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Our Absinthe Haze

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It's a promise. [complete] [Dec. 14th, 2006|01:07 pm]
ABSiNTHE

ourabsinthehaze

[comecomehatake]
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Characters: Kakashi, Rin, Dominique (the "boss" played by Itachi/Kakashi), and warehouse guard (played by Rin)
Setting: Post Rin's kidnapping. Takes place at an abandoned warehouse where Rin is being held captive.
Rating: PG-13 for violence and potential language
Summary: Rin is kidnapped and Kakashi finds out. He goes to her rescue but encounters problems along the way.



The silver-haired man made his way down the dark streets of New Orleans, scraping his shoes lazily along the concrete sidewalk. Shadows covered the features of his face, he had removed his mask, wanting to breathe in the fresh air of the night, all the while contemplating about his actions he had held with Rin over the past few weeks. He led her on, making her believe that he would stay, only to have him walk out of the door, leaving her alone and abandoned once again. Kakashi sighed, coming to the glass doors of the motel that slid open upon his appearance. As he stepped in, the clerk at the front desk eyed him warily as if Kakashi were some sort of threat to the man. Shrugging off the strange behavior, he made his way to the room and inserted his key into the handle, jiggling it around a bit before the door finally clicked, notifying him that he could enter. Upon stepping past the doorway he paused for a moment, realizing something was off about his room.

Looking around to see if anything was out of place, Kakashi made his way to his side table, catching sight of something white, taunting him to come closer. He slowly picked up the folded piece of paper and opened it up, not noticing his hands shaking as he did so. As a man who worked for the black market he knew what this meant, and even though he believed himself prepared for it, he was far off from that assumption. Rin meant everything in the world to him, and if he lost her, he wouldn't know what to do. Finally taking a moment to study the words instead of staring at the blur of black on white, he realized his world was beginning to fall apart before his eyes. They took her. She was in their hands. Only he could bring her back.

As if on cue, Kakashi bolted out the door, running straight for the abandoned warehouse mentioned in the letter, crumpling up the note in his hands, leaving small paper cuts on his fingers he clenched the paper so hard. He ran, not caring about the people who surrounded him, or about the painful sting that crept to his side from running so hard and far. This was all for a woman he promised he would protect, a woman he loved.

Coming to a stop in a dark alleyway overlooking an old, rusted building, Kakashi caught his breath, his adrenaline still pumping from his fear and rage that built up inside of him. He peered around the corner, scanning the entrance with his one eye and casually made his way over, realizing there was only one moron to deal with.

Cleaning his fingernails with the butterfly knife he'd taken from Rin's backpack, the 5'11" dark haired thug leaned against the wall. He wasn't oblivious of Kakashi's presence, the man had been running and in this area, with so few people, noises carried echoing loudly off the surrounding buildings. He was calm, perhaps to a fault, and didn't worry of whom might be approaching though warned of Kakashi's possible arrival and skills. The thug was over confident and was sure his braun would easily over take anyone who dared approach. When he finished cleaning his nails he started whistling an oddly merry tune while he played with his new toy, flipping it closed then back open again. It was an eerie sight to be had, for sure.

Kakashi stopped, staring at the man playing with the knife he had given Rin before their little quarrel. His eyebrows lowered threateningly and a slow growl emitted itself from his throat. "Where is she?" He said in a deep voice laced with anger that basically meant, 'Tell me where she is, or I'll use that little toy of yours to cut off your genitals if you don't.'

Smirking, the man just shrugged and acted as though he had no idea what Kakashi was referring to. "She?" What an amusing sort, it was likely going to be a great deal of fun taking him down and delivering him to the boss.

Having the urge to go through with his masked threat, Kakashi took another step towards the man before him, his eye staring directly into the guard's. "Did I stutter?" Taking the crumpled ball in his hand he threw it at the fool who dared stand in his way. Anger flowed through the silver-haired man's veins like never before. His look promised bloodshed, but he would have to restrain himself if he ever wanted to make his way to Rin. "It's an 'invitation'. Let me through."

Losing his amused look, the thug clucked his tongue at Kakashi and gave him a stern look now flipping the knife open and pointing it at the man. "Now, now. Where are your manners? You didn't ask nicely." The thug took a step forward, slashing the knife at Kakashi in an obvious attack that didn't come close to hitting. The man was more accoustomed to beating with blunt objects including his fists.

