Date: March 16, 2011
No summary given.
"A Healer's Predicament"
Outside of Kirigakure Medical Center
Scene opens, late evening in Kirigakure. The new Mizukage, Hikan, and the Healer Mishu have just come in contact, and are soon to be joined by Takeshi and Nori. We pick up as their conversation continues:
For a long moment, Hikan says little. He just stares at Mushi from the darkness, before stepping forward into the brighter moonlight. The coldness in the air does not grow more, but rather holds steady. As if trying not to make her /too/ uncomfortable. With his whole form now on view, complete with long hair tied loosely back and sleek black-framed glasses—Hikan sort of stares at her carefully.
"You were mentioned in quite a lot of detail in various records I have gone over. You are Mushi. A healer of near Legendary status. Even if you do not mention your name, you cannot hide such a status." Moving forward, he goes to simply sit next to her, arms folding across his chest. Just on the bench, very casually.
"I am about to speak very clearly for your ears." He starts slowly, looking ahead of him at first. Not so much at her. "…Kirigakure has suffered a defeat in the Land of Fire. Our forces have now withdrawn. The defeat came largely at the hands of Uchiha Fuyu, a notable shinobi in Konoha." He pauses. "There were others involved in this operation too, however. One I believe you know. A key player was the Pickler; Goh. Your lover, I presume. The man whom has been travelling with you for .. the past year. Maybe longer." Where was he going with this?
"…I have noticed he is currently not 'visiting' as well. That is very wise, don't you agree?" He pauses dramatically again, leaning a bit further back.
"While you clam you be a Wanderer of no particular origin, I know very well that you have aided Konoha in the past. The very people that led to our defeat. Moreover, you have also spent a large amount of time in Sunagakure. Thecountry which allied themselves /with/ Konoha." Two strikes, it seems! And just like this, he stands back up.
"…be /very/ careful how you tred."
Takeshi had just taken up his duties as Clan Elder, dressing for the part and even redecorating his home for the part and even his family was helping him look the part. His home had become a mini-government building at this point. A lot of people use to come there anyway because it was one of few sources of foreign foilage in the Kaguya village and all of Kirigakure for that matter. However, now, he couldn't get the lines to stop. He had actually had to close the doors for once to prevent people from entering, but that shouldn't be an indication he doesn't like it. By all accounts, he's more than jumping at every opportunity. They even say he's dropped the old man facade, acting like he always use to. Some find it refreshing, others annoyed and the older ones are split between being glad he's back and wishing he'd retire again.
It was no secret as of late that the newly appointed Clan Elder had been making frequent trips between the Kaguya Village and the Medical Center to visit all of his clan that are currently bed bound after the battle. Luckily, deaths seemed to be mostly on the side of the regular soldiers, while ninja seemed to do rather well with that whole survival thing. Regardless, he had been at the burials of one too many kaguya during this day alone. Luckily, most of those are done.
It is not surprising then to see the old man, in his bright white robe strolling down the street this late at night heading straight towards the medical center to take stock of where the kaguya stood. Most of them had been kicked out when Takeshi saw that their wounds no longer posed a threat to them, after all, Kaguya physiology is different, it just fixes better. However, what would be strange is to actually encounter people on the road at this night. Albeit the regular farmer and odd patrol sometimes comes down this road at night, he didn't expect to see the Mizukage. That was truly a shock, but not an unwelcome one. Ithad been about a week since he last saw him to announce his return.
He doesn't show any real fear as he approaches the mizukage and the mysterious stranger, probably because he's been aroud war and mizukages enough to have his fill. He offers a wave as he joins the group at the edge, "Mizukage. Howdoes this evening find you and your guest?"
Mushi draws her coat up a bit more, but the air is still unnaturally cold. But she hardly notices that as Hikan starts speaking, and she's hanging on every word. She doesn't even know who he is, though he carries himself as if he's very capable. And from the details he knows about her, he's in the upper eschelons of the village. By the time Hikan stands up Mushi doesn't look uneasy. Her face is a complete mask and, despite the cold, she looks at him with surprising composure. "Yes, I've been travelling with Goh," she says coolly. "Since his status is that of a wanderer. It's not always safe to travel alone."
