What else am I supposed to say?" asked Sarutobi as he pushed off the wall and joined Jiraiya at the table. "You couldn't have chosen a worse time to bring Sasuke in."

"What was I supposed to do? I went in for Orochimaru. Had no idea the Uchiha would be there."

"I know but what if Orochimaru tries to retrieve him during the Chuunin exams? The Chuunin exams are the perfect time for him to infiltrate the village."

"It's not a question of if. In my opinion, he's definitely going to try something during the exams. You know him as well as I do. He's not going to let something like this go so easily. Especially given that I plucked his prize student from his own den."

"And destroyed one of his bases."

"Yes. There's that as well."

"We're not going to be able to prevent him from infiltrating. He's knows our defenses too well."

"Yes. That is a problem."

"That it is. Things are going to get messy."

Jiraiya grinned evilly.

"Things are getting exciting again after a long time. It seems that the world is making up for lost time and heading towards something big."

Hiruzen felt a deep sadness within him. His student was correct. The peace had been good while it lasted. In other words, the violence would be all the more chaotic once it broke out again. The thought did not excite him as it did some shinobi. He no longer shared Jiraiya's lust for excitement.

"I agree. However, that's not a good thing. I was enjoying things as they were. We need to be prepared. I do not want to witness another war in my lifetime. The next Shinobi War must be the headache of the next Hokage. Not mine."

"On the topic of preparation, you sure Kakashi's the right person to be sealing off the boy?"

"He's amongst the best at Fuinjutsu in the village. Other than you and me, of course."

"It's not his skills that I'm doubting. He's been known to let people go before."

"That was different."

Jiraiya raised an eyebrow.

"He let a 4 year old out into the wild, alone, unprepared and unprotected. Who knows what he would do for his own student? Look at you. You still have a place in your heart for Orochimaru after all these years after all he's done. Can you honestly tell me that you would be able to kill him if he lay powerless before you right now?"

Hiruzen paused and rubbed his eyes in weariness.

"That's a line we shall cross when we come to it. This case, however, is different. We sent out teams to retrieve him a while after he left us. One of them was led by one of Kakashi's proteges. Sasuke killed him."

Silence greeted his words.

"Ah," said Jiraiya, softly. "This wasn't in his file. Didn't know this particular tidbit."

"It obviously is in his file. Just not in the abridged version I gave you."

"Hmm," nodded Jiraiya grimly.

"Damn. Now I feel sorry for the bastard. Despite his many failings, Kakashi is a decent guy."

"One of my best."


Kakashi knelt in the dark room and sliced open his palm. Letting his blood drip onto the floor, he traced a slow circle on the floor as the ANBU guards watched on. The room had no windows and almost no light. Not exactly a surprise given that the room was located deep below the ANBU headquarters and that it was a very special high security prison chamber for high-risk prisoners.

Ordinarily, the prisoner would be left alone in the chamber in pitch darkness with his chakra network blocked off and his limbs restrained. The walls were heavily reinforced to resist almost all techniques and protected against the use of space-time techniques.

In this case, however, the prisoner was just a bit extra-special and extraordinary precautions were being taken. The ANBU guard would remain until Kakashi Hatake was done with the task assigned to him.

The task of sealing away Sasuke Uchiha's sharingan and Cursed Seal.

In the centre of the circle traced by Kakashi, knelt Sasuke bound by heavy chains clad only in a pair of undergarments to protect his modesty. His eyes were covered by a blindfold adorned with seals. Stuck on his back were multiple chakra restriction seals. But these were merely ordinary, stop-gap measures which would not last long. And that's where Kakashi's role became relevant.

His circle completed, Kakashi now walked to his old student and raised a lone index finger, the tip dripping with blood. Calmly, he traced three symbols onto Sasuke's back. His old student's body trembled upon his touch.

"No technique you incompetent fools are going to put on me are sufficient. In time, they will weaken and I will break them. I can only feel the pathetic seals on my back weakening," growled Sasuke as he struggled with his chains.

Kakashi didn't answer. He merely stepped back and gathered his chakra. Forming just three hand seals, he leapt forward in a flash and slapped his palm on the centre of the Uchiha's back.

Kakashi's blood circle sizzled and bubbled due to the shear torrent of chakra being pushed through. With a sharp hiss, the circle of blood contracted upon itself and rushed inwards onto its victim's body. The instant the circle touched its victim, the Uchiha jerked back and spasmed into a silent scream. The circle contracted further and further, glowing red hot upon the pale skin of the Uchiha like a brand. At last, it reached the Cursed Seal on the Uchiha's upper back and formed a red barrier around it. And it was only then that the spasms of the Uchiha died away and he slumped forwards on his restraints.

Kakashi observed his handiwork calmly and nodded.

"It is done. I was a fool the last time I tried this. I trusted your own willpower to control that thing. This time there will be no mistakes. This time that seal is made of my blood. It is my willpower that controls it. And my willpower has been set in stone, Sasuke. Since the day you killed Tenzou."


One Week Later

Hinata lazed on her favourite chair in one of the many courtyards which dotted the Hyuuga clan complex. She lifted her eyes from her book as she sensed the soft footfalls of someone approaching her from behind. With a suppressed sigh, she pushed herself up and began turning about. It was her father.

"Hello Father," she said rising.

"Sit," said Hiashi softly as he walked up.

Hinata obeyed. It had been a while since she had last spoken with her father.

Hiashi placed a pale hand on the spine of her chair and looked down at her silently.

"The finals of chuunin exams are to be held in two days."

"Yes. I am aware."

"Are you also aware that your sister will be participating?"

"Yes."

"I see," said Hiashi after a pause. "I wish for you to accompany me to the event."

"I do not know if I would be available."

"I have put in a request to your commander. He has assured you that you will be."

Hinata was surprised. Her father and her clan had never interfered with her ANBU duties.

"I see," nodded Hinata. "I shall be there."

A wisp of emotion flitted across her father's face.

"I am glad," said Hiashi. With a nod, he turned and walked away.

"Why do you want me there?" called Hinata as he walked away.

"For whatever it is worth, you are sisters. You should witness this occasion with her."

Hinata was confused. Her father had never shown sentimentality before. This was an odd time for him to start.


2 Days Later

Naruto dozed in his bed. It was 11 AM.

"Wake up."

Naruto slept on.

"Wake up, Naruto."

Naruto twitched but remained asleep.

A tendril of burning hot chakra forced its way into his coils.

He sat up with a jolt. Alert and on guard.

"What?" was his one word question as his eyes darted about his bedroom and his arms reached for his blades.

"We are not alone."

Naruto softly stepped of his bed and began to silently unsheathe his weapon.

"Sheathe your weapon, boy. There is no danger to us in this very house."

Slowly, he breathed out the tension in his muscles.

"Explain."

"One of my brethren has entered this village."

Naruto turned and look out of the open window.

"I feel nothing."

"Like me, he is contained in a vessel. A human vessel."

Naruto nodded. Today was the finals of the chuunin exams. There was to be a large influx of outsiders in the village to witness the event. Evidently, someone had managed to sneak in a Jinchuuriki like him.

He was late. He should have already been with Kakashi by now.

Silently and quickly, he prepared himself.

His mind, though, was racing. He had never met another Jinchuuriki before.


Sorry folks. That's all for now.

Edit: Bah, it's been so long that I forgot my own story and killed of Sakura. Tweaked it now.