Chapter Four ~ Homecoming

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The first thing I did with my new memories was nearly burst into tears.

I held everything back, trying not to think or feel. The memories, the torture... It was too much. I doubled over and threw up.

For a split second I regretted it; these new memories, this... Humanity... Gave me weakness that would hold me back from survival. Memories I used to not flinch at made me feel so much.

"Cashile?" Kakashi was holding me at arms length, studying me.

I took a moment to look up at him. "Ka...Kakashi..."

This was such a strange experience. Only moments ago I could remember not caring about him at all, not knowing him. I could remember not being Cashile Kuroki, not being me.

"Oh God Cashile, I'm sorry, I'm so, so sorry," Kakashi whispered fervently. "You saved us, you sacrificed yourself."

I hesitated. Sacrifice myself? What was he talking about? I ruffled through my memories before realizing. Ah, the last time he saw me... Oh, he thought I'd purposefully stabbed myself.

"Right..." I said slowly, "No offense, but I kind of wish I hadn't."

Kakashi let out a bark of laughter. "No offense taken," he reassured me. Then he sobered. "Cashile... Are you okay?"

I hesitated slightly. "Just peachy, Kakashi."

He didn't  push it, just as I'd predicted. "So now what?" I asked, exhausted.

"We need as much information on the Rising Phoenix as possible. We need to continue this interrogation," Ibiki said, casting a dark gaze over me.

Anger issues much?

I felt my shoulders droop unconsciously. "Can't it... Can't it wait?" I whispered. "I'm so tired."

In all honestly, this was my own emotion bleeding through more than me trying to manipulate them. I was exhausted. I wanted to sleep. I wanted to feel safe.

And warm. I shivered, thinking of the torture, the pure cold. The days when I thought that I would never be warm again, before I stopped caring whether or not I was warm. Because all I was at that point was a body. A tool. Not a person, but a body meant to be used in order to achieve for someone else.

Now I wasn't sure I would ever feel safe again.

I was really feeling all these memories for the first time, now, and I wasn't sure I could handle it in the presence of other people. I needed a break to gather myself once more.

"No. Konoha is in danger, and we need to extract all the information possible," Ibiki insisted.

"And break me in the process?" I retorted.

"If that's what it takes," he growled coldly.

"What's your problem?" I snapped back, irritated.

"Okay, we've already gotten quite a bit of information," Kakashi stepped up, "Let's go over what we have and see how to respond to it and start up again in the morning."

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