She looks at Hikan squarely just as Takeshi comes up. From her doubletake, she was completely unaware of who he was. Now she /does/ look uneasy. She glances away for a moment, and then looks at Takeshi and Hikan. Yes, that's the Mizukage's name. She swallows lightly. "Hikan-kun," she says. She glances at Takeshi; well, it wouldn't hurt to say it in front of another Kiri shinobi. "It's true I aided Konoha but I've never turned down the number of calls I got from here…zero. But you should know that one time my home village attacked the former Mizukage. Ratherthan help them, I went to Mitsuo and healed him when he was wounded. If you want proof, you can ask one of your shinobi. Jayde, I believe her name is."
Hikan turns around slightly to view Takeshi stride in to the edges of the area. He dips his head a little, adjusting his glasses so that they sit a little more steadily in front of his eyes. "Kaguya Takeshi. Good evening." He greets,seeming polite enough. "It finds me well indeed. I am just having a small discussion with a visitor."
When she speaks again, now seeming to realize whom exactly he is, he doesn't face her. He just stares away, although speaks with enough volume for her to listen. "I do not doubt your smarts and intelligence, Mushi. To heal Mitsuo was undoubtedly the right thing to do. Doing so ensured that your friendship with us is satisfied. At least for a bit longer. But not only was that months ago, I was taught to always … what was the term?" He seems to think, lifting his head to face the sky. "Ah, yes. That's right." His hands go up to push his glasses up the bridge of his nose once more. "…judge someone's worth by their most recent actions. Do not misunderstand me. You are still welcome inside this village for the moment. But if I discover you have been near the pickler Goh, in the village of Sunagakure or Konohagakure again…" He pauses, turning around to now face her for the first time through the corner of his eye, behind the glasses. The eye is strained, with some cracks in the iris seemingly appearing. His tone grows from one of calmness to severe anger in the blink of an eye. "I'll personally slaughteryou AND your medical centre. Just like I will any Leafer, or Sand shinobi I come across from now on." The enviornment gets suddenly cooler.
…before getting warmer. "…but!" He turns back around, as if forgetting that happened. His tone grows back to its calm level. "I do not believe you are that dumb. So it will likely not come to pass."
Talk of war and enemies, unnatural chills to the air, a dark night with few pedestrians to speak of… A Healer, an Elder, and a Leader. What place left but for a rebellious young man to show, with a hot temper and a dangerous way, to add more contrast to this dark painting. He comes upon the scene, taking flight between trees, alighting with the silence of years trained in desperation and survival, Nori pauses as he comes nigh the road. He edges back into shadow as he listens quietly, his blue eye glinting in the lamplight. As the conversation carries on, Nori shakes his head, and descends the tree. "'Scuse me," he says as he steps into the light, his muscles tensed. He glances at Takeshi, and then says, "Seems to me that supporting the Shinobi of Konoha was about the same as siding with them in our war. She would have steered clear of the whole thing if she meant well by use. You wouldn't be friends with a someone who helped you up just to stab you afterwards." He offers a disarming smile, though threat glints deeply in his eyes. "Though I give her credit for being bold enough to walk into our village."
Takeshi looks between the two before resting his hands behind his back idly. For a moment he says nothing, simply listening to the Mizukage speak to the visitor. It is quite the speech, but one he understands, it was necessary to say the least. That was the way of the world anyways and neutrality has a funny way of catching up to you and turning into partisanship. There were few could claim to betruly neutral in any given situation, even fewer who can be sit by and simply watch a situation unfold.
"Hmm, Healed Mitsuo did she? So she must be that healer. That was quite awhile ago actually, but funny how that whole neutrality thing tends to catch up to you." There's a shrug from the elder as he listens to the Mizukage's speechabout hatred and killings and the like. Yep, sounded about right.
He hmms silently to himself, "Oh well, I hope she mounts a counter attack. I do so want to repay Hashiramako for turning me into a tree."
Mushi doesn't sigh, but she does wish having healed Mitsuo would count for more. Not a hug, but better than a tiny bit of immunity. To be sure, a couple weeks after that she healed Fuyu and a missing nin from Kirigakure. She opts to omit that. But as Takeshi and then a new shinobi come up to echo accusationsand not unfounded ones at thatshe has to rise to her defense. "Strange how that works," she says. "I thought being in Suna would work against me in Konoha, not here. The Sand gave you neutrality and a few supplies during the Waves incident. As for Konoha, I've avoided it for a long time, though I've been through the Land of Fire. They don't seem to be as happy to commission me after I was hired by Rainin his siege of Konoha." That was the honest truth.