Kakashi stood unfazed by the attack, but his blood boiled. Trying to supress the need to punch the man's face in, he simply stood there an mockingly replied, "Please." His teeth clenched, stopping himself from spurring on the thug's irrational behavior with his sarcastic comments. If he wanted to avoid as much confrontation as possible, he would have to first get past the guard without a fight. But with the way things were going, even that would prove to be an arduous task.

Annoyed with the sharpened steel, he tossed the butterfly knife to the side the weapon hitting the ground with a noisy metallic clattering. "S'easier for me to just beat ya down instead," the man snarled before swinging a meaty fist at Kakashi's face.

Kakashi side-stepped, allowing the guard to swing past him. "Now what was it you said about beating me down?" He raised a mocking eyebrow, no longer capable of hiding his sarcasm. It seemed he wouldn't have an easy time getting to Rin after all. That is, if all of his boss's 'watchdogs' were like this.

The man did not like to be mocked, it only fueled his anger and he came after Kakashi again in another attempt to knock the man down a peg or two. Kakashi was far too full of himself and the guy wasn't at all pleased with the cocky attitude. He was determined to teach the man a lesson.

Catching the fist that swung at him another time, he pulled the thug past him slightly and twisted the man's arm in a manner that gave Kakashi complete control of his opponent. Wanting to get this over with so he could get to Rin faster, Kakashi shoved the dark-haired 'watchdog' face first into the ground, grinding his knee against his victim's back to keep him down. Leaning his face closer, Kakashi whispered, "Take me to her, or I will break every bone in your damn body if you don't comply."

The man grunted when he hit the ground. He had grossly underestimated Kakashi and laying on the ground he couldn't believe how fast he'd been taken down from someone smaller than himself. He attempted just once to try and get himself out of the hold Kakashi had on him, but all it did was bring a sharp pain shooting through his arm which produced an uncomfortable groan. "Inside. She's just inside. Up the stairs to the right. Office at the top."

After nodding in reply, Kakashi rendered the thug unconscious to prevent any retaliation. He stood up from his crouched position and dragged the body behind a set of wooden crates and ran inside the warehouse. He made his way up the flight of stairs, hugging the wall with his back, slowly making his way upward. He knew this whole setup of peace and quiet was a trap, but there would be no other way to save Rin than to trigger it. He thought back to the time when one of his fellow 'co-workers' decided to high tail it out of the black market business, only to find his wife tied securely by rope to a steel beam that spanned horizontally, about to be suspended by her throat. The thought of such a thing happening to Rin made Kakashi's heart clench and it drove him to move faster up the steps. He wouldn't be weak like that man had been, and he would definitely not let Rin die...

Despite her refusal to eat over the past couple days, Rin was in fair condition. With the exception of several bruises on her face and arms, she was relatively unhurt. The only reason she even had those were from all the fighting she had done once she had come out of her sedation. The girl was not even going to sit there and let them use her as bait for her best friend, even if it did terrify her more than anything to be around those who had kidnapped her. In fact, she had to keep telling herself repeatedly that she was not weak and she could take care of herself -- though obviously in this situation, she could not. It had been at least two hours since she had last seen someone and being tied upright to the chair she was in was far from comfortable. Her wrists were raw from trying to work off the rope that held her securely in place. Most of the damage she had endured had been brought on by herself. Despite the place being abandoned, they took not chances with Rin since she had hardly kept quiet in the first days that she'd been picked up. The gag in place kept her quite. At the sound of someone coming up the steps, panic crept in and Rin lifted her head, hair hanging in her face as she feared who was coming this time. She was sure that one of these times it would be someone to finish her off.

He took slow steps towards the center of the room, not wanting to look at the state she was in. He held no weapons, and he inwardly scolded himself for not taking the knife when he had the chance. Stepping closer and closer, he saw the tense look on Rin's face when he finally built up the courage to look at her. Kakashi's throat clenched tightly, rendering him speechless, causing his breathing to become harsh and staggered. It was an obvious trap, and any moment now he would be greeted by a pair of cruel, unforgiving orbs peering from the darkness. A sign that there was no turning back, no matter how much he begged and pleaded like the traitor before. But Kakashi was not the type to get on his knees and kiss anyone's feet. His pride was too stubborn and with that stubborn attitude he would find a way for at least Rin to escape.

