Unsealed Time Rift

Chapter 11

Kushina had been bustling around the house completing chores and cooking dinner with the help of Naruto. The atmosphere was tense and dark, both lost in thoughts of whether or not Minato had made it in time. Naruto was rinsing of a plate at the kitchen sink as Kushina was stirring the food in the pot at the stove when the silence became too much for him.

"Mum?" He questioned, having stopped scrubbing the plate and holding it slightly above the soapy water.

"Hmm?" Kushina hummed back as she dipped a small spoon into the pot for a taste.

"Do you think dad made it in time? To save Obito, I mean." Kushina froze with the spoon part way to her lips in surprise before her eyes darkened slightly with sadness.

"I hope so, Naruto. I really hope so."

When Kakashi came too it was dark and he was laying on his back. With a burst of panicked adrenaline, Kakashi sat up with a gasp, his eyes coming to rest on Minato.

"Sensei!" He yelped in surprise.

Minato turned to look at him with a gentle but sad smile. "Kushina got a hold of me and said there was trouble. Future Kakashi let slip you were in danger."

"But how...?" Kakashi questioned. How were you able to reach us in time? In response to Kakashi's question, Minato held up the three-pronged kunai he had given Kakashi for his promotion.

The kunai swung gently from the ring resting over Minato's finger as he spoke. "The jutsu formula on this kunai knife serves as a marker when I leap using my Transportation Jutsu."

"Then ... the enemy?" Kakashi continued to stare at Minato with worried eyes.

"I took them all down." Minato answered as he lowered his arm back down.

Kakashi jerked slightly in shock before leaning forward in panic. "Rin... Where is Rin!?"

In response to Kakashi's panic, Minato turned to the side and pointed across the field they were in. Kakashi turned to follow Minato's line of sight and noticed Rin stood with her hands clasped behind her back as she stared up into the stars.

"I'm sorry I couldn't make it in time, Kakashi..." Minato apologised. "Rin told me everything."

Kakashi didn't reply. He had nothing to say. He just watched Rin from beside his sensei and drowned himself in guilt and shame. It's all my fault...

Grown Kakashi was once again sat on the roof of Kushina and Minato's home, staring at the stars. It's all my fault... The old thought echoed hauntingly around his mind. He scoffed to himself as he tossed his head down to gaze at his hands. His hands, covered in the blood of his comrades and friends. My fault now more than ever. I could've changed it, stopped it. I could have... but I did nothing. The old feelings of guilt and shame began to once again devour his soul hungrily as he clenched his fist together in self-loathing.

It was a few days later and Kushina, Mikoto and the future Team 7 were anxiously awaiting the return of Team Minato. The sun had been set for half an hour now, and there was still no sign of the team they were waiting on. They were an hour late.

Just as Kushina was considering going out to search for them, permission or no permission, they noticed shadows moving towards them. As the village lights bathed the figures in its homely glow, Kushina was able to make out the figures of Minato, Kakashi and Rin. There was no Obito in sight. It was as if the light had been sucked from Kushina's world temporarily as the air gushed from her lungs and she collapsed to her knees, tears in her eyes and her hands over her mouth. Naruto rested his hand on Kushina's shaking shoulders whilst Mikoto moved to kneel next to her best friend, tears silently dripping from her own eyes as she hugged Kushina tightly. Sasuke and Sakura watched sadly from behind, whilst Kakashi-sensei bowed his head.

At the sound of pounding feet, Kushina looked up in time to open her arms as Rin barrelled into her, tears streaming from her eyes and sobs wrenching from her chest.

Minato and Kakashi came to a stop in front of them all. Minato watching sadly before kneeling down and embracing his lover, student and friend in a comforting hug while Kakashi looked at the ground, unable to make any eye contact.

"I'm sorry." Kakashi said, still looking at the ground. "It was my fault. He's dead cause of me-" He was cut off as the sound of flesh connecting with flesh echoed loudly through the night. An eerie silence followed the slap. Kakashi raised a hand to his cheek before chancing a look at the crying Kushina.

"Shut up." She snapped. "It's not your fault. Don't you dare go thinking that!" She yelled at him before pulling him into a tight hug. "I'm sorry, Kakashi. I'm so sorry! Your best friend..." She trailed off as Kakashi began to tremble all over again, tears rising unbidden to his eyes and spilling down. Kushina grasped Kakashi tighter as he collapsed into her arms and began to cry in earnest. All the emotions he had bottled up, flowing out of him in heaving waves. All the guilt, shame, self-hatred and despair flooding from his system as the woman he thought of as a sister held him.

"Kushina-nee!" Kakashi screamed. "He's gone! Obito! Obito! He's gone..! I couldn't..! I couldn't... I wanted to save him! I did! But he's gone!"

The time travellers watched from the side as the people Obito considered family broke down before they begun to build themselves back up.

Mikoto recovered first, rising from her position and walking over to Sasuke and embracing him gently. Sasuke allowed himself to be held. "Just a child." She whispered into her son's hair. "You're all just children..."

It was a week later that Minato and Kushina were talking in their bedroom. They had activated their privacy seals and closed the door. Their Kakashi and future Kakashi had needed to be separated when the younger Kakashi had realised that his future self had known what was going to happen to Obito and had done nothing to stop it. After having physically attached and tried to kill his future self in a twisted version of suicide, the Grown Kakashi had been given the spare room and their Kakashi was sleeping with Naruto in his room. Everyone had gone to bed, but they couple hadn't wanted to risk being overheard.

"We have to do something Minato. We can't leave Naruto to grow up on his own..." Kushina implored to her child's father.

"I know, Kushina. I don't want that either, but we can't change the future. You know information up to around thirteen to fourteen years into the future, and I know some events up to around seventeen years into the future. We can't change any of that." He told her calmly.

"But Minato!" Kushina exclaimed sitting up in angered anguish.

"Kushina." Minato interrupted. "We don't know anything further than that."

Kushina growled softly. "So you won't do anything!?"

"I didn't say that." Minato replied with a small smirk.

Kushina looked at Minato in confusion before her eyes widened as she realised what he meant.

"...You know information up to around thirteen to fourteen years into the future, and I know some events up to around seventeen years into the future. We can't change any of that." He told her calmly.

"But Minato!" Kushina exclaimed sitting up in angered anguish.

"Kushina." Minato interrupted. "We don't know anything further than that."

"Sooo..." Kushina trailed of as she smiled mischievously at Minato. "We can't change what we don't know about, right? But we will be helping Naruto when he's, say, seventeen?"

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