She looks from Nori to Takeshi, and then back to Hikan. "I'll tell you this now. We're not called the Neutral Medical Center because of who we heal. It's because of when we heal. We're purely post-war relief. Any medic in my center who acts to influence the outcome during a battle is banned permanently from the Center. It's also why we're rarely called on by shinobi…we're mostly hired by those without healers of their own, by normal people. Besides, I help Konoha at all before, during, or after this war. Do you want help here?" The banishment isnot quite that harsh, but that is the basic setup.
The arrival of Nori is enough to cause Hikan to show the new arrival some attention, before he closes his eyes. As if thinking. "…Do not presume to know everything that is going on with this girl just by hearing a few lines ofconversation." He says simply to Nori. "As I mentioned, and I want this to be clear."
Hikan speaks up a little, making sure everybody hears. "Mushi is still a very welcome addition to the Hidden Mist Village. Her repute is well earned. And in this time, we need many of her caliber. She did not participate in this War with Konoha whatsoever, nor has she, as far as I'm aware, been involved with the actual village of Konoha for several months. It is possible that they summonedher, and she declined. If you attack her when in the village, you will find yourself not living out the day."
A glance goes to Takeshi, where he nods a bit. "…she has been sure to keep her neutrality very … careful. But with Sunagakure clearly showing who it favors in the last few weeks, I cannot risk Mushi venturing to the desert andtelling the Kazekage how we are managing. Information like that would spread like wildfire." Seems he enjoys talking about Mushi as if she's not here. Oy.
"However, Mushi," He begins, turning attention back to her. "…with that said. Your lover, Goh. Our price for his head is nearly as much as Uchiha Fuyu's. Inform him that he will be hunted … always. No matter where he is, what time of day. He will have men after him, hunting his location to destroy him. He may be strong, but he is still mortal. He will tire eventually. And that is when hisworld will darken." Seems Hikan wasn't very happy with him. Not at all.
With Mushi speaking up then, he turns to face her with slightly less angry eyes. "You must be unaware of current tidings, which is strange indeed given your 'Wanderer' status. Sunagakure is an official ally of Konoha. In several high-profile missions in this War, Sunagakure ninjas have been sighted on the opposing line and acted against us. This is a fact. Truly strange tidings for a country that offers 'neutrality', correct?" Pushing the glasses back up in front of his eyes, he continues. "As I just said, what happened months ago is of no concern to me. My job is to ensure that we here in the Mist survive and flourish right now. Using information and acting on tidings that is nearly over a year old is not a wise method of surviving or flourishing." He pauses, as if to give the MedicalCenter some thought.
"Then it would be a grave loss for non-shinobi to find it destroyed because of your actions." That's all he has to say about that.
Nori's piece shared, he steps back from the light again, preferring the comfort of shadows to the nocuous light. It is the Kage's words that stop him, the smile broadening slightly. "I wouldn't dream of it, unless your auspicious self were to order it," he murmurs more to himself, as the Mizukage continues. He chuckles lightly to himself, at some unshared though likely obvious joke given his nature. He listens quietly from here to what the Kage says, offering no further comment on the situation, until the comment ends, and then his eyebrows raise as something dawns on him.
He moves to Takeshi's side and whispers ever so quietly to the 'Elder', "You know, we could ask her to stay and work in our medical facility for a time, and put out the word that we've captured her. Surely that would lure this 'Goh' into coming right into our hands in a rescue mission that would prove his downfall." His words are soft, nor more than the whisper of the leaves against each other and intended for the ear of Takeshi alone, though Nori is not one, usually, to keep secrets. He steps back away from the elder, his expression carefully blank as he regards the Kage and the healer.
Takeshi snickers, "I'm too damn old and busy to worry about a single healer in the village. Trust me, I have no desire to have to extend myself to cause her any harm. There's plenty of hunter nin for that duty as I see it." He turns to regard her, "Welcome to Kirigakure then, I suppose. I am Kaguya Takeshi, Clan Elder. The pleasure is of course mine, even if I know your name by reputation and having heard it from Mitsuo." There's an inclining of his head in greeting before he turns his attention to Nori.