He knelt before her and placed his hand on hers, hoping she would find his touch familiar. Kakashi couldn't bring himself to speak, knowing he broke his promise and her heart. Instead he just remained, gently brushing his warm fingertips against her cold, staring into the darkness waiting for the inevitable.

It took several moments for Rin to realize who it was, and upon that realization Rin let out a low whine before she started sobbing. Rin pressed her cheek against Kakashi's fingertips and she strugged against the ropes that held her firmly to the chair. Attempting to speak was useless, because voicing her desire to be untied came out choked and mumbled. She was happy to see him, but would be more happy once she was free.

He jumped slightly at Rin's sudden sobs and kissed her brow gently before removing the gag and blindfold that left red marks from how tightly fastened the bindings were. Kakashi then proceeded to untie the ropes that looked slightly strained from the fight that Rin most likely put up against them. He smiled a bit at this, knowing that Rin would never give in too easily to becoming a 'damsel in distress.'

After the bindings were removed, he lifted Rin off of the chair in a bone-crushing embrace, kissing away the tears that flowed endlessly from her chestnut orbs, his heart beating faster and faster with every kiss.

Despite the intense aching in her arms and legs from being in one position for so long, Rin forced herself to put her arms around Kakashi's neck. Clinging to him, Rin tried to calm herself but found it nearly impossible. "Ka-Kakashi. Wh-what took you so long?" Rin tried to give him a smile, but it was pained. She was, however, very happy to be with him, but wanted to be out of there and back in her apartment. Someplace safe and familiar, though she may start questioning the safety of her place once things had settled.

"Shh..." He whispered into her ear, his eyes shifting from one corner of the room to another, waiting for his enemy to show himself any moment now. "Rin, I'm sorry, but we're just going to have to wait a little longer." He motioned for her to stay in the middle of the room as he slowly made his way in a circle, calling out into the darkness, "I know you're here, so let's just get this over with!" Recieving no reply, he called out again, "I said, come out!" Finally he heard footsteps coming from the main entrance and he shuffled his way in front of Rin to block her from the danger. "Stay behind me, Rin. And if you can run, I suggest you leave as soon as you can."

"I c-can't," she said quietly. "I don't have the strength to run." Standing alone was a chore, she couldn't imagine trying to force herself to run. Placing her hand on Kakashi's back, she murmured, "Don't do anything stupid, ok? You're not allowed to leave again." This time she equated him leaving to death and she wasn't sure she could readily deal with Kakashi no longer being around in that sense.

He nodded, knowing that being restrained for so long would do a number on one's joints and muscles. He would have to defend her if he needed to fight. Tensing a bit, Kakashi stared at the figure making its way out of the darkness, introducing his 'boss' dressed in a black, tailored suit, as well as a few less presentable thugs. Being an expert at hand-to-hand combat, he could've handled them all easily, but the fact that each of them presented either a pistol or automatic weapon, the task was more about trying to stay alive than simply beating them down and running away.

Rin's face twisted with worry and she placed her hand on Kakashi's upper arm in a silent reminder not to do anything stupid. She could feel herself trembling and wished that she wasn't so scared right now. It was a perfectly normal reaction and it would be more worrisome if she had no fear at all. She had no idea how Kakashi managed to keep himself so collected right now. The only thing keeping her together at this point was his presense.

Stepping out alongside a few of the armed thugs was Kakashi's boss, a feral smirk barely hidden in the dense shadows. "What a pleasant surprise," drawled a predatory voice. A feminine voice. Her lips moved seamlessly, painted a dark purple, and her teeth were bleach-white; a rather odd portrait for a mob boss, but she was...unique, one would say. Dominique laughed dryly, approaching the two boldly, mainly under the protection of her thugs' armed weapons. "Didn’t think you’d come around so quickly...Kakashi." The tall, well-built woman was dressed unfittingly for what would be considered appropriate, in the tailored suit, accenting the dark, short-cropped hair that barely hung past her ears. "Any last words?" she hissed, preparing to have her men end this little meeting by raising her left hand, perfectly-filed fingernails one snap away from the conclusion.