His arms cross as he listens to the proposition and then nods, "That is true. Kaguya Nori wishes to know if you would be against her providing medical services. It is a good idea if she is willing to offer and you are willing to allow us to accept." There's that glint in his eyes, that glint that says he has something else planned to go along with this. Then he turns to Mushi, "In the meantime however, do you require lodgings?"
Well, it's nice to hear that she has safety within the village. But that doesn't make Mushi feel very safe about ever coming back here again. Now that she's here, she wishes it were Mitsuo she was facing rather than Hikan. Hikan seems far more actively dangerous than Mitsuo did, or was he like that back here?
"If I see him again, I'll tell Goh-san that, since you ask," she says, choosing to use a less familiar honorofic than she does. But the day his world will darken isn't when he dies, it's when the Pickler is forced to retire from old age. Again, something she chooses not to say. She's watching her words very carefully. And trying not to squirm. Or make a mad dash for a boat, grab the oars, and singlehandedly row back to the mainland.
To Takeshi she says politely and ironically, "Good evening, Kaguya Takeshi-baa-san." She listens quietly to his proposal and regards him for a long moment. Then she says, "You don't seem to be overswamped in your hospital." Yes, she'd already snooped through the entire facility it seems. "And I charge. Not for my overall stay, but the time I spend working." It had been funny at some places where they thought of her as a good buddy, until she continued to charge them until they grew tired of it. Friends got no discounts.
"Of course you wouldn't." The Mizukage replies to Nori, regarding his 'dream' comment. Although it's hard to tell if he's being sarcastic or not. Not hearing the information shared to Takeshi by Nori due to him not being close enough, he shuts his eyes once more. As if thinking. They open slowly when Takeshi offers him a question. "Of course not, Elder Takeshi." He says easily enough, before hearing Mushi's answer to the question. It causes his brows to furrow a little — his eyes squinting.
"Mushi is a healer. The primary reason she is in this village, I imagine, is so that she can heal the injured shinobi we have. It is part of her 'code'. Correct?" A glance to the Healer, before he looks back into the sky — adjusting his glasses. "I believe she has no friends inside this Village, or anyone worth visiting for merely social reasons. If she were not healing … then that would cause my suspicions to rise considerably." He looks to Mushi at this point. What she just said gave the impression that she did not initially come to give her aid. What DID she come here for, if that was the case?
"…but she is well worth her price. Or so I am led to believe. Be mindful as I mentioned, Kaguya clansmen. Do not attack or attempt to harm her in any way without my permission first. Kirigakure not only needs her services, but /wants/ them. I do not like the idea of us driving her away. If the situation changes, and we want her dead, I shall inform the Kaguya at once." They seem to enjoy killing people, after all.
A glance is given to Takeshi there, his eyes focussed on the Kaguya Elder intently behind his glasses.
Breaking his gaze, he makes a motion to leave. "I hate to leave a stimulating conversation such as this, but I must find out how such a complicated and intricate plan came to ruin and failed." He must be talking about theinvasion. "Good evening." Stepping away, his body fades into the darkness as he strides away. Soon, he is gone. As he leaves, the general chill of the area also lifts back to the normal temperature.
Nori nods slightly, acknowledging the Kage as he departs. "Yes, Hikan-san," he says with a monotone, and then turns his attention on Mushi. "Excuse my rudeness earlier, Healer-sama," he says, his tone carefully neutral. "I was working on half heard conversations, and I have a tendency to interpret things with kunai and then my eyes." He smiles, friendly and disarming, the dangerous glint gone from his eye. "I am Kaguya Nori, and as it seems we will be, as the Mizukage said, in need of your services I would like to offer to run errands for you if you need something. I'm never very far, and always easy to find when I want to be." He offers her a slight, informal bow, and then steps back, and leaving anything further to Takeshi.
Takeshi just stares at her as she makes her claim. Something about pay and what have you, an obvious insult but also a way to avoid the duties, which the Mizukage picks up on. Still, Takeshi feels the need to defend himself. "I'm sorry, But is a foreigner doubting the ability of the second oldest kaguya bloodline to pay her for her services? Did I hear this correctly?" There's not a smirk on his face as he says this. "There is plenty to pay you with. I do not appreciate your implications."
He shrugs, "But I digress, and how I plan to pay you is little of your concern except to know that the funds are more than available." There's a pause as he turns to Nori, "Kaguya Nori, I'm going to ask you to get her acquainted with the village. I doubt you need to tour the medical center. When you're finished, bring her to my home in the Kaguya Village. Sumiya will be up, she will show her to her room." then he turns to Mushi, "Unless you would rather stay elsewhere, which I will oblige as well."
Mushi just stares at Hikan in fascination and a little anxiousness as he leaves. She's still unused to talking to Kages, especially that Kage. When he leaves she lets out an audible sigh of relief. She'd seemed calm before him, but her two remaining companions will notice her face was not so pale as they first saw it. However, Mushi does look apprehensively at Takeshi. She shakes her head. "I know you can pay, Takeshi-kun," she says. "I was just saying this because I didn't know if he and you were familiar with that fact about my Medical Center." After all, they hadn't called her here, she had come. "But on a sidenote, I did come here to see if my help was needed."
She considers his offer about staying in the village, and looks about to reject it, but then she smiles. "Thank you very much for your offer, and I humbly accept," she says. It wasn't often to be able to observe such a prestigious clan within their smaller village. Then again, she's well aware they'd be just as much security guards there.
To Nori she says, "It's understandable.. and I'm glad to find you well Nori-san. But lodgings are more than enough." She looks between the two Kaguya. They don't seem to be sad that their Kaguya Mizukage has passed on, but she supposes that was many months ago.
Nori smiles again, a glint in his eye. "I was implying that I'll be escorting you, Miss, and as such I'll be happy to help you with things as well. If you're not interested in a tour of the village, then we can go straight to Kaguya Takeshi-san's domicile. Its one of the nicer ones, or so I'm told. I don't have much use for houses." He winks at her, and nods. "I'll be waiting over here when you're ready." He moves away towards a tree, grabbing a grassblade and sticking it between his teeth, he chews it as he leans back against the tree to wait.
Takeshi nods, "I hope you enjoy your stay, despite the rather rocky start to it, but I believe the mizukage was simply being safe. That and this was his way of protecting you on a certain level. There might have been less forgiving amongst the village." He smiles at her, "But now that all that business is behind us, you can enjoy your stay. You will of course be paid once you finish your contract. In the meantime, I will provide housing and amenities as well as food at my home. Rest assured that none of the Kaguya will give you trouble. Should you need anything, you may contact Kaguya Nori, or one amongst my family. Odori Sumiya will meet you at the ome and show you to your quarters. You will likely meet Odori Aoi, Odori Akiko and Odori Yuuji in the morning hours." She might notice he never uses Kaguya when referring to them. "If you should need anything else that you feel those options will not suffice for, please feel free to seek me out."
With that he bows, "I thank you for your time, but it is late and my days have become longer. If you should require anything to make your stay easier or more comfortable, simply ask Odori Aoi or Odori Sumiya, they will be happy to oblige as will I." Then he turns to Nori, "Thank you for your service Nori-san." A nod is given as he turns to enter the medical center to complete his original objective.
Mushi listens to the details carefully, and then she gives a graceful bow to Takeshi. "Thank you for your hospitality," she says politely, straightening up. When he's gone her lips move as she repeats the name Takeshi said, committing them to memory. Then she'd look to Nori. He seemed young to be in a rather dangerous conversation such as this. But she supposes being in the Kaguya Clan may harden someone even at a young age. She says, "That was very wise of you to suggest to an Elder and a Kage to hire me for my services." Despite her praising words, she doesn't sound happy or complimentary. He'd called her a spy just moments before that. He hardly knew anything about her. And then offering to be her guide.
Then, she smiles. "But I will take you up on that offer. Do you want to show me around?" She glances around the street and says, "By the way, I am Nikumari Mushi of the Neutral Medical Center. A makeshift healer."
Nori grins at her, mischief in his eyes, and nods. "Sure, I'll lead you around. Its my civic duty, or something like that." He chuckles lightly and gestures down the road before leading the way. "I'm not much for public places, but I'll show you the sights… well, the few there are." He tosses the blade of grass away and begins a very colorful description of the village as he leads her around, all the more enjoyable as its told from the perspective of someone who still thinks such civilities amazing, or foolish given to circumstance.