Kakashi narrowed his eyebrows in irritation. -Why delay what was inevitable?- he inwardly asked himself. Stepping into a more defensive position, the silver-haired man emitted a low growl from his throat. His eyes glared at the woman before him. The woman who ordered his father's death, and brought him in as a slave to fulfill what his father could not. "Yeah, I have something to say." Kakashi paused for a moment, his dark orbs staring intently, in a death-like glare, that promised death or dismemberment. "I never want to see your face again. Get the hell out of my life. I'm done being your damn lap dog." He tightened his fists and stood taller, trying to intimidate Dominique. He didn't care that the stakes leaned more in favor of the woman before him. It was a damn fact that guns could beat flesh, but for some reason that didn't click in Kakashi's mind. "Give me all you got, bitch."

Having no idea what to do, Rin stood there dumbfounded. Were they both really going to die? Kakashi was taking such tremendous risks for what? For her? This was ridiculous. She opened her mouth to say something but realize it likely wouldn't matter, considering their current situation and closed it again. She was fearful that speaking would only exacerbate an already out-of-hand problem.

Dominique smirked, playing with her nails as if showing she wasn't intimidated by Kakashi's outspoken behavior. She eyed the woman behind him for a moment and a smirk formed on her dark features. "How about you say goodbye to your little girly first." The boss's dark eyes focused on the brown-eyed woman, her sharp, pearly fangs emphasizing her devilish grin of self-proclaimed victory. Dominique pointed her finger at Rin, her men following suit with the barrels of their weapons. "It seems there is one more thing to take away from your already pitiful life, Hatake."

With the men looming closer, Rin only moved closer to Kakashi fearful of what was going to happen to both of them. There was no way to fight back. She may be strong willed but she wasn't an idiot to think two people could go up against men with fire arms. "Kakashi?" Oh please let him have a plan, she thought to herself. "I don't want to die today, okay? You either."

Kakashi gripped Rin's hand firmly. "I promise. You'll make it out alive. Just...stick with me okay." He watched as Dominique shouted the command to fire, and everything happened in an instant. Tugging Rin close to his chest, he ducked down, dodging most of the spray of bullets. Those he wasn't able to avoid he was at least able to prevent Rin from being its target. "Stay with me, Rin. Just a little longer." He ran at one of his opponents who was still trying to reload his gun from shooting so rapidly where the couple once stood, and out of panic was fumbling with the cartridge and dropped it in his clumsy state of mind. Catching him off guard, the silver-haired man headbutted his former "co-worker" and picked up both the cartridge and empty pistol. Swiftly loading the gun he managed to shoot the confused men with the machine guns, neutralizing most of the threat. Now all that remained was Dominique. "Rin. Stay here." Kakashi stood from the ground, and handed Rin the pistol. He whispered into her ear, "When I tell you to shoot...take the shot. We only have one chance."

Rin felt dizzy by everything that had just taken place. It didn't feel real at all but when the cool metal of the gun was pushed into her hands it became a little more clear. "K-Kakashi I.. I can't .." Hands shaking, she took the weapon from him, however, and wrapped her fingers around the grip and pointed the gun to the floor staring at him helplessly.

Placing his warm hand over Rin's hoping to calm her down just a bit, he leaned in and kissed her lips, gently. "Don't worry. I'll get us out of here. Just have faith in me, alright? Then, we'll find Obito. Together." He smirked and turned towards the woman that started this whole mess. "You can do it." Taking a few steps closer to his former boss until he stood a mere three feet from Dominique's face, Kakashi clenched his hands into tight fists that turned his knuckles white from the pressure. There was one chance to kill her, one chance for freedom, and it depended on -both- of them. "Ready, Rin?" He took a step closer to the mob boss only to be confronted with a small, shiny silver handgun that she often kept in her suit when in a pinch, just like Kakashi predicted.

"I'm ready," she said, voice shaking as she lifted the gun up. All she could do was hope that there was more than one bullet in the gun because she had no idea how hard it was to aim. Please, God, just let me ... Rin felt sick. She was going to have to .. kill someone. Kill her Even after telling herself that it was either this woman or them, it still wasn't easy to deal with. But there was no time to object or 'think things through'.

"Rin..." His eye focused on Dominique, analyzing when she was really going to pull the trigger. "NOW!" Gripping Dominique's arm quickly, he managed to pull the gun into a position where the bullet only shot into his left shoulder instead of his chest. Kakashi only hoped he provided Rin enough room and time to aim and shoot their opponent.

Please don't let me kill the wrong person, Rin thought to herself as she squeezed the trigger several times on the gun, feeling it buck in her hands. It was only luck that one of the bullets actually hit to woman in the neck, but it wouldn't be a quick death. In fact, the woman would drown in her own blood thanks to Rin. Dropping the gun, Rin covers her mouth before turning away, stumbling a bit and throwing up - or at least trying to. She has nothing in her stomach to come up other than bile.

Dominique froze for a moment, the hot metal cooling inside of her esophagus, the blood slowly seeping from the clean hole in her throat. Kakashi's eye widened at the sight before him. He would never give Rin a gun ever again that was for sure. He then focused on the eyes of the woman before him and he saw the same expression on her face that he had seen on his father's when he died. Anger welled up inside of him, but he would have no way to let it out since his target was now lifeless thanks to a certain someone that was trying to retch up whatever she could muster behind him. He had bloodied her innocence. She had killed someone. It was not something that he knew she wanted to do, but it was the only way. Dominique fell to the ground, her eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling in shock.

"Let's go." Kakashi stood in the light, staring at the pair of eyes that still haunted his soul.

Rin did her best to move when commanded, each step a difficult one as she forced herself to get her shit together so they could leave. "I'm going to hell," she said before she starts sobbing. Since when did she become so religious? Shouldn't she be more concerned with going to jail? She had taken someone's life. As she stepped closer to Kakashi, she realized he was bleeding and she couldn't do anything for him. Keeping it together was more and more difficult before she just started sobbing and shaking.

Kakashi simply stood there, unable to move. He didn't know how to reassure her that everything would be alright. She had just murdered someone, and though Kakashi would willingly take the blame if anything happened, and even though it was obviously a case of self-defense, he wasn't sure Rin would quite grasp that with what trauma she was going through. He could only stand still and listen to her sob and, even after all he had just done, felt even more helpless than ever. His silver hair dripped a drop of crimson onto the floor, and realizing he had some of Dominique's blood on his face he wiped it off with the back of his hand. He had killed before and thus it never occurred to him until after Rin pulled the trigger that she may not be capable of handling the psychological effects that came with taking a human life. So in the end, it left him with only one thing to say, "I'm sorry."

Feeling weak, Rin sort of just slumped down to her knees. The adreniline rush that had kept her standing earlier was over and days of being tied up with nothing to eat (by her own choice, afraid of being poisoned) Rin was just too weak physically to move. "Please get me home," she said rather weakly. "I can't get up," she added, feeling horribly that she couldn't even move herself from that spot while he was injured. She wanted so very badly to be strong right now and not have him see her like this but she just couldn't stop the crying and she couldn't find the strength to be something that she just ... wasn't ... at the moment.

"Alright. Let's go home." He lifted Rin up in a bridal style and walked out the door they had come from. Things would be different for the both of them. Kakashi was a free man now, and Rin...

He glanced down at the woman in his arms and held her tighter against him, never wanting to be separated from her again. I just take one step into her life and I screw it all up. "Rin...do you, regret ever meeting me?" He continued walking, the only sound an echoing of footsteps in the dark.

Keeping her arms around his neck, the sobbing had finally subsided to silent tears after some time. All she could do was stare blankly at his chest as he walked, wondering she was now. A killer. That's what she was. A doctor who purposely took someone's life. It never occured to her to blame Kakashi, because she just couldn't see this as his fault no matter what the circumstance was. "No," she murmured, he voice just barely carrying over the sound of his steps.

"Hey." He came to a stop before a broken window, the moonlight illuminating Rin's face. "Listen, you're not alone. I...was like that too, when I first killed someone." Kakashi shook his head, not sure how to phrase it. "Dominique was an evil woman. You had ever right to pull that trigger on her. If you hadn't then, who knows what other tricks she would've had up her sleeve?"

He paused for a moment, but decided to continue on, "Besides, do you understand how many people died because of her? Also, think of how many more people would've died or would've become something like myself, before I found you again. She's a woman who has caused great suffering and we stopped her." It was most likely not helping, but it was best to try anyway, "I understand you're still in shock about the whole incident, but, just think of it that way. Alright?" Kakashi sighed, not knowing whether he was a help or just made matters worse.

Rin could hear him, she could understand everything he was saying, but she just couldn't process it so that it was beneficial in any way. "Yeah," she responded numbly, tears still streaming down her face. "What will you do about your injury?"

Having completely forgotten about the bullet implanted in his shoulder, he simply nodded responding, "I'll take care of it."

They were finally outside and the soft sound of the gentle night breeze rippled between the abandoned crates creating an eerie howl. He stopped again, this time to settle down on a wooden barrel to relieve some of the growing stress in his shoulder. The bullet needed to come out or he wouldn't be able to carry Rin much farther. "Hang tight a second, alright?" He settled Rin down on the barrel and looked for the knife that he knew lay discarded somewhere near the entrance. Kakashi figured he would be able to use that to pry the hunk of metal out. He just hoped that it wasn't ridden with disease or his wound would get much worse. Stepping on it by accident, he lifted it up and flicked it open, revealing a sharp, shiny blade that didn't look like it carried a fatal disease on it, so he made his way back to Rin and sat down on a crate beside her. He made a motion with the knife towards his shoulder indicating to Rin why he needed the knife. "Well, here it goes."

Wincing, Rin looked away, suddenly squeemish despite being a doctor in the ER. She'd certainly seen worse wounds than what he was about to do to himself except the people she came in were not friends. They were not people she loved and she could easily distance herself and work on them. Wiping at her face, Rin attempted to gather herself enough so she could think straight. Mumbling when she spoke, she told Kakashi, "I'll clean you up when we're home." Well, she could certainly stitch him up and make sure that the wound was cleaned out. There had to be some antibiotics in her house somewhere. It wasn't as if they were hard to get a hold of, afterall. "I'll take care of you," she said, almost too quietly, not knowing if he heard her or not. The first thing she would need to do is call the hospital and tell them she was severely ill and come up with an excuse as to why she wasn't there. Thinking about this was the only thing distracting her from what had just happened, making it possible for her not to fall apart all over again. After another few moments, Rin said softly, "Thank you. For coming..." It wasn't that she didn't think he wouldn't, but more that she was sure they would make sure he couldn't.

His silver mane dipped downward as he winced slightly from the moment of pain of jamming the knife in and prying out the metal piece with a slight, squishy pop. Had he not done this before he would've most likely either passed out or regurgitated his previous meal, but being in the business that he was in, it was typical. Hearing Rin say that she would take care of him made him smirk and, after stabbing the bloody knife into the crate, Kakashi wrapped his arm around what he now labeled, "his Rin." Enjoying the feeling of holding her he pulled her closer and whispered into her ear, "I'll never leave you again."

Nodding against him, Rin pressed her face into him and inhaled deeply. "I'm going to hold you to that. Let's get home. Don't carry me. I'll walk." She would have to force herself to do so but she didn't want him injuring himself further by her selfishness and allowing him to pick her up again. She really has no idea where they are, however, or how long it's going to take to get home.

He nodded, standing up behind her, making sure he kept his eye on her in case something were to happen. It was extremely late, dark, and not to mention, they were in a very dangerous part of New Orleans. For an extra safety measure Kakashi removed the knife from the crate, the Hatake blood slowly drying on its shiny surface. Flipping it shut, he slipped it into his pocket knowing it was always more logical to keep one's weapon disguised than to swing it freely in public. And even though most people weren't out on the streets at night, any unwanted attention could be fatal for the both of them. Eventually the warehouse would be inspected, and agents may come knocking at their doorway in the mere future, but right now getting home was the priority. He winced slightly at the blood that seemed to never stop running from his shoulder. It was getting to the point of worrisome, but getting Rin home safely came first.

Also worried about Kakashi's injury, Rin was anxious to get back to her place so he could rest and she could dress the wound - or at least attempt to assess it to see what kind of damage was done. She hoped it wouldn't need any kind of surgery. How would she go about that? It'd be impossible. She could, however, arrange for the hospital visit not to include a phone call to the police. Rin couldn't believe she was thinking these things as she started walking, but she needed something to occupy her thoughts as they went along. Otherwise, she'd be too tired to continue.

Thankfully the path they walked grew brighter with the street lights and with the more pleasant lighting came more familiar landmarks and streets.

With each step Kakashi took, his vision seemed to blur even more. He knew exactly what was happening, but fought it until eventually he couldn't make out what lay before him. His steps faltered and soon his breathing became ragged and suddenly everything just went black.

Rin was only barely quick enough to catch him, and by catching him it was more like letting him fall on her as they both sank to the ground. She as going to have no choice but to call for an ambulance to get him to the hospital. She couldn't think straight enough for much beyond that. Luckily there was a payphone nearby and Rin got up to make the call for help.

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